Fix Server Upload Permissions

Optimal UMASK Configurations

If files need to be viewable in a web browser, then the UMASK needs to be changed. There are two recommended UMASK configurations for Mason end users:

  • umask 022 – This results in files that are world-readable and only writable by the owner of the files.
  • umask 002 – This results in files that are world-readable and writable by both the file owner and the group the owner belongs to. This setting is ideal in situations where multiple users need to edit the same files.

Note: Please ensure that you set up the umask permissions before you upload the files into your folder.

Changing the UMASK

Special note: Changing your UMASK permissions will NOT fix permissions on files previously uploaded. You will have to delete the file or folder with incorrect permissions from the webserver and upload again. Changing the UMASK will not fix the permissions if you just overwrite the file on the server. It will only fix the permissions of files you upload AFTER you changed your UMASK.

pico .cshrc Text Editor

pico .cshrc Text Editor

  1. Connect to the Mason Cluster via PuTTY.
  2. Login using your credentials.
  3. Once you are logged in, and after you are done with setting up your web folder (public_html), enter the following command:
       pico .cshrc  (NOTE: pico<space>.cshrc)
  4. This will put you into a text editor. If there is a umask line, edit it so it reads umask 022 or umask 002 (See UMASK configurations). Otherwise, simply add the line to the end of the file. Refer to the screenshot below.
  5. Save the file (Ctrl+O) (letter O).
  6. File Name to write: .cshrc will display towards the bottom of the window. Hit enter.
  7. Exit the file (Ctrl+X).
  8. Run pico .profile and pico .login and repeat Steps 4 and 5.
  9. Log out of the session by entering the command mason> logout, and then log back in again. (This step is REQUIRED to see the change. You must logout of all connections to the web server, including Dreamweaver.)
  10. Type umask at the mason> prompt. If you have successfully set up the permissions, you should see umask 22 or umask 2 at the mason> prompt. If you still see umask 77 then you need to contact the webmaster.

Note: While entering these commands into the mason prompt, if you happen to make any typing enters, you can use the Delete button instead of Backspace.

If this does not work and you have followed all the steps above, email the webmaster and describe which step was unsuccessful. If you are trying to fix permissions on your personal website (ie. mason.gmu.edu/~userID) please refer to Create the Web Folder on How to Set Up a Personal Site.

403 Forbidden Screenshot

This permission error normally occurs when a file on the server is not world readable

Issues

Forbidden Permissions

1. This permission error normally occurs when a file on the server is not world readable.

By default, when new files are uploaded, they are only readable by the user who uploaded them. While this is good for security, this means that newly created files will not be available to web site visitors.

The setting that controls this is called the UMASK.

Please be aware, if you change your default permissions to be world viewable and upload a file that should NOT be visible to the world, you will need to manually change the permissions on that file.

2. This issue also appears when you happen to set all permissions correctly but do not upload the index.html file in your public_html folder. Please see Uploading Files for further details.

Insert the umask line at the cursor

Insert the umask line at the cursor

Umask Line

Sometimes you won’t see a umask line in either of the pico .cshrc, pico .login or pico .profile files. In such cases, just insert umask 022 or umask 002 at the position of the cursor shown in the screenshot and then continue from Step 4.

Last Updated: December 9, 2016