A quick reference
4 min read
Required Reads: How to manage users in Linux Ubuntu.
The intention of this article is to provide you with a quick summary on the most important topics you should focus to successfully manage file and directory permissions.
Standard Access Permissions: Exist as the default method which works on individual files and directories. (covered in this article)
Access Control Lists (ACLs): Allow the administrator to enforce extended security attributes on files and directories. (will be discussed on another article)
User access rights are form of Permission Classes and Types
Classes: user (u), group (g), other (o)
Types: read(r), write(w), execute(x)
Permission Modes: add (+), revoke (-), assign (=)
The following is the structure of permissions:
|Type of File||User||Group||Other|
|7||rwx||Read Write Execute|
You can modify permissions in two ways by using the command chmode which sets the permissions for files and directories
Consider the following file:
ls -ll | grep file
-r--r--r-- 1 server server 0 May 31 20:29 file
server@server:~$ chmod u+x file -v mode of 'file' changed from 0444 (r--r--r--) to 0544 (r-xr--r--) server@server:~$
In the same way, you can use a combination of Class, Type and Mode
i.e ugo=x o=r g-x ... etc.
server@server:~$ chmod 544 file -v mode of 'file' changed from 0777 (rwxrwxrwx) to 0544 (r-xr--r--)
The concept of UMASK:
Linux assigns default permissions to new files and directories based on the umask value.
The umask is a three-digit octal value that refers to the u,g,o, the default Values are:
- 0022 - Root
- 0002 - All normal users
server@server:~$ umask 0002 server@server:~$ umask -S u=rwx,g=rwx,o=rx
The default inital values that Linux assigned are:
- Files: 666 (rw-rw-rw-)
- Directories: 777 (rwxrwxrwx)
Because of the umask value, your file will be created as 664 and your directory as 775. The way you calculate this is by subtracting the umask value to the default initial values.
For example, if you want no changes on any new file or directory you create then you apply the following command:
server@server:~$ umask -S u=rwx,g=rwx,o=rx server@server:~$ umask 000 server@server:~$ umask -S u=rwx,g=rwx,o=rwx
Notice that now our files and directories will be created with the default initial values.
I don't recommend umask 000, in fact you should set your umask based on your security needs.
Special File Permissions:
Lastly, there are three more Bits that need to be taken in consideration:
|setuid||Set on binary executable files at the owner level||Allows the file to be executed by no-owners with the same privileges as the user||-rwSrwxrwx|
|setgid||Set on binary executable files at the group level||Allows to execute the file by no-owners with the same privileges as the group||-rwxrwSrwx|
|sticky||Set on public and shared writable directories||Protect files and subdirectories from being deleted or moved by other users||drwxrwxrwT|
server@server:~$ chmod -v u+s file mode of 'file' changed from 0544 (r-xr--r--) to 4544 (r-sr--r--) server@server:~$ chmod -v +4000 file mode of 'file' retained as 4544 (r-sr--r--)
server@server:~$ chmod -v g+s file mode of 'file' changed from 4544 (r-sr--r--) to 6544 (r-sr-Sr--) server@server:~$ chmod -v +2000 file mode of 'file' retained as 6544 (r-sr-Sr--)
server@server:~$ ll | grep dir drwxrwxrwx 2 server server 4096 May 31 21:16 testdir/ server@server:~$ chmod -v +1000 testdir/ mode of 'testdir/' changed from 0777 (rwxrwxrwx) to 1777 (rwxrwxrwt)