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How do I create files without sudo-limited access in nodejs


So I am running a project I have been working on for a while. I am running it using sudo node , I am first wondering if this is a good idea at all? The reason I have been doing this is because occasionally it will not let me listen on port 80 unless I launch my program using sudo.

Anyway when I use fs.appendFileSync or any file creation, it will restrict the files access to sudo (I can only delete the file in the OS using sudo rm ... , I want to be able to delete and modify these files from any other system user.

So should I be using sudo to launch node? and how can I create files in sudo, then allow other users to delete them (eg myself using the ui)?

Problem courtesy of: Josh Mc

Solution

There are several better approaches than sudo.

Use a reverse proxy listening on port 80 forwarding traffic to your node process which runs as non-root and listens on a port > 1024. This is how the overwhelming majority or real world deployments run, and for good reason. See Why should one use a http server in front of a framework web server? and my answer here for supporting arguments. Start your node process as root, bind port 80 as root, then use process.setuid to drop privileges to a non-root user. Here's an article on this technique .

Note that the purpose of sudo is primarily for users logged in and running interactive shells to run specific commands. It really has no role in operating network services.

In terms of permissions, your node process should run as a non-root user and have appropriate filesystem write permissions in a specific directory as needed to write files as part of its application operation.

occasionally it will not let me listen on port 80 unless I launch my program using sudo

Not "occasionally", always. Unix processes must be root to bind to network ports < 1024.

Solution courtesy of: Peter Lyons

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