Permissions are the unix way of controlling access to resources such as files, directories and devices and may be specified for an owner, group, or all users.

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150
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How do directory permissions in Linux work?

In my CMS, I noticed that directories need the executable bit (+x) set for the user to open them. Why is the execute permission required to read a directory, and how do directory permissions in Linux ...
116
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8answers
11k views

How to chmod without /usr/bin/chmod?

Today I was told a tale by a Unix trainer, a tale where the root password got leaked to the students, and one of the fellas removed the execute permission from /usr/bin/chmod itself. How do you ...
96
votes
1answer
115k views

How to set default file permissions for all folders/files in a directory?

I want to set a folder such that anything created within it (directories, files) inherit default permissions and group. Lets call the group "media". And also, the folders/files created within the ...
86
votes
6answers
154k views

How do I copy a folder keeping owners and permissions intact?

So I was going to back up my home folder by copying it to an external drive as follows: sudo cp -r /home/my_home /media/backup/my_home With the result that all folders on the external drives are ...
81
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2answers
14k views

Why do we use su - and not just su?

I don't understand why su - is preferred over su to login as root.
54
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5answers
5k views

Redirecting stdout to a file you don't have write permission on

When you attempt to modify a file without having write permissions on it, you get an error: > touch /tmp/foo && sudo chown root /tmp/foo > echo test > /tmp/foo zsh: permission ...
48
votes
3answers
61k views

Make all new files in a directory accessible to a group

Suppose I have two users A and B and a group G and a folder foo, both users are members of G (using linux and ext3). If I save as user A a file under foo, the permissions are: -rw-r--r-- A A. ...
43
votes
2answers
22k views

Why can rm remove read-only files?

If I create a file and then change its permissions to 444 (read-only), how come rm can remove it? If I do this: echo test > test.txt chmod 444 test.txt rm test.txt ...rm will ask if I want to ...
36
votes
2answers
23k views

Do the parent directory's permissions matter when accessing a subdirectory?

If I have a root folder with some restrictive permission, let's say 600, and if the child folders/files have 777 permission will everybody be able to read/write/execute the child file even though the ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

How does vim steal root owned files?

Witness the following: sh-3.2$ mkdir testcase sh-3.2$ cd testcase sh-3.2$ sudo touch temp sh-3.2$ ls -al total 0 drwxr-xr-x 3 glen staff 102 19 Dec 12:38 . drwxr-xr-x 12 glen staff 408 19 Dec ...
34
votes
3answers
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What are common rights for /tmp ? I unintentionnally set it all public recursively

I have abused sudo. I have created a really really short life temporary directory that I wanted to share between some users for a few hours... and I named this directory /some/path/tmp Unfortunately ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

Why can't I execute shutdown when the permission is rwxr-xr-x?

I'm in /sbin and I see that shutdown has permissions rwxr-xr-x. Doesn't this mean that anyone can execute it?
29
votes
4answers
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How to recover from a chmod -R 000 /bin?

And now I am unable to chmod it back.. or use any of my other system programs. Luckily this is on a VM I've been toying with, but is there any way to resolve this? The system is Ubuntu Server 12.10. ...
29
votes
4answers
13k views

Clone ownership and permissions from another file?

Is there a command or flag to clone the user/group ownership and permissions on a file from another file? To make the perms and ownership exactly "like" that of another file?
28
votes
3answers
21k views

Why can't a normal user `chown` a file?

Why is the chown command root-only? Why can't non-root users use chown to give away files they own?
26
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1answer
27k views

How can I start the python SimpleHTTPServer on port 80?

I am using this command on Ubuntu but it is starting on port 8080 and I don't have another server running so I'd like it to start on port 80. I saw ways that you could set up a bash script to do ...
26
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9answers
11k views

Why use `chmod 644` instead of `chmod u=rw,go=r,…`?

I've been working on *nix for a few years now, and one of the things I just can't get used to is octal permissions in code. Is there some other reason than line length to prefer chmod 644 ... over ...
25
votes
6answers
12k views

Can a script be executable but not readable?

Is it possible to execute a script if there is no permission to read it? In root mode, I made a script and I want the other user to execute this script but not read it. I did chmod to forbid read and ...
24
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6answers
52k views

File permission issues with shared folders under Virtual Box (Ubuntu Guest, Windows Host)

I am using Ubuntu on Virtual Box and I have a folder which is shared between the host (Windows) and the VM (Ubuntu). When I open any file in the share folder in Ubuntu, I can not change it as its ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Why can't root execute when executable bits are not set?

root user can write to a file even if its write permissions are not set. root user can read a file even if its read permissions are not set. root user can cd into a directory even if its execute ...
22
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there any difference between mode value 0777 and 777

I saw a code change at work, where the mode values were changed from 777 to 0777 to make nfs setattr work. What is the difference in the 2 values?
21
votes
3answers
12k views

Is there any way to prevent deletion of certain files from user owned directory?

Let's say user has Directory1 and it contains File1 File2 CantBeDeletedFile How to make so the user would never be allowed to delete the CantBeDeletedFile? If I change the ownership of Directory1 and ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a reason why 'owner' permissions exist? Aren't group permissions enough?

I think I rather understand how file permissions work in linux. However, I don't really understand why they are split into three levels and not into two. I'd like the following issues answered: Is ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I make a file NOT modifiable?

While logged in, I can do the following: mkdir foo touch foo/bar chmod 400 foo/bar chmod 500 foo Then I can open vim (not as root), edit bar, force a write with w!, and the file is modified! How ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I remove a file with no permissions?

