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Mitesh Shah

Linux Enthusiast
System Administrator

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Overview

Users

  • Every user is assigned a unique User ID Number (UID).
  • UID 0 identify as root
  • User accounts normally start at UID 500 (Redhat) or 1000 (Debian)
  • User’s Names and UIDs are stored in /etc/passwd file.
  • Users are assigned a home directory and a program that is run when users are log in (usually a shell).
  • Users cannot read, write or execute each other’s files without permissions.

Groups

  • Users are assigned to groups.
  • Every group is assigned a unique Group ID Number (GID).
  • Group’s Names and GIDs are stored in /etc/group file.
  • Each users is given their own private group.
  • By default the groupname is same as their usernames.
  • For example user mitesh is a member of group mitesh and by default, is the only member of that group.
  • Users can be added to other groups for additional access.
  • All users in a group can share files that belong to the group.

Primary and Secondary Group

  • A user’s primary group is defined in the /etc/passswd file.
  • A user’s secondary groups are defined in the /etc/group file.
  • The primary group is important because files created by this user will inherit that group affiliation.
  • The primary group can temporarily changed by running
newgrp groupname

where groupname is one of the user’s secondary groups. The user can return to their original group by typing exit.

Linux File Security

  • Every file is owned by a UID and a GID.
  • Every process runs under the authority of a particular user(UID) and with the authority of one or more groups(GIDs). This is called process security context.

Three Access Categories

  • Process running with the same UID as the File (User)
  • Process running with the same GID as the File (Group)
  • All other Processes (Other)

Permission Precedence

  • Process running with the same UID as the File, User permissions apply.
  • Process running with the same GID as the File, Group permissions apply.
  • Process running with the different UID and GID then Other permissions apply.

Permission Types

File Permissions

-   No Permission.
r   Permission To Read The File Content.
w   Permission To Write To The File.
x   Permission To Execute A Program.

Directory Permissions

-   No Permission.
r   List The Directory Contents.
w   Creates Or Remove Files From A Directory.
x   Change Into A Directory And Do A Long Listing.

WARNING A file may be removed by anyone who has a write permission to the directory in which the file resides, regardless of the ownership or permissions on the file.

Examining Permissions

  • File and Directory permissions may be viewed by ls -l command.
[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ ls -l /bin/login
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 30992 Aug 13  2010 /bin/login

Interpreting Permissions

-rwxr-x--- 1 andersen trusted 2948 Oct 11 14:07 myscript
  • Read, Write and Execute for the owner, andersen
  • Read and Execute for members of the trusted group
  • No access for all others
-rwxr-xr-- 1 fred fred	26807	Mar 8 22:55  penguin
-rw-r--r-- 1 mary admin	 1601	Mar 5 22:36  redhat
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root staff	 8671	Mar 8 22:59  tuxedo
/---------------------------------------------------------------\
|	User	|	Primary Group  |	Secondary Group |
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|	fred	|	fred           |	staff           |
|	mary	|	mary           |	staff,admin     |
\---------------------------------------------------------------/
  • The penguin can be read, wrire and executed by fred, but only read by mary.
  • The redhat can be read and write by mary, but only read by fred.
  • The tuxedo can be read and write by both mary and fred.

Changing File Ownership

Ownership

  • Only root can change the file’s owner.
  • Ownership is changed with chown command:
chown [OPTION]... [OWNER][:[GROUP]] FILE...

For Example:

  • The following command would grant ownership of the file foofile to mitesh
chown mitesh foofile
  • The following command would grant ownership of foodir and all the files and subdirectories within it to mitesh:
chown -R mitesh foodir

Group-Ownership

  • Only root or the owner can change the file’s group.

NOTE!: root can grant ownership to any group, while non-root users can grant ownership only to groups they belong to.

  • Group-Ownership is changed with chgrp command
chgrp [OPTION]... GROUP FILE...

For Example:

  • The following command would grant group-ownership of the file foofile to mitesh
chgrp mitesh foofile
  • The following command would grant group-ownership of foodir and all the files and subdirectories within it to mitesh
chgrp -R mitesh foodir

Changing Permissions

  • To change access modes
chmod [OPTION]... MODE[,MODE]... FILE...

Symbolic Method

  • Where Mode is
/------------------------------------------------------------\
|	Who       |	Operator  |	Permission	     |
|------------------------------------------------------------|
|	u User    |	+ Add     |	r Read		     |
|	g Group   |	- Remove  |	w Write		     |
|	o Other   |	= Assign  |	x Execute	     |
|	a All     |               |	s SUID		     |
|                 |               |	t Sticky Bit         |
\------------------------------------------------------------/

Examples

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ ls -l .bashrc
-rw-r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod u+x,go-r .bashrc
-rwx------. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod ug+rw .bashrc
-rwxrw----. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod ug=rw,o+x .bashrc
-rw-rw---x. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod -rw .bashrc
---------x. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod +r .bashrc
-r--r--r-x. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod -x .bashrc
-r--r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod u+w .bashrc
-rw-r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

Numeric Method

  • Uses a Three Digit Mode Number
/---------------------------------------------------------------\
|		who			|	Permission	|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
| 	1st Digit: Owner Permission	|	4  Read		|
|	2nd Digit: Group Permission	|	2  Write	|
|	3rd Digit: Other Permission	|	1  Execute	|
\---------------------------------------------------------------/

Examples:

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ ls -l .bashrc
-rw-r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 664 .bashrc
-rw-rw-r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 660 .bashrc
-rw-rw----. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 444 .bashrc
-r--r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 644 .bashrc
-rw-r--r--. 1 mitesh mitesh 124 Jun 22  2010 .bashrc


[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ ls -ld dir
drwxrwxr-x. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 755 dir
drwxr-xr-x. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 770 dir
drwxrwx---. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 700 dir
drwx------. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 555 dir
dr-xr-xr-x. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

[mitesh@Matrix ~]$ chmod 775 dir
drwxrwxr-x. 2 mitesh mitesh 4096 Aug 20 16:30 dir

Nautilus

  • In a Nautilus window, right-click on a file.
  • Select Properties from the context menu.
  • Select the Permission tab.




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