When using SSH, you can perform many different tasks. One of the more common tasks is to change file permissions of either files or folders. While you can also do this from within the cPanel, it is much easier to do it in SSH if you are already there. Below we describe and demonstrate how to do this.

To change permissions of a file or folder, you use the chmod command. You use the command, followed by the three digit permission structure you want to assign. Then, type the name of the file or folder you are changing. The basic command structure is shown below:

chmod ### file/folder

Changing the File Permissions

Now it is time for a demonstration. Below we will change the permissions of a file named testfile.txt from 644 to 755.

  1. First, we will log into our account with SSH.
  2. Next, we use the pwd command to see our location. That information is returned on the next line. We are in the public_html folder of our account.

    user5@example.com [~/public_html]# pwd
    /home/user5/public_html

  3. Next, we use the ls command to provide a list of the files and folders. We highlighted the target row in red for you. Note the permissions are in modal format and not the numeric format. -rw-r--r-- is the modal format for 644.

    user5@example.com [~/public_html]# ls -alh
    total 8.0K
    drwxr-xr-x 2 user5 user5 4.0K Dec 7 18:43 ./
    drwx--x--x 10 user5 user5 4.0K Dec 6 08:16 ../
    -rw-r--r-- 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 file1.txt
    -rw-r--r-- 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 testfile.txt
    -rw-r--r-- 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 file3.txt

  4. After locating the file, use the chmod command to edit the permissions.

    user5@example.com [~/public_html]# chmod 755 testfile.txt

  5. Lastly, we run the ls command to display the same file list. This time, the results show the file's new permissions. Again, the row is highlighted in red for you. Note the new permissions, -rwxr-xr-x are in the modal format for 755.

    user5@example.com [~/public_html]# ls -alh
    total 8.0K
    drwxr-xr-x 2 user5 user5 4.0K Dec 7 18:43 ./
    drwx--x--x 10 user5 user5 4.0K Dec 6 08:16 ../
    -rw-r--r-- 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 file1.txt
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 file2.txt*
    -rw-r--r-- 1 user5 user5 0 Dec 7 18:43 file3.txt


As you can see, testfile.txt's permissions were changed from 644 to 755.

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