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Akeeba Backup for Joomla!

#8519 ABI fails - file permissions error

Posted in ‘Akeeba Backup for Joomla!’
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Environment Information

Joomla! version
n/a
PHP version
n/a
Akeeba Backup version
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rbradbury
Akeeba 3.0 Pro with Kickstart 3.0 PHP 5.2.13

Have successfully created backup of Joomla 1.5.18 site with SMF & Coppermine subdirectories in 3 parts to get round webhosting 200MB file upload limit. Have transferred backup files via FTP (binary mode) to empty subdirectory of a different domain and server (same hosting company) Attempting to restore - Kickstart appears to run correctly, producing expected list of files & directories. I then CHMOD 777 Installation directory (including all subdirecoties & files) using Ipswitch WS-Pro & confirmed change was fully applied.

Transferring to Installation process gives immediate error "A file permissions error has occurred. Please check the permissions on the script and the directory it is in and try again."

I assume this refers to /subdirectory/installation/index.php which is set to 777. .htaccess for transferred site has been changed automatically to htaccess.bak. Have spent some time now re-reading documentation & forums - would appreciate your advice on what needs to be done!

Thanks

Bob

dlb
Bob,

If you are on a server that runs suPHP, you can't flag anything 777, the highest you can go is 755. The nice, lucid error message that you got is not the normal reaction to this problem. We normally get a 500 Internal Server Error. Does the error look like it is coming from ABI (the installer script) or the server?

What mode did you use in kickstart, direct writes or ftp mode? If you used direct writes, please double check your 777 settings again. If your changes via ftp were applied, that is an indication that your server runs suPHP.


Dale L. Brackin
Support Specialist


us.gifEnglish: native


Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!


????
My time zone is EST (UTC -5) (click here to see my current time in Philadelphia, PA)

rbradbury
Dale - thanks for the reply.
The error message is a single line of courier script at the top of my (Firefox) browser. So may be an ABI message rather than server - although unsure how to confirm that?
I used Kickstart in direct write mode
Yes, changes were applied by FTP - and (still) show 777 with both CPanel file manager and my FTP client.
I'm unclear about the significance of suPHP?
This next bit may or may not be relevant -
On a previous attempt at restoration (without first changing permissions on the /installation folder - hadn't read the user guide about that!) the first Installation 'check' page appeared in my browser with a message at the top saying (something like) configuration couldn't be written due to incorrect permission. Underneath were the required settings all showing green. I then attempted to CHMOD the /installation directory by FTP client and when reverting to my browser the check page had disappeared. All that was left was a server error message (can't remember exact wording - implying no dB found...which would be expected!) It was as though the whole Installation process had been run through with installation folder deleted. Since I was unable to recover from that (and I really want to get the Akeeba installation process working for future use), I deleted all files from the selected domain subdirectory and started the upload of backups over again.

Bob

UPDATE: CHMOD 755 applied to /installation folder, subfolders and all files via FTP client. Reran ABI Installation.script which now takes me to the first Check page. Message at top says "Your session write path and the installation directory are not writable. One of them must be writable for the installation to continue." Please advise what I need to change to rectify this error. Thanks

dlb
The settings on the /installation folder should solve this error. I'm going to flag this for Nicholas.


Dale L. Brackin
Support Specialist


us.gifEnglish: native


Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!


????
My time zone is EST (UTC -5) (click here to see my current time in Philadelphia, PA)

rbradbury
Dale / Nicholas
I feel like I've been crying wolf, for which apologies. I have now successfully completed the backup installation! What I did was to change (again) all directory & file permissions from 755 to 775 then back to 755 in the /installation directory & its subdirectories using my FTP client (Ipswitch WS_FTP). At this point, the previous message "Your session write path and the installation directory are not writable. One of them must be writable for the installation to continue." was no longer displayed.

[ I had previously attempted this with CuteFTP with no apparent success - the error message above remained.]

All I can put this down to is the reference I read somewhere to the 'stickiness' of CHMOD changes...?

Bob

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
Just for future reference, you only need to chmod the installation directory, not its contents, if and only if the PHP session write path is unwriteable. On most shared hosts you need to chmod to 0777. Depending on your server configuration, 0775 or 0755 (the latter is Kickstart's default) will do the trick, while the other settings will produce either a server error - like the one you experienced - or an error from ABI.

The "stickiness" of chmod settings is a somewhat fuzzy subject. Normally, an FTP client program should do as instructed. I use FileZilla because it's the only one which consistently does exactly what you tell it to. When it's not sure about what you mean, it asks you. You see, I like control over what my computer does :D In FileZilla it's enough to right-click on the installation folder and click on Permissions. The GUI is very intuitive.

That said, if you want ABI to update your configuration.php automatically, you may have to chmod the configuration.php file on your site's root to 0666 or 0777. However, as soon as you are through with the restoration, change its permissions back to safer settings, like 0644.

As a rule of thumb: Open-wide permissions like 0777 should only be used on directories and files for a very limited amount of time - i.e. only during restoration - or only on directories which are configured to not be directly accessible from the web. I have written a blog post on permissions and why they're important. I think that it is a very good idea to read it.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

rbradbury
Nicholas - thanks for the clarification that it is only the installation directory permission that needs changing. Also, thanks for developing a stunning application that does a great job, with excellent documentation and support. I particularly like the ability to automate backups to remote storage (I'm using Amazon S3), as well as specifying backup file sizes to get round my shared hosting upload limit.

I'm now reading your blog ....!

Bob

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
Thank you for your kind words! We are certainly trying our best and we strongly believe that perfection is a journey, not an achievable state. As a result, there's always room for improvement and we try to constantly innovate more and better solutions :)

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

rbradbury
Just to complete (and close!) this ticket. I have today undertaken another Akeeba restoration. After running Kickstart, I checked the /installation folder permission which was already set to 755 (suPHP). As before, starting the ABI Installation process produced the file permissions error message. I ignored it, clicked 'Next' to proceed to the next step and the error message disappeared! It was then possible to continue through the Installation steps to a successful conclusion.

So I suggest it may be worth ignoring the error message if all the parameters are correctly set.

Bob

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
ABI is asking PHP if either the session save path or the installation directory is writeable. There is no way to otherwise know if they are. Obviously, if PHP lies, ABI will lie with the error message. This seems to be very host specific. On my local servers and on Rochen hosts this condition never occurred.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

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