I've followed the Smarty install instructions herehttp://www.smarty.net/quick_start.php
In part of it it says to
But when i do that i get an error
Is there another way of doing that step or is it not needed here?
You shouldn't need to chown to nobody. If you can traverse the directory via a browser there are other ways to stop browsing those particular folders (the simplest being creating a blank index.html file in them).
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I guess i can use a .htaccess file to hide the two folders used by smarty. I'm alright with denying access to files but not sure how to deny access to folders.