Posts Tagged ‘file permissions’

Qmail redirect mail to another one and keep local Mailbox copy with .qmail file – Easy Set up email forwarding Qmail

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Qmail redirect mail box to another one with .Qmail file dolphin artistic logo

QMail (Considered to be the most secure Mail server out there whose modified version is running on Google – and Mail Yahoo! and Yandex EMail (SMTP) servers, nowadays has been highly neglected and considered obsolete thus most people prefer to use postfix SMTP or EXIM but still if you happen to be running a number of qmail old rack Mail servers (running a bunch of Email addresses and Virtual Domains straight on the filesystem – very handy by the way for administration much better than when you have a Qmail Mail server configured to store its Mailboxes within MySQL / PostgreSQL or other Database server – because simple vpopmail configured to play nice with Qmail and store all user emails directly on Filesystem (though considered more insecure the email correspondence can be easily red, if the server is hacked it is much better managable for a small and mid-sized mailserver) or have inherited them from another sys admin and you wonder how to redirect a single Mailbox:

(under domain lets say domain's email should forward to to SMTP domain (e.g. is supposed to forward to
To achieve it create new file called .qmail

Under the Qmail or VirtualDomain location for example:




root@qmail-server:~# vim /var/qmail/mailnames/

!!! NOTE N.B. !!! the last slash / after Maildir (…Maildir/) is important to be there otherwise mail will not get delivered
That's all now send a test email, just to make sure redirection works properly, assuming the .qmail file is created by root, by default the file permissions will be with privileges root:root.


That shouldn't be a problem at all. That's all now enjoy emails being dropped out to the second mail 🙂


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

Friday, March 11th, 2016


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 🙂


WordPress Security: Fix WordPress wp-config.php improper permissions to protect your sites from Database password steal / Website deface

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Keeping WordPress Site / Blog and related installed plugins up-to-date
is essential to prevent an attacker to hack into your Site / Database and deface your site, however if you're a company providing shell access from Cpanel / Plesk / Kloxo Panel to customers often customers are messing up permissions leaving important security credential files such as wp-config.php (which is storing user / pass credentials about connection to MySQL / PostgreSQL to have improper permissions and be world readable e.g. have permissions such as 666 or 777 while in reality the WordPress recommended permissions for wp-config.php is 600. I will skip here to explain in details difference between file permissions on Linux as this is already well described in any Linux book, however I just will recommend for any Share hosting Admin where Wordperss is hosted on Lighttpd / Apache Webserver + Some kind of backend database to be extra cautious.

Hence it is very useful to list all your WordPress sites on server wp-config.php permissions with find like this:


find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1;


I find it a generally good practice to also automatically set all wp-config.php permissions to 600 (6= Read / Write  permissions only for File Owner  user 0 = No permissions for All groups, 0 = No Permissions for all non-owner users)

If find command output gives you some file permissions such as:

ls -al /var/www/wordpress-bak/wp-config.php
-rw-rw-rw- 1 www-data www-data 2654 jul 28  2009 wp-config.php


E.g. file permission has 666 permissions (Readable for all users), then it is wise to fix this with:

chmod 600 /var/www/wordpress-bak/wp-config.php

It is generally a very good practice to run also a chmod 600 to each and every found wp-config.php file on server:

find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1 -exec chmod 600 '{}' \;

Above command will also print each file to whcih permission is set to Read / Write for Owner (this si done with -print1 option).

It is a good practice for shared hosting server to always configure a root cronjob to run above find chmod command at least once daily (whenever server hosts 50 – 100 wordpress+ more sites).

crontab -u root -l | { cat; echo “05 03 * * * find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1 -exec chmod 600 '{}' \; } | crontab – 

If you don't have the 600 permissions set for all wp-config.php files this security "backdoor" can be used by any existing non-root user to be read and to break up (crack)  in your database and even when there are Deface bot-nets involved to deface all your hosted server wordpress sites.

One of my servers with wordpress has just recently suffered with this little but very important security hole due to a WordPress site directory backup  with improper permissions which allowed anyone to enter MySQL database, so I guess there are plenty of servers with this hidden vulnerability silently living.

