chmod all directories permissions only and omit files (recursively) on Linux howto

Friday, 11th March 2016

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If you mistakenly chmod-ed all files within directory full of multiple other subdirectories and files and you want to revert back and set a certain file permissions (read, wite execute) privileges only to all directories:

find /path/to/base/dir -type d -exec chmod 755 {} +

If there are too many files or directories you need to change mod use

chmod 755 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type d) chmod 644 $(find /path/to/base/dir -type f)

Above willl run evaluate $() all files searched and print them and pass them to chmod so if you have too many files / directories to change it will drastically reduce execution time.

An alternative and perhaps a better way to do it for those who don't remember by heart the chmod permission (numbers), use something like:

chmod -R u+rwX,go+rX,go-w /path

Below is arguments meaning:

    -R = recursively;
    u+rwX = Users can read, write and execute;
    go+rX = group and others can read and execute;
    go-w = group and others can't write

If like piping, a less efficient but still working way to change all directory permissions only is with:

find /path/to/base/dir -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 755
find /path/to/base/dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 644

For those who wish to automate and often do change permissions of only files or only directories it might be also nice to look at ( shell script

Tadadam 🙂


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