Posts Tagged ‘change permissions’

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

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Reading Time: < 1minute


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 🙂


Linux: How to change recursively directory permissions to executable (+x) flag

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Reading Time: < 1minute

change recursively permissions of directories and subdirectories Linux and Unix with find command
I had to copy large directory from one Linux server to windows host via SFTP proto (with WinSCP). However some of directories to be copied lacked executable flag, thus WinSCP failed to list and copy them.

Therefore I needed way to set recursively, all sub-directories under directory /mirror (located on Linux server) to +x executable flag.

There are two ways to do that one is directly through find cmd, second by using find with xargs
Here is how to do it with find:

# find /mirror -type d -exec chmod 755 {} + Same done with find + xargs:

# find /path/to/base/dir -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 755
To change permissions only to all files under /mirror server directory with find

# find /path/to/base/dir -type f -exec chmod 644 {} +

Same done with find + xargs:
# find /path/to/base/dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 644

Also, tiny shell script that recursively changes directories permissions ( is here

Linux find files while excluding / ignoring some files – Show all files on UNIX excluding hidden . (dot) files

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutes

A colleague of mine (Vasil) asked me today, how he can recursively chmod to all files in a directory whileexclude unreadable files for chmod (returning permission denied). He was supposed to fix a small script which was supposed to change permissions like :

chmod 777 ./
chmod: cannot access `./directory': Permission denied
chmod: cannot access `./directory/file': Permission denied
chmod: cannot access `./directory/onenote': Permission denied

First thing that came to my mind was to loop over it with for loop and grep out only /directory/ and files returning permissioned denied.

for i in $(find . -print | grep -v 'permission denied'); do echo chmod 777 $i; done

This works but if chmod has to be done to few million of files, this could be a real resource / cpu eater.

The better way to do it is by only using Linux find command native syntax to omit files.

find . -type f ( -iname "*" ! -iname "onenote" ! -iname "file" )

Above find will print all files in . – current directory from where find is started, except files: onenote and file.
To exclude

Search and show all files in Linux / UNIX except hidden . (dot) files

Another thing he wanted to do is ignore printing of hidden . (dot) files like .bashrc, .profile and .bash_history while searching for files – there are plenty of annoying .* files.

To ignore printing with find all filesystem hidden files from directory:

find . -type f ( -iname "*" ! -iname ".*" )

on web hosting webservers most common files which is required to be omitted on file searches is .htaccess

find . -type f ( -iname "*" ! -iname ".htaccess" )

  In order to print only all hidden files in directory except .bashrc and .bash_profile:

find . -type f ( -iname '.*' ! -iname '.bashrc' ! -iname '.bash_profile' )

Another useful Linux find use for scripting purposes is listing only all files presented in current directory (simulating ls), in case if you wonder why on earth to use find and not a regular ls command?, this is useful for scripts which has to walk through millions of files (for reference see how to delete million of files in same folder with Linux find):

find . ! -name . -prune


"! -name . " –  means any file other than current directory

prune – prunes all the directories other than the current directory.

A more readable way to list only files in current folder with find is – identical to what above cmd:

find ./* -prune


If you want to exclude /mnt folder and its sub-directories and files with find by using prune option:

find . -name tmp -prune -o -print