File permissions are important to utilize on a computer with more than one login because they keep certain user from accessing files or folders with sensitive information. Read on to learn all about file permissions and how you can change them through the command line.
Y:solution: I try to use multiple chown.
You can set permissions on any file or folder on your computer, and there are three diferent modes: read, write, and execute. On Unix-based systems which, if you're not familiar, is what OS X is based on , file permissions can be applied to three groups of people: User, Group, and Word i. If you want to view the current file permissions on a file or folder, change the directory to the folder containing the file or folder, and then run the ls -l command.
The table above shows an example of file permissions after splitting them into 3 groups.
So, in our example table above, the user has read, write, and executable permissions; the group has read and executable permissions; and, the world has read and executabele permissions. The only user group that can write to the file is the user that the file belongs to the person that initially created the file. File permissions are written a few different ways, but most people prefer the shorthand method of writing them whereas the operating system shows the long-hand, or string permissions way, as shown above.
For each group, you will calculate the file permission by adding together the file permission numbers. A zero for a group denotes that there is no permission. First, navigate to the folder containing the files or folders where you will be applying the permissions by using the change directory command. Next, issue the following command:.
How to Change Permissions and Owners via Command Line
Viewing and modifying file system permissions in the command line is both much richer and more complicated than in the Finder. The Finder has streamlined ownership, permissions, and ACLs, providing only the most common features that users require.
However, the command line offers every conceivable ownership and permissions option. Further, the command line often provides more than one method for performing identical permissions tasks. Once again, the ls command is your primary tool for viewing file and folder information in the command line. The ls command has many options for viewing nearly any file or folder attribute.
You can learn more about all the options available to ls from its manual entry page. Here, you will be presented with a few fundamental permissions viewing options.
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The most basic ls option for viewing file and folder ownership and permissions is —l :. The first string of characters at the beginning of each line is shorthand for the item type and permissions.
The execute privilege attribute x has not been introduced yet, but it is the third standard UNIX privilege attribute after read and write. The execute privilege is enabled on files that are commands and applications or folders that contain application bundles , to indicate that the item contains executable software code.
The execute privilege is also required on normal folders to access the contents of the folder. Click to view larger image. The ACL technology is more advanced than traditional UNIX-style permissions because it allows for an arbitrary number of user and group permissions rules per item.
How to Change Permissions and Owners via Command Line
In other words, you can assign an item an unlimited number of user or group rules, or ACEs, which can be used to allow or deny any of the following privilege attributes:. Inheritance attributes include the following: no inheritance, apply to just new items in this folder, apply to any new child folders, apply to any new child files, and apply to all descendants of this folder. You will use two primary commands for changing file and folder permissions in the command line: chown for changing ownership and chmod for changing privileges.
Using chown often requires root access, so this command is almost always preceded by the sudo command.
How to Set File Permissions in Mac OS X
Remember that, as covered in Chapter 3, if you want to change the ownership of a folder and its contents, you must tell the chown command to run recursively by adding the -R option. Using alphanumeric abbreviations—The basic syntax goes: account type, modifier, and then privilege. Account types include u for owner, g for group, and o for everyone else. Privileges are as expected with r for read, w for write, and x for execute or folder access. As an alternative to x you can also use X for smart execute, which tells chmod to add the x permission only to items for which it makes sense—all folders and files that are already marked executable.
This is specially for recursive operation, where x should be added to folders but not most files. Using octal notation—As you can see, chmod extensively uses shortcuts and abbreviations.
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To save even more keystrokes you can use octal notation, which uses numeric abbreviations for defining privileges. The basic syntax for octal notation is to use a single-digit number for the user first, followed by a single number for the group, and then a last single number for everyone else.
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Octal notation uses 0, for no access; 1, for execution only; 2, for write-only; and 4, for read-only.