setacl - modify access control lists (ACLs) for files (JFS File
setacl [-n] -s acl_entries file...
setacl [-n] -m|-d acl_entries [-m|-d acl_entries]... file...
setacl [-n] -f acl_file file...
For each file specified, setacl will either replace its entire ACL,
including the default ACL on a directory, or it will add, modify, or
delete one or more ACL entries, including default entries on
The -s option will set the ACL to the entries specified on the command
line. The -f option will set the ACL to the entries contained within
the file acl_file. The -d option will delete one or more specified
entries from the file's ACL. The -m option will add or modify one or
more specified ACL entries.
One of the options -s, -m, -d, or -f must be specified. If -s or -f
are specified, other options are invalid. The -m and -d options may
be combined, and multiple -m and -d options may be specified.
For the -m and -s options, acl_entries are one or more comma separated
ACL entries selected from the following list. For the -f option,
acl_file must contain ACL entries, one to a line, selected from the
same list. Default entries may only be specified for directories.
Bold face indicates that characters must be typed as specified,
brackets denote optional characters, and italicized characters are to
be specified by the user. Choices, of which exactly one must be
selected, are separated by vertical bars.
For the -d option, acl_entries are one or more comma separated ACL
entries without permissions, selected from the following list. Note
that the entries for file owner, owning group, and others may not be
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In the above lists, the user specifies the following:
perm is a permissions string composed of the characters r (read), w
(write), and x (execute), each of which may appear at most one
time, in any order. The character - may be specified as a
operm is the octal representation of the above permissions, with 7
representing all permissions, or rwx, and 0 representing no
permissions, or ---.
uid is a login name or user ID.
gid is a group name or group ID.
The options have the following meanings:
-n Normally, setacl recalculates the group class entry so as to
ensure that permissions granted in the additional ACL entries
will actually be granted, and the value specified in the class
entry is ignored. If the -n option is specified, the
recalculation is not performed, and the value specified in the
class entry is used.
-s Set a file's ACL. All old ACL entries are removed, and replaced
with the newly specified ACL. There must be exactly one user
entry specified for the owner of the file, exactly one group
entry specified for the owning group of the file, and exactly one
other entry specified. If the -n option is not specified there
must also be exactly one class entry specified. There may be
additional user ACL entries and additional group ACL entries
specified, but there may not be duplicate additional user ACL
entries with the same uid, or duplicate additional group ACL
entries with the same gid.
If the file is a directory, default ACL entries may be specified.
There may be at most one default:user entry for the owner of the
file, at most one default:group entry for the owning group of the
file, at most one default:class entry for the file group class,
and at most one default:other entry for other users. There may
be additional default:user entries and additional default:group
entries specified, but there may not be duplicate additional
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default:user entries with the same uid, or duplicate additional
default:group entries with the same gid.
setacl never recalculates the default:class entry, regardless of
whether or not the -n option was specified.
An entry with no permissions will result in the specified uid or
gid being denied access to the file.
The entries need not be in order. They will be sorted by the
command before being applied to the file.
-m Add one or more new ACL entries to the file, and/or change one or
more existing ACL entries on the file. If an entry already
exists for a specified uid or gid, the specified permissions will
replace the current permissions. If an entry does not exist for
the specified uid or gid, an entry will be created.
-d Delete one or more existing ACL entries from the file. The
entries for the file owner, the owning group, and others may not
be deleted from the ACL. Note that deleting an entry does not
necessarily have the same effect as removing all permissions from
the entry. Specifically, deleting an entry for a specific user
would cause that user's permissions to be determined by the other
entry (or the owning group entry, if the user is in that group).
-f Set a file's ACL with the ACL entries contained in the file named
acl_file. The same constraints on specified entries hold as with
the -s option. The entries are not required to be in any
specific order in the file specified as acl_file. The character
``#'' in acl_file may be used to indicate a comment. All
characters, starting with the ``#'', until the end of the line,
will be ignored. Note that if the acl_file has been created as
the output of the getacl command, any effective permissions,
which will have been written with a preceding ``#'', will also be
When the setacl command is used, it may result in changes to the file
permission bits. When the user ACL entry for the file owner is
changed, the file owner permission bits will be modified. When the
other ACL entry is changed, the file other permission bits will be
modified. When additional user ACL entries and/or any group ACL
entries are set or modified, the file group permission bits will be
modified to reflect the maximum permissions allowed by the additional
user entries and all the group entries.
If an ACL contains no additional user or additional group entries, the
permissions in the group entry for the object owning group and the
class entry must be the same. Therefore, if the -d option is
specified and results in no additional user entries and no additional
group entries, the class entry permissions will be set equal to the
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permissions of the owning group entry. This happens regardless of
whether or not the -n option was specified.
A directory may contain default ACL entries. If a file is created in
a directory which contains default ACL entries, the entries will be
added to the newly created file. Note that the default permissions
specified for the file owner, file owning group, and others, will be
constrained by the umask and the mode specified in the file creation
If an ACL contains no additional default:user or additional
default:group entries and a default:group entry is specified for the
object owning group, then a default:class entry must also be
specified, and the permissions in the default:group entry for the
object owning group and the permissions for the default:class entry
must be the same.
This command may be executed on a file system that does not support
ACLs, to set the permissions for the three base entries for the file
owner, file owning group, and others. Additional entries and default
entries will not be allowed in this case.
To add one ACL entry to file filea, giving user archer read permission
setacl -m user:archer:r-- filea
If an entry for user archer already exists, this command will set the
permissions in that entry to r--.
To replace the entire ACL for file filea, adding entries for users
archer and fletcher, allowing read/write access, an entry for the file
owner allowing all access, an entry for the file group allowing read
access only, and an entry for others disallowing all access, type:
setacl -s user::rwx,user:archer:rw-,user:fletcher:rw-,\
Note that following this command, the file permission bits would be
set to -rwxrw----. Even though the file owning group has only read
permission, the maximum permissions available to all additional user
ACL entries, and all group ACL entries, are read and write, since the
two additional user entries both specify these permissions.
To set the same ACL on file filea as in the above example, using the
-f option, type:
setacl -f filea.acl filea
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with file filea.acl edited to contain:
Because the -n option was not specified, no class entry was needed.
If a class entry had been present it would have been ignored.
/etc/passwd user IDs
/etc/group group IDs
acl(2), aclsort(3C), chmod(1), getacl(1), ls(1).
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