Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3491 mails)

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chmod for dummies
  • From: Peter Evans <peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 18:26:36 +0900
  • Message-id: <3F13C8CC.5000003@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
[Look, I'm a newbie, OK?]

My computer -- SuSE 8.2 (and no other OS), for exclusive use by me -- is totally unsecured. It's lucky that I don't keep my credit card numbers on it. But I do keep other numbers on it, so. . . .

Today I finally ran out of excuses for not using chmod (or similar). Rather than attempting to make some sweeping change, and therefore perhaps messing up in grand style, I wandered down close to a few minor twigs of a directory tree of stuff (XyWrite and text files, mostly) imported from my old 'Doze system, and typed

chmod -v -R 600 *

I quickly discovered the mistake there: a subdirectory has to be executable. Thus I had to follow up with

chmod 700 subdirectoryname

The Linux guides I've looked at -- quite a pile of them! -- are keen to explain how to use chmod for this or that file, but don't talk explicitly about trees that may include thousands of files. None of the stuff in this tree is for the eyes of anyone other than me and my good friend Mr Root. I can't see anything wrong with going to the top and typing

chmod -R 700 *

but I find something aesthetically (?) displeasing about "executable" text files.

Well, I've started by going to /home and, since I'm "peter", typing

chmod 700 peter

Is that enough? (I doubt it.) If not, what's the recommended procedure?

(I do realize that there are many other major security considerations as well, but I'm not asking for a potted guide to Linux security. For now, just permissions.)

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