Permissions Will Get You (Or You Can Do Yourself In)

If any readers really think I know what the _____ I am doing with web server technology, please let this morning’s adventure convince you otherwise. By one fell swoop/click, I managed to knock this whole server out of whack. I was trying to do set up a temporary ftp access so a colleague could transmit some large audio files. Without thinking, I was monkeying around with the file server settings and applied a wrong group name as owner of my entire web directory. Worse, some directories that needed to be writable were not.

I managed to fix what I thought was most last night, only to wake up from home, check the server status remotely, and saw that it was MIA. On restarting here, it ran into all kinds of dead-ends, and I think there was a lot of traffic and feverish reloading as the net traffic lights on the front of the Xserve were looking red-lined. The only way to perform some needed tasks was to yank the ethernet out.

I still ran into problems because my mySQL server was refusing to connect… finally, I found out in my sweeping goof of directory ownership, I had stolen ownersiop of the data directory from mysql, its rightful owner… Three hours later, one busted mosue tossed across the room in anger, and it might be working.

I don’t know what the heck I am doing, but on a server, monkeying with permissions can bring down the house into a pile of un-recognizable rubble. All from one bone-headed click.

At this rate, today I am feeling afraid to even try my hand at a Word document… I feel that techno-jinxed.

If this kind of stuff has value, please support me by tossing a one time PayPal kibble or monthly on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
Profile Picture for CogDog The Blog
An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Been there. Several times. I keep breaking into a cold sweat every time I type % sudo rm -rf ./* – hoping I didn’t accidentally miss the . – which has happened several times. Thankfully, I was saved by the password prompt, where I quickly control-c outta there…

Comments are closed.