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How to use the setfactl and getfactl commands: 2-Minute Linux Tips

Network World | Jul 17, 2019

In this Linux tip, learn how to use the setfacl and getfacl commands. They allow you to establish and report on file permissions that reach beyond the traditional read, write and execute permissions on Linux systems.

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Hi, this is Sandra Henry-Stocker, author of the “Unix as a Second Language” blog on NetworkWorld.
In this Linux tip, we’re going to look at the setfacl and getfacl commands. These commands allow you to establish and report on file permissions that reach beyond the traditional read, write and execute permissions on Linux systems.
For example, while traditional Linux commands only allow you to associate a single group with a file, setfacl allows you to give specific permissions to other groups as well. You can also give permissions to individuals.
Say you have a file named myfile and you want one other user to have full read, write and execute permission to it. It starts out looking like this:
In this setfacl command, -m means “modify”, the u:jdoe indicates we’re giving a user access, :rwx indicates the permissions being granted and myfile is, of course, the file name.
Notice that the only differences in the file listing are that the group permissions are now rwx and that the permissions string is now followed by a + sign (-rw-rwxr--+). This is meant to indicate that there are permissions beyond the read, write and execute assignments for the owner, group and others.
To see more information on what that + indicates, use the getfacl command:
Notice that this listing includes a separate line for jdoe’s permissions.
The setfacl command also allows you to assign permissions to a group and to remove permissions as shown in these commands:
That’s your Linux tip for today. If you have questions or would like to suggest a topic, please add a comment below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the IDG Tech(talk) channel on YouTube. If you liked this video, please hit the like and share buttons. For more Linux tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and NetworkWorld.com.
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