Is is "permission bits" or "access bits" when we refer to the bits of the chmod command for example 755 for user-group-other?

Because once I had a job interview where they asked about the "Linux access bits" - are those the above mentioned chmod bits or something else?

Is it the same bits as in this question How many bits is the access flags of a file?

The question was something like "How many bits are the Linux access bits?"

  • 1
    If you're unsure what someone means in a job interview question (or ANY question), it's always OK to ask them to clarify their question. e.g. "do you mean permission bits?". For a job interview especially that's far better than making an assumption and then answering the completely wrong question. As an interviewer, I'm always inclined to see clarification requests very favourably...it suggests sensible caution and attention to detail.
    – cas
    Jun 7 '16 at 4:55
  • You need to read man stat(1). Jun 7 '16 at 9:15

The terminology is “file mode bits” as per chmod(1), and “octal mode” for the numeric version. The “mode” specifies the permissions of a file. The POSIX API chmod(3p) refers to them as “file permission bits”.

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