nfs4_setfacl man page

nfs4_setfacl, nfs4_editfacl — manipulate NFSv4 file/directory access control lists


nfs4_setfacl [Options] COMMAND file...
nfs4_editfacl [Options] file...


nfs4_setfacl manipulates the NFSv4 Access Control List (ACL) of one or more files (or directories), provided they are on a mounted NFSv4 filesystem which supports ACLs.

nfs4_editfacl is equivalent to nfs4_setfacl -e.

Refer to the nfs4_acl(5) manpage for information about NFSv4 ACL terminology and syntax.


-a acl_spec [index]

add the ACEs from acl_spec to file's ACL. ACEs are inserted starting at the indexth position (DEFAULT: 1) of file's ACL.

-A acl_file [index]

add the ACEs from the acl_spec in acl_file to file's ACL. ACEs are inserted starting at the indexth position (DEFAULT: 1) of file's ACL.

-x acl_spec | index

delete ACEs matched from acl_spec - or delete the indexth ACE - from file's ACL.  Note that the ordering of the ACEs in acl_spec does not matter.

-X acl_file

delete ACEs matched from the acl_spec in acl_file from file's ACL. Note that the ordering of the ACEs in the acl_spec does not matter.

-s acl_spec

set file's ACL to acl_spec.

-S acl_file

set file's ACL to the acl_spec in acl_file.

-e, --edit

edit file's ACL in the editor defined in the EDITOR environment variable (DEFAULT: vi(1)) and set the resulting ACL upon a clean exit, assuming changes made in the editor were saved.  Note that if multiple files are specified, the editor will be serially invoked once per file.

-m from_ace to_ace

modify file's ACL in-place by replacing from_ace with to_ace.

-?, -h, --help

display help text and exit.


display this program's version and exit.

NOTE: if '-' is given as the acl_file with the -A/-X/-S flags, the acl_spec will be read from stdin.


-R, --recursive

recursively apply to a directory's files and subdirectories.  Similar to setfacl(1), the default behavior is to follow symlinks given on the command line and to skip symlinks encountered while recursing through directories.

-L, --logical

in conjunction with -R/--recursive, a logical walk follows all symbolic links.

-P, --physical

in conjunction with -R/--recursive, a physical walk skips all symbolic links.


display results of COMMAND, but do not save changes.

Permissions Aliases

With nfs4_setfacl, one can use simple abbreviations ("aliases") to express generic "read" (R), generic "write" (W), and generic "execute" (X) permissions, familiar from the POSIX mode bits used by, e.g., chmod(1). To use these aliases, one can put them in the permissions field of an NFSv4 ACE and nfs4_setfacl will convert them: an R is expanded to rntcy, a W is expanded to watTNcCy (with D added to directory ACEs), and an X is expanded to xtcy. Please refer to the nfs4_acl(5) manpage for information on specific NFSv4 ACE permissions.

For example, if one wanted to grant generic "read" and "write" access on a file, the NFSv4 permissions field would normally contain something like rwatTnNcCy. Instead, one might use aliases to accomplish the same goal with RW.

The two permissions not included in any of the aliases are d (delete) and o (write-owner).  However, they can still be used: e.g., a permissions field consisting of Wdo expresses generic "write" access as well as the ability to delete and change ownership.


Assume that the file `foo' has the following NFSv4 ACL for the following examples:



nfs4_setfacl was written by people at CITI, the Center for Information Technology Integration ( This manpage was written by David Richter.


Please send bug reports, feature requests, and comments to <>.

See Also

nfs4_getfacl(1), nfs4_acl(5), RFC3530 (NFSv4.0), NFSv4.1 Minor Version Draft.

Referenced By


version 0.3.3, August 2008 Linux NFSv4 Access Control Lists