I am writing this to help others that have *NIX permission problems using Joomla! on some web hosting providers.
1) You have an account on a shared server.
2) You can FTP to the server, but files you upload are created with your ftp login name as the file owner.
3) The server runs Apache under a different username, like; www-user or apache.
4) If you have shell access to the server, there is no difference, files are created with your login name as the owner.
Now the problem, you install Joomla! by FTP’ing all the files to the server, run the install program, install Joomla!… All is good? Most of the time, no. WHY!?
Permissions! Thats why.
After your install, you are pretty happy, then you start uploading modules, and components. WRONG. You now have to chmod directories and files. Some automated tasks of Joomla!, some Components, Modules and large programs like Forums and such don’t work correctly, or throw permission problems at you.
There is a way to get around it all though, and it’s not very hard either. The tools you need are free, and available from sites that create Joomla! Tools and the like.
First, we need to get all the files running as a single user, and the best user to do that is the user the Apache process is running as. This is that account; www-user or apache.
How do we do this? Simple, use web based tools. They run as apache, therefore, everything they create, will be created with the apache user as the file owner. No more permissions problems.
Now that I have you intrested, lets get to work.
Please note that I will write this as I’m going through a new Joomla! Installation.
There is a tool called; JoomlaStart Automatic Installer , this is a simple PHP file that you upload using FTP, and use your browser to view this PHP page. It will download the Joomla! CMS .zip file to your webhost, and extract it for you, all under the apache user name.
When you run the JoomlaStart Installer, choose to Install the Files Directly.
When thats done, it will start the Joomla! Installer for you. Complete the installation. When you are done with the install, get the component JoomlaXplorer , it is a complete file management system in Joomla! (You guessed it, running as the apache user.)
You can use the JoomlaXplorer software to upload files, extract zip files, and rename, move, copy and all that good stuff around your webspace. You no longer have to use FTP.
Of course, doing this will limit your FTP access to these files, because they are now running as the apache user.
I create a folder using my FTP client, to upload very large files to, then use JoomlaXplorer to copy them to another location, changing the owner of the file. Then I use FTP to delete the file I origionally uploaded. Done.