Consider the following setup:

# two users in groups sales
useradd edwin
useradd santos
groupadd sales
usermod -aG sales edwin
usermod -aG sales santos

# two users in group account
useradd serene
useradd alex
groupadd account
usermod -aG account serene
usermod -aG account alex

# every group has its own directory with full access
mkdir -p ./groups/sales ./groups/account
cd ./groups
chown :account ./account
chown :sales ./sales
chmod g+rwx ./account ./sales

The task states:

Users have permissions to delete only their own files, but alex is the general manager, so user alex has access to delete all users' files.

Now users should be able to only delete their own files, so I do:

chmod +t /groups/account /groups/sales

But now I have a problem. Alex is admin, and should be able to delete anyone's(!) files. So I do for example:

setfactl -a u:alex:rwx /groups/sales /groups/account

But this does not help:

[root@localhost groups]# getfacl sales/
# file: sales/
# owner: root
# group: sales
# flags: --t
[root@localhost groups]# sudo -u edwin touch sales/file
[root@localhost groups]# sudo -u alex rm -f sales/file
rm: cannot remove 'sales/file': Operation not permitted

Is it possible to apply sticky flag to all except one user?

1 Answer 1


The only missing part is that Alex should own the directory

chown alex ./groups/sales ./groups/account
  • It works... why? sticky bit does not apply to the owner of the directory? I see setfacl I did can be removed.
    – KamilCuk
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 9:35
  • Correct - the owner of a directory can always delete items from it. Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 10:54

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