Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a linux web server with 2 hard-drives. There are 2 users, one can access /home/user1 and the other user can access /home2/user2

I would like to grant user1 permissions to access /home2/users/ (recursively) without revoking user2 access to his home directory.

What's the best way to do that?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 6 '12 at 21:44

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Put both into the same group or use ACLs. In any case, this is off-topic here, promoted to move to serverfault :) – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:16

put both of them in the same group, and change the permission for the following:

RWX------ /home1/user1
RWXRWX--- /home2/user2

Thanks to @Niklas B: you'll also need to set /home2/user2 dir SGID to the group they both members.

if it's the main user2's group it'll be automatic, if not- use 'chgrp' command (don't forget -r for recursive! =))

share|improve this answer
Why change the permissions of /home1/user1? This is not necessary (at least not if you create a new group for the purpose) – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:18
No really needed, this is just the usual permission for home folders – shem Apr 6 '12 at 11:19
Still, you'd need the SGID bit on /home/user2 to make the permissions propagate. – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:21
Yes, absolutely- you're right. – shem Apr 6 '12 at 11:25
Please add that to the answer! You can edit on SO – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:28

Create a group (users) for both users and grant the group r/w/x access to the second home dir ;)

share|improve this answer
Ahh, Niklas beat me by seconds :P – smassey Apr 6 '12 at 11:17
This is not a universal solution. At least you'd need SGID in addition to propagate this to new files and directories. – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:17

If users are in same group, then you can set group permissions to folder users. Or if you not want other users access to /home2/users you can create new group and add user1 and user2 to it. After set permission on new group.

share|improve this answer

Have the user1 be in a group, say, group1 and allow group1 to access /home2/users.

Assuming you have setup user1 be in a group called "group1"

chgrp -R group1 /home2/users

chmod -R 770 /home2/users

If you want the files/dirs created under /home2/users to be accessible by user1 (regardless who created it) in the future then you will need to set the SGID: chmod g+s /home2/users Note that the above command can only be set by the /home2/users owner.

Can you elaborate more on your objective? Why does user1 needs to access user2's home directory? Will it be bad if user2 can access user1's home directory?

share|improve this answer
Man, this is the fourth duplicate of the same answer, and faulty in the exact same way! Please see my comments to the other answers for an idea of what I mean. – Niklas B. Apr 6 '12 at 11:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.