[CentOS] Is it bad for my web document folder to be user accessible?

Matt Hyclak hyclak at math.ohiou.edu
Mon Sep 19 16:22:45 UTC 2005

On Tue, Sep 20, 2005 at 01:06:16AM +0900, Dave Gutteridge enlightened us:
> PHP and MySQL seem to working on my CentOS installation.
> I'd like to install phpMyAdmin as well, so I downloaded the necessary
> files from phpMyAdmin's homepage and copied them to /var/www/html...
> ... except that's where the process stopped. My regular user account
> doesn't have permission to write into the /var/www/html folder.
> Should I just chmod the folder to 777? Is there a reason it's not
> already user accessible?
> This is a local machine where I'll be testing web pages of my own
> design, and not accessible from the web.
> Or at least I hope not. If I'm running an Apache server just for local
> files, it's not being seen on the web, is it?

You probably don't want world write permissions on your publicly accessible
directory. Ever. If anyone finds a bug in apache/php/etc, it makes their
life a whole lot easier.

Generally with phpMyAdmin, I do the following (as root):

1. Extract the tarball in /var/www, resulting in /var/www/phpMyAdmin-2.X.X

2. Create a phpmyadmin.conf file in /etc/httpd/conf.d directory that contains
   the line:

	Alias /phpMyAdmin "/var/www/phpMyAdmin-2.X.X"

This lets me try out new versions without losing old versions, etc, just by
changing the Alias in the conf file. Don't forget to reload apache after
adding the file (/sbin/service httpd graceful)

As a general rule, anything that is happening "globally" on the system will
have to be performed with superuser permissions (either by becoming root via
"su -", or by using the sudo command). In this specific case, if you wanted
to do it only using your user privelidges, you would have to install
phpMyAdmin into your home directory ($HOME/public_html). 


Matt Hyclak
Department of Mathematics 
Department of Social Work
Ohio University
(740) 593-1263

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