Hi I am wondering what is the difference between the two sets of commands below:

1) To allow Davis to access and modify all files and folders in the the home directory of John

# setfacl -m u:davis:rwx:/home/john
# setfacl -m d:u:davis:rwx:/home/john 

2) To allow Davis to access the home directory of John and all recursive files and folders.

# setfacl -R -m u:davis:rwx:/home/john

1 Answer 1


First command gives rights to davis on the directory itself, the second one sets the default ACL entry for new files that get created. The last one sets all files and directories to give davis rwx access.

TBH if you're going to do the last command, the first one seems a little redundant since recursive setfacl's also hit the directory you give it.

  • Do you meant the two sets of commands works exactly the same way, but the 2nd set is better as it is much more stright forward? Thanks.
    – Win.T
    Jan 9, 2015 at 4:21
  • I mean the last setfacl accomplishes 100% of the effect of the first one as part of how setting permissions recursively does. You could leave the first one off and end up at the same point.
    – Bratchley
    Jan 9, 2015 at 15:12
  • yup so my understanding was correct. Thanks for explaining! =)
    – Win.T
    Jan 9, 2015 at 16:44

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