After completing the Magento 2.0.0 rc and creating the user 'www-data' for the root installation drive /var/www/html I was unable to run the following command.

Enable Apache user ->sudo chsh -s /bin/bash www-data Set the user’s password -> sudo passwd www-data Trying to take ownership of my Magento2 files using 'www-data' user -> chown -R www-data .

Received a very large list of errors either Operation not permitted or Permission denied

Thanks in advance.

  • Why don't you change the ownership using root (sudo)?
    – Silvan
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


I do the following on Debian 7/8:

Step 1

passwd www-data
Set a password.

Step 2

sed -i 's/www\-data:\/var\/www:\/usr\/sbin\/nologin/www\-data:\/var\/www:\/bin\/bash/' /etc/passwd

  • Hi thanks, I tried your steps above and my result is given below passwd: You may not view or modify password information for www-data. I'm using Ubuntu 14 AMI from AWS and the user is Ubuntu
    – George Ng
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 8:35
  • You should run these commands with the root privileges. Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 9:02

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