fs setacl - Sets the ACL for a directory


fs setacl -dir <directory>+ -acl <access list entries>+ [-clear] [-negative] [-id] [-if] [-help]

fs sa -d <directory>+ -a <access list entries>+ [-c] [-n] [-id] [-if] [-h]

fs seta -d <directory>+ -a <access list entries>+ [-c] [-n] [-id] [-if] [-h]


The fs setacl command adds the access control list (ACL) entries specified with the -acl argument to the ACL of each directory named by the -dir argument.

If the -dir argument designates a pathname in DFS filespace (accessed via the AFS/DFS Migration Toolkit Protocol Translator), it can be a file as well as a directory. The ACL must already include an entry for mask_obj, however. For more details, refer to the IBM AFS/DFS Migration Toolkit Administration Guide and Reference.

Only user and group entries are acceptable values for the -acl argument. Do not place machine entries (IP addresses) directly on an ACL; instead, make the machine entry a group member and place the group on the ACL.

To completely erase the existing ACL before adding the new entries, provide the -clear flag. To add the specified entries to the Negative rights section of the ACL (deny rights to specified users or groups), provide the -negative flag.

To display an ACL, use the fs listacl command. To copy an ACL from one directory to another, use the fs copyacl command.


If the ACL already grants certain permissions to a user or group, the permissions specified with the fs setacl command replace the existing permissions, rather than being added to them.

Setting negative permissions is generally unnecessary and not recommended. Simply omitting a user or group from the Normal rights section of the ACL is normally adequate to prevent access. In particular, note that it is futile to deny permissions that are granted to members of the system:anyuser group on the same ACL; the user needs only to issue the unlog command to receive the denied permissions.

When including the -clear option, be sure to reinstate an entry for each directory's owner that includes at least the l (lookup) permission. Without that permission, it is impossible to resolve the "dot" (.) and "dot dot" (..) shorthand from within the directory. (The directory's owner does implicitly have the a (administer) permission even on a cleared ACL, but must know to use it to add other permissions.)


-dir <directory>+

Names each AFS directory, or DFS directory or file, for which the set the ACL. Partial pathnames are interpreted relative to the current working directory.

Specify the read/write path to each directory (or DFS file), to avoid the failure that results from attempting to change a read-only volume. By convention, the read/write path is indicated by placing a period before the cell name at the pathname's second level (for example, /afs/ For further discussion of the concept of read/write and read-only paths through the filespace, see the fs mkmount reference page.

-acl <access list entries>+

Defines a list of one or more ACL entries, each a pair that names:

in that order, separated by a space (thus every instance of this argument has two parts). The accepted AFS abbreviations and shorthand words, and the meaning of each, are as follows:

a (administer)

Change the entries on the ACL.

d (delete)

Remove files and subdirectories from the directory or move them to other directories.

i (insert)

Add files or subdirectories to the directory by copying, moving or creating.

k (lock)

Set read locks or write locks on the files in the directory.

l (lookup)

List the files and subdirectories in the directory, stat the directory itself, and issue the fs listacl command to examine the directory's ACL.

r (read)

Read the contents of files in the directory; issue the ls -l command to stat the elements in the directory.

w (write)

Modify the contents of files in the directory, and issue the UNIX chmod command to change their mode bits.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H

Have no default meaning to the AFS server processes, but are made available for applications to use in controlling access to the directory's contents in additional ways. The letters must be uppercase.


Equals all seven permissions (rlidwka).


No permissions. Removes the user/group from the ACL, but does not guarantee they have no permissions if they belong to groups that remain on the ACL.


Equals the r (read) and l (lookup) permissions.


Equals all permissions except a (administer), that is, rlidwk.

It is acceptable to mix entries that combine the individual letters with entries that use the shorthand words, but not use both types of notation within an individual pairing of user or group and permissions.

To learn the proper format and acceptable values for DFS ACL entries, see the IBM AFS/DFS Migration Toolkit Administration Guide and Reference.


Removes all existing entries on each ACL before adding the entries specified with the -acl argument.


Places the specified ACL entries in the Negative rights section of each ACL, explicitly denying the rights to the user or group, even if entries on the accompanying Normal rights section of the ACL grant them permissions.

This argument is not supported for DFS files or directories, because DFS does not implement negative ACL permissions.


Places the ACL entries on the Initial Container ACL of each DFS directory, which are the only file system objects for which this flag is supported.


Places the ACL entries on the Initial Object ACL of each DFS directory, which are the only file system objects for which this flag is supported.


Prints the online help for this command. All other valid options are ignored.


The following example adds two entries to the Normal rights section of the current working directory's ACL: the first entry grants r (read) and l (lookup) permissions to the group pat:friends, while the other (using the write shorthand) gives all permissions except a (administer) to the user smith.

   % fs setacl -dir . -acl pat:friends rl smith write

   % fs listacl -path .
   Access list for . is
   Normal rights:
      pat:friends rl
      smith rlidwk

The following example includes the -clear flag, which removes the existing permissions (as displayed with the fs listacl command) from the current working directory's reports subdirectory and replaces them with a new set.

   % fs listacl -dir reports
   Access list for reports is
   Normal rights:
      system:authuser rl
      pat:friends rlid
      smith rlidwk
      pat rlidwka
   Negative rights:
      terry rl

   % fs setacl -clear -dir reports -acl pat all smith write system:anyuser rl

   % fs listacl -dir reports
   Access list for reports is
   Normal rights:
      system:anyuser rl
      smith rlidwk
      pat rlidwka

The following example use the -dir and -acl switches because it sets the ACL for more than one directory (both the current working directory and its public subdirectory).

   % fs setacl -dir . public -acl pat:friends rli

   % fs listacl -path . public
   Access list for . is
   Normal rights:
      pat rlidwka
      pat:friends rli
   Access list for public is
   Normal rights:
      pat rlidwka
      pat:friends rli


The issuer must have the a (administer) permission on the directory's ACL; the directory's owner and the members of the system:administrators group have the right implicitly, even if it does not appear on the ACL.


fs_copyacl(1), fs_listacl(1), fs_mkmount(1)

IBM AFS/DFS Migration Toolkit Administration Guide and Reference


IBM Corporation 2000. <> All Rights Reserved.

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