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Problems deleting files

Overview

FTP provides a convenient interface to quickly delete multiple files from a your site with minimal overhead. Problems can exist in multi-user environments where files are owned by one of many different users.

Cause

FTP abides by UNIX discretionary access controls (DAC) that restricts what files users can delete/modify/read. Without requisite permissions these files, owned by a user other than who is logged into the FTP server, cannot be removed.

Solution

There are 4 solutions:

  • Change ownership on the files to match the user logged into FTP through FilesFile Manager Properties beneath the Actions column within the control panel.
  • Use the File Manager to remove these files.
    • File Manager ignores DAC for the primary user
  • Recursively change permissions to 777 on the directory and its descendants recursively within the control panel through the File Manager Properties dialog.
    • Extremely unsafe, but fastest to delete files of mixed users
  • Log into the FTP server as the owner of the file to remove those files. In situations where the owner is apache (web server role), then these files may be deleted by the primary account holder 24 hours after the file is created– a separate task runs nightly to open up privileges.

 See Also

Permissions Overview

Updated on July 8, 2019

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