Thursday, February 14, 2008

Understanding Linux ACLs

Ok, so for a while, I've had an SFTP jail setup within our company for our clients to connect and dump batch files to our systems. It later became necessary to have an administrator user for our staff to be able to go in and read any of the files from any of the clients without having to use a bunch of different logins to login as each individual client. This makes sense as doing so would be far too cumbersome. This is where ACLs came in. I learned what I had to so that I could get going, but that wasn't very much (forunately at the time, unfortunately later). I've since learned a couple of interesting things since then:

There are two types of ACLs in Linux :

  1. The access ACL which controls access to files and directories

  2. The default ACL which applies to directories only and acts like a template for newly created files and subdirectories within that directory.

The former I knew about right from the beginning (pretty obvious), but I didn't really know the proper name for what I was manipulating. The latter I learned about today, and had previously assumed that Access and Default ACLs were one and the same (I didn't know about the distinction because it wasn't mentioned in the fucking

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