After running setup:upgrade and di compile from the bin directory, permission and ownership is reset and the magento store stops working. It works if I manually reset the permission.

When the var/generation/Magento directory is owned by sohaib/www-data (sohaib is my current username) the website is loading properly.

When I run the bin/magento setup:upgrade command, the ownership has changed and the website is throwing errors.

  • You have to re-deploy and chmod after that! chmod -R 777 var/* in your current root magento directory
    – mrtuvn
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 4:18
  • Friends don't let friends 777.
    – Muckee
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 1:11

1 Answer 1


With regards to Mohammad's answer, permissions should never be set to 777.

The problem here is that newly generated files are owned by the user and group who issues the command $USER:$USER, where they should belong to $USER:www-data or $USER:apache. Because apache2 does not have access to the group $USER, the website cannot be properly served.

In order to retain proper permissions, magento commands should be executed as the apache user.

For example:


$ sudo -u www-data php bin/magento setup:upgrade


$ sudo -u apache php bin/magento setup:upgrade

This way, new files are owned by www-data:www-data (in the case of ubuntu).

So long as you have properly followed Magento's documentation with regards to permissions and added the cli user to the apache2 group, then you will have proper access to the files.

If you did not follow this documentation then you can execute the following command to do so:


$ sudo usermod -a -G www-data $USER


$ sudo usermod -a -G apache $USER


In order that commands can be executed without declaring the apache2 user, Daniel's answer explains that we can modify how the Magento framework sets permissions for new files.

If you are having trouble installing/updating via composer or deploying to production, then you can simply grant ownership of any inaccessible files (these are highlighted yellow in the terminal) to www-data by issuing the following command:

sudo chown www-data:www-data "/absolute/path/to/file.json"

Then, follow BrunoBueno's answer, applying the above fix:

$ sudo -u www-data bin/magento setup:upgrade
$ sudo -u www-data bin/magento indexer:reindex
$ sudo -u www-data bin/magento deploy:mode:set production -s
$ sudo -u www-data bin/magento setup:di:compile (Here was the secret, to run the di:compile after production)
$ sudo -u www-data bin/magento setup:static-content:deploy
  • 1
    Makes sense. But how do you run deploy:mode:set, which also updates the env.php file? I get "Deployment config file env.php is not writable."
    – Jan Tomka
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 11:35
  • I have just been working on that. Will edit the answer now to include the solution...
    – Muckee
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 16:57
  • Makes sense, but does not work. My webserver group is www, but I get sudo: unknown user: www
    – Black
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 15:30
  • @Black what command are you issuing when you see that response? Do the commands run without sudo? I think this is more likely a problem with your linux configuration. See this question
    – Muckee
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 1:51

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