Friday, May 16. 2008
777 file permissions not a solution ... Posted by Jeremy Coates in General at 17:19
After some investigation, it turns out that the blog software in question had several run-away apache processes - chewing CPU cycles like they were going out of fashion and filling up the apache logs faster than quota could be allocated (e.g. read a Gb every couple of seconds!) as the particular script looped and couldn't read from the file it wanted. The cause of this was to do with file permissions, in particular one file was empty and a bug in the blog code meant that it was in an infinite loop, several times over as the user kept reloading the screen! The marketing company bod was kind enough to point out that they had it working on other servers quite happily, even initially having the cheek to make out like it was software they had written, when in actual fact it was an open source (GPL licensed) piece of software.
So after working this out and telling them they needed to read their documentation and fix the problem, they instead set all the files and folders to world writable (e.g. 777 file permissions) in their FTP client. At this point I decided that it was simpler to fix the issue myself whilst giving them a lecture on how 777 permissions is never a blanket solution to anything. I got to the point of telling them I'd just remove the software if they were going to leave it like that which they didn't seem to happy about.
So after setting all the permissions back to what they should