I have a SOHO Synology NAS that runs a Linux based system. Due to some system limitations I need to have a shared folder called backup to hold all backup data from my SOHO computers (that means Linux, OS X and Windows computers). I'd like to configure permissions inside backup so that each and every logged-in user would only see and interact with their own folders and data. For example:

  • Ana is logged-in and backup her MBP using Time Machine on /backup/Ana's MBP.sparsebundle/
  • Bob is also logged-in and backup his Windows using File History on /backup/Bob/PC01/
  • Charlie is logged-in too and backup his Windows using File History on /backup/Charlie/PC05/

So, everyone is online at the same time backing up their data on backup but neither of them can see each others folders/files. I'd like to be able to enter inside backup folder, let's say as Bob, and only see the /Bob folder inside and nothing else.

Is it possible, how can I achieve this?

  • Setting permissions in each folder is one thing, hiding folders visible at the top level is another story. – Julie Pelletier Sep 4 '16 at 2:09
  • I don't just want to hide, I'd like for each user to be able to create his backup folder when setting up this backup technology pointing to backup, for example, he would create the folder backup/John's MBP.sparsebundle/ (automatically generated when using Time Machine) and only John would be able to see and R/W this folder. – JChris Sep 4 '16 at 15:27
  • Why not create the folders yourself? If your users need to organize their files, they can always create sub-folders. – Julie Pelletier Sep 4 '16 at 16:15
  • Sadly, because there's a system limitation again. When configuring the Time Machine target inside Synology NAS I can only point to root shared folders, so backup is good but backup/TimeMachine/ isn't. – JChris Sep 4 '16 at 16:38
  • Based on all those limitations, obviously the control isn't on the machine you're looking solutions for. Your only option on this machine would be to monitor (manually or with a script) the directories created there and change the permissions accordingly. – Julie Pelletier Sep 4 '16 at 16:53

I believe I got it working, it may just work on Synology DSM systems that run Linux based, so YMMV. First we have the Shared Folder backup (you can name it whatever you want). After you create it you should edit its configurations like that:

  • Uncheck 'Hide this shared folder in "My Network Places"'
  • Check 'Hide sub-folders and files from users without permissions'
  • Inside Permissions tab set:
    • Owner: Allow Full Control
    • admin role: Allow R/W
    • user role: Allow Create folers/Append data
    • Everyone special role: Allow Traverse folders/Execute files and List folders/Read data

This way each user would be able to point their backup softwares to /backup and store their data without seeing and interacting with other's data. For testing, I logged-in as 'Bob' and saw my File History folder but couldn't see 'Charlie' Time Machine folder.

I then proceed to disable 'Hide sub-folders and files from users without permissions', now I could see Charlie's folder but couldn't interact with it as I got permission error, just how I wanted, after that I enabled hide again and only saw my folder/files.

It's working, I just don't know if it's a good practice, but I believe there isn't much to do as the system has some limitations. If someone have a better workaround, feel free to answer!

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If all the users are members of the same group, and backup permissions allow that group to read and execute, they will all be able to see each other's folders. However, if each individual user's folder has group and other (world) read/write/execute bits disabled, only the owner/user will be able to work with the contents of their backup directory. This does not stop the admin/root user from accessing those directories.

Assuming users must login to access/use the backup on the NAS, permission on the /backup directory will need to be 750, and each sub-directory would be 700. But there is more... The /backup directory is probably owned by root and has a group membership of users or backup or something similar. Each employee directory would be owned by the UID/login of the employee and with group permissions disabled, it does not matter what group the directory is a member of.

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  • Don't you think the different users will see the other users' directories? – Julie Pelletier Sep 4 '16 at 4:08
  • I was not allowed to comment yet with my new reputation, so I had to offer an answer about linux permissions. Yes, I stated in the first sentence users would be able to see each other's directories, just not inside of them. Notice even Juan's solution does not hide folders. This appears to be Windows client based answer. This should be tested and verified from the Mac client and the other windows client machines. – Daniel Liston Sep 5 '16 at 18:26
  • I actually suspect you may be right, which is why I kept commenting instead of answering what you did. – Julie Pelletier Sep 5 '16 at 18:33

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