Sysadmin: correcting file permissions recursively from the shell

In a way of troubleshooting web application there is the step when all known reasons why it doesn’t work exhausted so they just change permissions on everything to 0777 and hope that this drastic step would fix the problem. Most likely it does not but leaves the permissions broken and and the whole site wide open.
Usually nobody cares until first break-in, then everybody start looking for the responsible parties, and host is first and most likely last to blame.
In order to avoid this problem permissions (and possibly ownership) of the web content should be corrected.

And the best way to do it is from the shell.

This takes care of files

And this takes care of directories (watch out for some special directories like tmp which might hold local error logs and session files from the web application.
If you need to change the ownership just for few files who belong to the wrong user it can be done the same way:

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