pam_umask man page

pam_umask — PAM module to set the file mode creation mask

Synopsis [debug] [silent] [usergroups] [umask=mask]


pam_umask is a PAM module to set the file mode creation mask of the current environment. The umask affects the default permissions assigned to newly created files.

The PAM module tries to get the umask value from the following places in the following order:

· umask= argument

· umask= entry in the user's GECOS field

· UMASK= entry from /etc/default/login

· UMASK entry from /etc/login.defs

The GECOS field is split on comma ',' characters. The module also in addition to the umask= entry recognizes pri= entry, which sets the nice priority value for the session, and ulimit= entry, which sets the maximum size of files the processes in the session can create.



Print debug information.


Don't print informative messages.


If the user is not root and the username is the same as primary group name, the umask group bits are set to be the same as owner bits (examples: 022 -> 002, 077 -> 007).


Sets the calling process's file mode creation mask (umask) to mask & 0777. The value is interpreted as Octal.

Module Types Provided

Only the session type is provided.

Return Values


The new umask was set successfully.


No username was given.


User not known.


Add the following line to /etc/pam.d/login to set the user specific umask at login:

session optional umask=0022

See Also

pam.conf(5), pam.d(5), pam(8)


pam_umask was written by Thorsten Kukuk <>.


04/01/2016 Linux-PAM Manual Linux-PAM Manual