This utility sets Access Control Lists (ACLs) of files and directories.
On the command line, a sequence of commands is followed by a sequence of
files (which in turn can be followed by another sequence of commands, ...).
expect an ACL on the command line. Multiple ACL entries are separated
by comma characters (`,'). The options
read an ACL from a file or from standard input. The ACL entry format is described in Section
--set and --set-file
options set the ACL of a file or a directory. The previous ACL is
ACL entries for this operation must include permissions.
-m (--modify) and -M (--modify-file)
options modify the ACL of a file or directory.
ACL entries for this operation must include permissions.
-x (--remove) and -X (--remove-file)
options remove ACL enries. Only
ACL entries without the
field are accepted as parameters, unless POSIXLY_CORRECT is defined.
When reading from files using the
options, setfacl accepts the output getfacl produces.
There is at most one ACL entry per line. After a Pound sign (`#'),
everything up to the end of the line is treated as a comment.
If setfacl is used on a file system which does not support ACLs, setfacl
operates on the file mode permission bits. If the ACL does not fit completely
in the permission bits, setfacl modifies the file mode permission bits to reflect the ACL as closely as possible, writes an error message to standard error, and returns with an exit status greater than 0.
The file owner and processes capable of CAP_FOWNER are granted the right
to modify ACLs of a file. This is analogous to the permissions required
for accessing the file mode. (On current Linux systems, root is the only
user with the CAP_FOWNER capability.)
Remove all extended ACL entries. The base ACL entries of the owner, group and others are retained.
Remove the Default ACL. If no Default ACL exists, no warnings are issued.
Do not recalculate the effective rights mask. The default behavior of
setfacl is to recalculate the ACL mask entry, unless a mask entry was explicitly given.
The mask entry is set to the union of all permissions of the owning group, and all named user and group entries. (These are exactly the entries affected by the mask entry).
Do recalculate the effective rights mask, even if an ACL mask entry was explicitly given. (See the
All operations apply to the Default ACL. Regular ACL entries in the
input set are promoted to Default ACL entries. Default ACL entries in
the input set are discarded. (A warning is issued if that happens).
Restore a permission backup created by `getfacl -R' or similar. All permissions
of a complete directory subtree are restored using this mechanism. If the input
contains owner comments or group comments, and setfacl is run by root, the
owner and owning group of all files are restored as well. This option cannot be mixed with other options except `--test'.
Test mode. Instead of changing the ACLs of any files, the resulting ACLs are listed.
Apply operations to all files and directories recursively. This option cannot be mixed with `--restore'.
Logical walk, follow symbolic links. The default behavior is to follow symbolic link arguments, and to skip symbolic links encountered
in subdirectories. This option cannot be mixed with `--restore'.
Physical walk, skip all symbolic links. This also skips symbolic link arguments.
This option cannot be mixed with `--restore'.
Print the version of setfacl and exit.
Print help explaining the command line options.
End of command line options. All remaining parameters are interpreted as file names, even if they start with a dash.
If the file name parameter is a single dash, setfacl reads a list of files from standard input.
The setfacl utility recognizes the following ACL entry formats (blanks
inserted for clarity):
[d[efault]:] [u[ser]:]uid [:perms]
Permissions of a named user. Permissions of the file owner if
[d[efault]:] g[roup]:gid [:perms]
Permissions of a named group. Permissions of the owning group if
[d[efault]:] m[ask][:] [:perms]
Effective rights mask
[d[efault]:] o[ther][:] [:perms]
Permissions of others.
Whitespace between delimiter characters and non-delimiter characters is ignored.
Proper ACL entries including permissions are used in modify and set operations. (options
-m, -M, --set and --set-file).
Entries without the
field are used for
of entries (options
-x and -X).
you can specify either a name or a number.
field is a combination of characters that indicate the permissions: read
execute only if the file is a directory or already has execute permission
for some user
field can be an octal digit (0-7).
AUTOMATICALLY CREATED ENTRIES
Initially, files and directories contain only the three base ACL entries
for the owner, the group, and others. There are some rules that
need to be satisfied in order for an ACL to be valid:
The three base entries cannot be removed. There must be exactly one
entry of each of these base entry types.
Whenever an ACL contains named user entries or named group objects,
it must also contain an effective rights mask.
Whenever an ACL contains any Default ACL entries, the three Default ACL
base entries (default owner, default group, and default others) must also exist.
Whenever a Default ACL contains named user entries or named group objects,
it must also contain a default effective rights mask.
To help the user ensure these rules, setfacl creates entries from existing
entries under the following conditions:
If an ACL contains named user or named group entries, and
no mask entry exists, a mask entry containing the same permissions as
the group entry is created. Unless the
option is given, the permissions of the mask entry are further adjusted to include the union of all permissions affected by the mask entry. (See the
If a Default ACL entry is created, and the Default ACL contains no
owner, owning group, or others entry, a copy of the ACL owner, owning group, or others entry is added to the Default ACL.
If a Default ACL contains named user entries or named group entries, and no mask entry exists, a mask entry containing the same permissions as the default Default ACL's group entry is added. Unless the
option is given, the permissions of the mask entry are further adjusted to inclu
de the union of all permissions affected by the mask entry. (See the
Granting an additional user read access
setfacl -m u:lisa:r file
Revoking write access from all groups and all named users (using the effective rights mask)
setfacl -m m::rx file
Removing a named group entry from a file's ACL
setfacl -x g:staff file
Copying the ACL of one file to another
getfacl file1 | setfacl --set-file=- file2
Copying the access ACL into the Default ACL
getfacl --access dir | setfacl -d -M- dir
CONFORMANCE TO POSIX 1003.1e DRAFT STANDARD 17
If the environment variable POSIXLY_CORRECT is defined, the default behavior of setfacl changes as follows: All non-standard options are disabled.
The ``default:'' prefix is disabled.
-x and -X
options also accept permission fields (and ignore them).