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Host will not allow 777, 666 permissions
ThinkHost servers operate under high security levels to ensure high levels of service stability for all our clients. File permissions of 666, 777 or any chmod permission level ending in 2, 6, or 7 - for example, 777, (last 7), are not permitted as this poses a very real security risk.
777 is not necessary on our servers. The last bit is for the permissions for “everyone”, but since PHP scripts run under the customer’s username on our server instead of the “nobody” user on most servers, “everyone” needs no permissions. If scripts ask for 777, 770 is sufficient and will be far more secure.
All php and script files permissions must be set to 750. All other files such as HTML, images, or anything else needing to be accessed from the web should end in a permission level ending in 4; e.g. 644.
How do UNIX file permissions work?
The Web Server will still need to Execute set for the username and Read, Execute groupname permissions set so that it can Execute the Read command on files inside the directory. Again, these permissions may be demoted back to 755 after the Web Installer completes. Thats the basics for directories covered, what about files? This is where things get a little simpler. Most of the files that Joomla! makes use of will be quite happy with the 644 default permissions.
644 = rw- r-- r--
Owner has Read, Write
Group has Read
Other has Read
This is valid if you do not have a need to Write to the files from the Web Server, the same rules apply as for directories if you do have this need. One file that you may like to have "Writable" to the Web Server is your configuration.php file. This is the Joomla! configuration file, if you plan on changing configuration through the Web Admin interface, then this file will need to be Writable to the Web Server.
If your server needed directory permissions to be set to "Other" Writable for the install then this file will probably also need to be 757 or 777. Leaving this file as 757 or 777 is dangerous though, as you are letting everyone have "Write" access, many Web Site exploits take advantage of this fact, so in general it is not recommended to leave this file with these permissions.
If your Web Server has one of the SU tools installed and you only needed to configure 755 on directories for the installation, then you will probably also only need to set 755 or 775 on this file to allow editing through the Admin interface, and these permissions are generally accepted as more secure than 757 or 777.
In conclusion, what permissions should be set for the Joomla! installation? Well, as you can see, it depends!
I know this isn't as helpful as you would have liked and it certainly is not a definitive answer, but in general, after the installation, any insecure "7" settings can be reset back to something more secure.
Files = 644
Directories = 755
Sorcery? Such as parting the seas? Walking on water? Changing water into wine? Entities? Such as the Holy Spirit, Angels, 'visions'? There is no sorcery in understanding the Universe. I say to you friend; who are you to decide the heart and righteousness of that you do no understand?