Many thanks to my dear friend (Dimitar PaskalevNomen for sharing with me about this vulnerability! Very important note to make here is admins who are using some security enhancement modules such as SuPHP (which makes Apache webserver to run Separate Website instances with different user), should be careful with his set all wp-config.php modules to Owner, as it is possible the wp-config.php owner change to make customer WP based websites inaccessible.

Another good security measure to  protect your server WordPress based sites from malicious theme template injections (for both personal own hosted wordpress based blog / sites or a WordPress hosting company) is to install and activate WordPress Antivirus plugin.

How to copy CD or DVD on GNU/Linux and FreeBSD using console or terminal

Monday, November 14th, 2011

CD Burning Console Terminal Linux / FreeBSD picture

These days more and more people start to forget the g* / Linux old times when we used to copy CDs from console using dd in conjunction with mkisofs .

Therefore to bring some good memories back of the glorious console times I decided to come up with this little post.

To copy a CD or DVD the first thing one should do is to make an image copy of the present inserted CD into the CD-drive with dd :

1. Make copy of the CD/DVD image using dd

# dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/tmp/mycd.iso bs=2048 conv=notrunc

/dev/cdrom is the location of the cdrom device, on many Linuces including (Debian) /dev/cdrom is just a link to the /dev/ which corresponds to the CD drive. Note on FreeBSD the location for the CD Drive is /dev/acd0
/tmp/mycd.iso instructs dd CD image creation to be placed in /tmp/ directory.
bs argument instructs it about the byte size portions by which the content of the CD-Drive inserted CD will be read. bs value of 2048 is actually only 2KB per dd read, increasing this value will decrease the time required for the CD image to be extracted.

2. Prepare CD image file to be ready for burning

After dd completes the image copy operation, next to prepare the extracted image / ISO to be ready for burning mkisofs is used:

# mkisofs -J -L -r -V TITLE -o /tmp/imagefile.iso /tmp/mycd.iso

The -J option makes the CD compatible for Pcs running Microsoft Windows. The -V TITLE option should be changed to whatever title the new CD should have, -r will add up status bar for the mkisofs operation.
-r is passed to create specific file permissions on the newly created CD, -o specifies the location where mkisofs will produce its file based on the CD image /tmp/mycd.iso .

3. Burning the mkisofs image file to a CD/DVD on GNU / Linux

linux:~# cdrecord -scanbus
linux:~# cdrecord dev=1,0,0 /tmp/imagefile.iso

If all wents okay with cdrecord operation, after a while the CD should be ready.

4. Burning the mkisofs image file to CD on FreeBSD

freebsd# burncd -f /dev/acd0 data /tmp/imagefile.iso fixate

How to make a mysql root user to login interactive with mysql cli passwordless

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

MySQL Logo Passwordless root login .my.cnf

I’m using access to the mysql servers via localhost with mysql cli on daily basis.
With time I’ve figured out that it’s pretty unahandy to always login with my root mysql password, I mean each time to enter it, e.g.:

root@mysql-server:~# mysql -u root
Enter password:

Thus to make my life a way easier I decided to store my mysql root password in order to allow my root admin user to be able to login to my mysql server without asking for password. This saves time and nerves, as I’m not supposed to look up for the password file I store my server mysql root pass.

To allow my mysql cli interface, to login passwordless to the SQL server I had to create the file /root/.my.cnf readable only for my root user and store my MySQL username and password there.

Here is a sample /root/.my.cnf file:

root@mysql-server:~# cat /root/.my.cnf

Now next time I use the mysql console interface to access my mysql server I don’t have to supply the password, here is how easier is the mysql login afterwards:

root@mysql-server:~# mysql -u root
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or g.
Your MySQL connection id is 3520
Server version: 5.0.77 Source distribution

Type ‘help;’ or ‘h’ for help. Type ‘c’ to clear the buffer.


