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Plesk “system error 13 : permission denied” – How we fix it

by | May 6, 2021

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

At Bobcares, our Support Engineers often get the request to solve Plesk panel related as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s analyze the cause and see how our Support Team fix the Permission denied error for our Plesk customers.

What causes 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:

plesk system error 13 permission denied

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

We could also perform this command line with the command below:

#plesk repair fs -y

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 “system error 13: permission denied”?

To fix this error, our Support Engineers 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.

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

[Need any further assistance to fix Plesk server errors? – We’re available 24*7 ]


In short, the “System error 13: Permission denied” appears due to incorrect file/folder permissions. It often causes issues while performing operations from the Plesk panel. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fix this error.


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