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Linux Basics - the Secrets of chmod

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Chmod - short for CHange MODe has been around just about as long as Unix based operating systems have.

This is the command line tool used to modify the permissions of some file, set of files or directories.

It can look pretty complicated on the face of things but once you get used to using it, it’s a breeze. Not to mention that the modern chmod program doesn’t require you to use pesky octals anymore if you so choose.

In this tutorial we’ll go over chmod. The one important thing to remember is that in *nix land, everything and anything on your computer is consider a file by the OS. Keep that in mind and it will help you wrap your brain around chmod.

So how do you use it?

Full Story.

re: chmod

Do people actually use the letter code (chmod -R u+rwx,g=w,o=r foobar)?

I've always used only the number code (chmod -R 724 foobar)?

//just curious//

re: chmod


Do people actually use the letter code (chmod -R u+rwx,g=w,o=r foobar)?

That's the way I always do it. It was just easier for me to memorize that way instead of the numbers.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

chmod with numbers

If one understands binary encoding, the number syntax is actually simpler and easier to remember. So, that's what I do at the command line--typically when I have an ssh connection to my server.

But often I'm lazy, and I don't want to think--if I have only a few chmod changes, then I just do it in the Konqueror file manager. I'm not a command line gorilla like some I've seen--I have a GUI and I'm not afraid to use it. Smile

re: chmod with numbers

gfranken wrote:
I have a GUI and I'm not afraid to use it. Smile

Sounds like a sticker/shirt!

re: chmod with numbers

vonskippy wrote:
gfranken wrote:
I have a GUI and I'm not afraid to use it. Smile

Sounds like a sticker/shirt!

Haha, I'd wear it.

Letters stick in my memory but GUI is good too

I use the letter code. The letters have a meaning and that makes them memorable.

I'm not afraid to use the GUI either, if it's up to the job (like a single or small number of files) - but I use Midnight Commander because it is more functional for that particular task. chown is the command where you are more likely to need the command line.

I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once - Ashleigh Brilliant

chmod cheat sheet

I was cleaning out some old file directories tonight and came across this chmod using numbers cheat sheet.

I remember taping this to the frame of my monitor (it was a big clunky 19" crt so it gives you an idea of how old this is), so now of course it's burnt into my brain.

|         owner          |        group           |       everyone          |
| read | write | execute | read | write | execute | read | write  | execute |
| 400  |  200  |   100   |  40  |  20   |    10   |  4   |   2    |    1    |

Sorry about the formatting, I can't seem to get it to leave the fixed spaces in place without showing the line break code.

Very useful

Thanks for that tip. I've added another post-it to the monitor. This layout may help to burn the code into memory:

         r     w     x   
user  | 400 | 200 | 100 |
group |  40 |  20 |  10 |
other |   4 |   2 |   1 |

Sorry, I could not get rid of the line break indicators - they inserted themselves.

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