The only downside of using .my.cnf to store permanently the mysql server root and password is from security standpoint.
If for instance somebody roots my servers, where I have stored my root user/pwds in .my.cnf , he will be able immediately to get access to the MySQL server.

Another possible security flaw with using the mysql passwordless login “trick” is if somebody forgets to set proper file permissions to, .my.cnf

Once again the file should possess the permissons of:

root@mysql-server:~# ls -al /root/.my.cnf
-rw------- 1 root root 90 Apr 2 00:05 /root/.my.cnf

Any other permissons might allow non-privileged users to read the file and gain unathorized admin access to the SQL server.

Installing qmailmrtg (qmail graph statistics on qmail activity) on Debian Lenny

Monday, April 19th, 2010

1. First it’s necessery to have the mrtg debian package installed.
If it’s not installed then we have to install it:

debian-server:~# apt-get install mrtg

2. Second download the qmailmrtg source binary
To download the latest current source release of qmailmrtg execute:

debian-server:~# wget

It’s a pity qmailmrtg is not available for download via debian repositories.

3. Third download the qmail.mrtg.cfg configuration file

debian-server~# wget

Now you have to put the file somewhere, usually it’s best to put it in the /etc/ directory.
Make sure the file is existing in /etc/qmail.mrtg.cfg
4. Untar compile and install qmailmrtg binary

debian-server:~# tar -xzvvf qmailmrtg7-4.2.tar.gz
debian-server:~# make && make install

strip qmailmrtg7
cp qmailmrtg7 /usr/local/bin
rm -rf *.o qmailmrtg7 checkq core
cc checkq.c -o checkq
cc -s -O qmailmrtg7.c -o qmailmrtg7
qmailmrtg7.c: In function ‘main’:
qmailmrtg7.c:69: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of
built-in function ‘exit’
qmailmrtg7.c:93: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of
built-in function ‘exit’
qmailmrtg7.c:131: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of
built-in function ‘exit’
qmailmrtg7.c:137: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of
built-in function ‘exit’

5. Set proper file permissions according to the user you indent to execute qmailmrtg as
I personally execute it as root user, if you intend to do so as well set a permissions to
/etc/qmail.mrtg.cfg of 700.
In order to do that issue the command:

debian-server:~# chmod 700 /etc/qmail.mrtg.cfg

6. You will now need to modify the qmail.mrtg.cfg according to your needs
There you have to set a proper location where the qmailmrtg shall generate it’s html data files.
I use the /var/www/qmailmrtg qmailmrtg log file location. If you will do so as wellyou have to create the directory.

7. Create qmailmrtg html log files directory

debian-server:~# mkdir /var/log/qmailmrtg

8. Now all left is to set a proper cron line to periodically invoke qmailmrtg in order to generate qmail activity statistics.

Before we add the desired root’s crontab instructions we have to open the crontab for edit, using the command.

debian-server:~# crontab -u root -e

I personally use and recommend the following line as a line to be added to root’s crontab.

0-55/5 * * * * env LANG=C /usr/bin/mrtg /etc/qmail.mrtg.cfg > /dev/null
9. Copy index.html from qmailmrtg source directory to /var/log/qmailmrtg

debian-server:/usr/local/src/qmailmrtg7-4.2# cp -rpf index.html /var/log/qmailmrtg

10. Last step is to make sure Apache’s configuration contains lines that will enable you to access the qmail activity statistics.

The quickest way to do that in Debian running Apache 2.2 is to edit /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and add a directory Alias as follows

Alias /qmailmrtg/ "/var/www/qmailmrtg/"

Now after Apache restart /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
You should be now able to access the qmail mrtg qmail log statistics through your Apache’s default configured host.
For instance, assuming your default configured Apache host is You’ll be able to reach the qmailmrtg statistics through an url like:

After I verified and ensured myself qmail mrtg is working correctly after all the above explained steps partook I wasn’t happy with some headlines in the index.html and the html tile of qmailmrtg,
so as a last step I manually edited the /var/www/qmailmrtg/index.html to attune it to my likings.

Here is a screenshot of the qmailmrtg web statistics in action.

qmail mrtg on debian lenny