A hacker has dropped a file in my tmp dir that is causing issues. Nothing malicious except creating GB's of error_log entries because their script is failing. However, the file they are using to ...
19
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5answers
3k views

Understanding UNIX based permissions and their attributes

I've never really got how chmod worked up until today. I followed a tutorial that explained a big deal to me. For example, I've read that you've got three different permission groups: owner (u) ...
19
votes
4answers
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How does the sticky bit work?

SUID The sticky bit applied to executable programs flagging the system to keep an image of the program in memory after the program finished running. But I don't know that what it's stored in ...
19
votes
2answers
10k views

How to apply changes of newly added user groups without needing to reboot?

Assume I'm logged in with user takpar: takpar@skyspace:/$ As root, I've added takpar as a member of group webdev using: # usermod -a -G webdev takpar But it seems it has not been applied. because ...
18
votes
5answers
603 views

Find files that a user can write, efficiently with minimal process creation

I am root. I would like to know whether a non-root user has write access to some files - thousands of them. How to do it efficiently while avoiding process creation?
18
votes
1answer
24k views

How to skip “permission denied” errors when running find in Linux? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I remove “permission denied” printout statements from the find program? When I run this command in Linux (SuSE): find / -name ant I get many error ...
17
votes
2answers
27k views

SSH and home directory permissions

It took me hours to solve this SSH problem with one of my class accounts on my school's servers. I couldn't ssh into one particular class account without entering my password, while passwordless ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

How to “jail” a process without being root?

Were I root, I could simply create a dummy user/group, set file permissions accordingly and execute the process as that user. However I am not, so is there any way to achieve this without being root?
17
votes
1answer
4k views

User permissions inside and outside of LXC containers?

I'm running some services inside of Docker LXC containers on my server and I'm beginning to actually do serious things with them. One thing I'm not clear on is how user permissions work inside and ...
17
votes
1answer
306 views

Tracing executable without read permissions

I found some surprising behavior on Ubuntu 14.04 when using strace on an executable, which I do not have read permission on. I wonder if this is a bug, or if some standard mandates this obscure ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

Is there a web based converter between rwx and the octal version?

I can never remember what the conversion is from something like rw-r--r-- to 644. Is there a simple web based converter between the 2?
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Wrongly set chmod / 777. Problems?

I was trying to run chmod -R 777 ./ but ended up typing chmod -R 777 / and set 777 on my entire machine. What can go wrong? How can I fix it?
16
votes
2answers
17k views

Getting new files to inherit group permissions on Linux

I am having a problem with permissions on a Linux server. I am used to BSD. When a directory is owned by a group the user who owns it isn't in such as www-data, files created in it will be owned by ...
16
votes
4answers
13k views

How to check if a user can access a given file?

*nix user permissions are really simple, but things can get messy when you have to take in account all the parent directory access before reaching a given file. How can I check if the user has enough ...
15
votes
6answers
8k views

Can root/superuser read my read-protected files?

On shared unix hosting, if I have a file sensitive-data.txt and I issue: chmod 600 sensitive-data.txt Can root user still read my file? Specifically I'm wondering if it's safe to store my password ...
15
votes
2answers
11k views

What does the 'd' mean in ls -al results and what is that slot called? [duplicate]

In Linux, what does the d mean in the first position of drwxr-xr-x? And what are all of the possible letters that could be there, and what do they mean? I'm trying to learn more about the Linux file ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

I accidentally chmod -R +x on a directory. How do I restore the correct permissions?

Well, to be specific, it was chmod -R 755. Now every file is executable, which I don't want. I am thinking that I should look at the first two bytes of each file for the #!, but will this cover ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Permissions/ownership of /usr/local/bin

From what I understand, the right place to put your own scripts is /usr/local/bin (for instance a script I use to back up some files). I notice that this folder is currently (by default) owned by ...
14
votes
1answer
16k views

Unable to delete file, even when running as root

I am in the process of migrating a machine from RHEL 4 to 5. Rather than actually do an upgrade we have created a new VM (both machines are in a cloud) and I am in the process of copying across data ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What does the “@” (at) symbol mean on OSX ls? [duplicate]

When I check permission of less files from the command line on my Snow Leopard OSX system using Bash I see -rw-r--r--@ for certain files and for others I just see -rw-r--r-- What does the @ mean here? ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How does the OS know that a command needs sudo?

When you run an executable, sometimes the OS will deny your permission to. For example running make install with the prefix being a system path will need sudo, while with the prefix being a ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I recursively check permissions in reverse?

There's a command, I think it comes with apache, or is somehow related to it, that checks permissions, all the way down. So if I have /home/foo/bar/baz it will tell me what the permissions are for ...
13
votes
7answers
38k views

“Symbolic link not allowed or link target not accessible” / Apache on CentOS 6

I've got a brand new CentOS 6 installation, which has a symlink in the document root to my development files: [root@localhost html]# ls -l total 4 -rwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 0 Sep 18 20:16 index.html ...
13
votes
7answers
10k views

What to use to backup files, preserving ACLs?

When using the tar utility to store files in backups one loses the extended ACLs. Is there some commonly used and not hackish solution (like: create a script that will recrate the ACLs from scratch) ...
12
votes
6answers
20k views

Is there a way to stop having to write 'sudo' for every little thing in Linux?

I'm a newbie when it comes to Linux. I do most of my development in a Windows environment. That said, I'm going to be doing a fair amount of PHP work shortly, and I'm interested in learning RoR, so ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

What does a dot after the file permission bits mean?

I performed an ls -la on directory on my CentOS 6.4 server here and the permissions for a given file came out as: -rwxr-xr-x. I understand what -rwxr-xr-x means, what I don't understand is the . ...