Solving Oh-My-Zsh 'Insecure Completion-Dependent Directories Detected' Issue: A Comprehensive Guide

Oh-My-Zsh is a popular open-source framework designed to manage your Zsh configurations. It comes with a vast array of plugins and themes to help you customize your terminal experience. However, you might occasionally encounter the 'Insecure Completion-Dependent Directories Detected' issue while using Oh-My-Zsh. This guide will walk you through the steps to resolve this issue and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Issue
  2. Resolving the Issue
  3. FAQs

Understanding the Issue

The 'Insecure Completion-Dependent Directories Detected' issue occurs when the directories containing Zsh completion files have insecure permissions. Oh-My-Zsh checks these permissions for security reasons, and if they don't meet the requirements, this warning message is displayed.

To get a better understanding of the issue, let's review an example error message:

[oh-my-zsh] Insecure completion-dependent directories detected:
drwxrwxr-x  9 user group 306 Mar 11 16:35 /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions
drwxrwxr-x 10 user group 340 Mar 11 16:35 /usr/local/share/zsh

This indicates that the specified directories have the permissions drwxrwxr-x, which are considered insecure by Oh-My-Zsh.

Resolving the Issue

To resolve the 'Insecure Completion-Dependent Directories Detected' issue, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the directories with insecure permissions from the error message.
  2. Change the permissions of the identified directories to secure ones.

Changing Directory Permissions

To change the permissions of a directory, use the chmod command. For example, to change the permissions of the /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions directory, run the following command:

sudo chmod -R 755 /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions

Similarly, change the permissions for any other directories listed in the error message:

sudo chmod -R 755 /usr/local/share/zsh

This should resolve the issue, and you should no longer see the 'Insecure Completion-Dependent Directories Detected' warning message.


1. What are completion-dependent directories?

Completion-dependent directories are directories containing files that define how Zsh auto-completes certain commands. Oh-My-Zsh uses these files to provide an enhanced auto-completion experience.

2. Why is this issue important to resolve?

This issue is important to resolve because insecure directory permissions can pose a security risk. An attacker might exploit these permissions to gain unauthorized access to your system or modify the completion files, leading to unexpected behavior in your terminal.

3. What are secure permissions for completion-dependent directories?

Secure permissions for completion-dependent directories are usually 755 (drwxr-xr-x). This allows the owner to read, write, and execute files, while other users can only read and execute them.

4. What is the difference between chmod 755 and chmod -R 755?

chmod 755 changes the permissions of a single file or directory, while chmod -R 755 changes the permissions of a directory and its contents recursively.

5. Can I use other secure permissions instead of 755?

Yes, you can use other secure permissions, such as 700 (drwx------), which allows only the owner to read, write, and execute files in the directory. However, using 755 is generally recommended for compatibility with other users and systems.

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