Plesk "system error 13 : permission denied" – Fix it Now ?

Incorrect file permission often causes the "system error 13: permission denied" while performing operations in Plesk.

Here at Ibmi Media, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to resolve related Plesk panel errors.

In this context, we shall look into methods to fix this Plesk error.

Causes for Plesk "system error 13: permission denied" ?

Recently, we faced the Plesk error "System error 13: Permission denied" message while accessing File Manager from Plesk.  The exact error message was:

ifmng: execve failed for /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/ifmng: Permission denied
System error 13: Permission denied

We used the repair option in the Plesk GUI available from Tools & Settings > Diagnose & Repair > File System > Repair.

Also, you can execute this command:

#plesk repair fs -y example.com

The "System error 13" message often triggers while performing operations from the Plesk interface. This generally happens when the Plesk service cannot execute a backend utility or the utility is unable to change some files. 

The prime reason for the error could be incorrect permissions.

How to fix Plesk "system error 13: permission denied" ?

To fix this error, we ensure that the permission of the files and folders are intact. Once we log in to the server over SSH, we ensure that the following files have proper ownership and permission:

ls -al /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/*wrapper
-r-s--x--- 1 root psaadm 13120 Jun 13 21:51 ./admin/sbin/mod_wrapper
-r-s--x--- 1 root psaadm 13632 Jun 13 21:51 ./admin/sbin/wrapper

Here we noticed that there were differences in the permission. Thus, we corrected it with the commands below:

$ cd /usr/local/psa/
# chown root:psaadm ./admin/sbin/*wrapper
# chmod 4510 ./admin/sbin/*wrapper

Apart from the files above, we also ensure correct permissions for the folders below:

#ls -ld /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Sep 22 03:28 /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/
# ls -ld /usr/local/psa/admin/
drwxr-xr-x 18 root root 4096 Aug 11 2014 /usr/local/psa/admin/
# ls -ld /usr/local/psa/
drwxr-xr-x 15 root root 4096 Sep 14 05:27 /usr/local/psa/
# ls -ld /usr/local/
drwxr-xr-x 14 root root 4096 Aug 19 11:35 /usr/local/
# ls -ld /usr/
drwxr-xr-x 13 root root 4096 Jul 6 16:48 /usr/
# ls -ld /
dr-xr-xr-x 20 root root 4096 Oct 28 12:40 /

Lastly, it is also important to ensure that the following folders also contain correct permission.

i. For Centos 7:

#ls -ld /bin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 Mar 8 2017 /bin -> usr/bin
# ls -ld /usr/bin/ dr-xr-xr-x. 2 root root 28672 Apr 18 20:29 /usr/bin/

ii. For other Linux Distribution:

#ls -ld /bin
dr-xr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar 16 03:20 /bin

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This article covers how to fix Plesk "system error 13 : permission denied". Plesk service cannot execute a backend utility or the utility is unable to change some files due to incorrect permissions.