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User access rights/privelages in linux

S Santhosh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 73
am a new ubuntu user and in my attempt to create new users, i figured i cannot control the access given to users. I am the root or 1st user.

Is there a way in linux/unix to control access given to user groups like KIDS/Guest etc.

Ubuntu has a UI for "users and groups" but isnt detailed enought.

Lewin Chan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2001
Posts: 214
Well, simply put Unix has 3 access privileges, Owner, Group, Other. You can apply various rights for these 3 types using the chmod and chown command. You can find documentation on that on the web, perhaps the ubuntu website would be a good place to start (or you could try man chmod from a terminal window.

The easiest way to see this is to open a terminal window and do ls -l in a directory with files in.

Basically the rights you see are the 1st column, the first char indicates any special bits the file has (in this case "fred" is a directory)
then it's 3 characters indicating the privileges from each access class "Read", "Write", "eXecute". For the sake of simplicity, the execute flag simply indicates if the file can be run as a program or not (this isn't strictly true, that will become apparent once you start reading documentation).

The 3rd and 4th column are the owner's id and the group id respectively (in this case lchan / users).

Taking the above listing as an example :-
"lchan" can read/modify and execute the various tomcat-xxx scripts.
users who are members of the group "users" may read and execute the tomcat-xxx scripts.
other users do not have any access to these files at all.

Now, that doesn't answer your question. What type of access to you want to control. Access to the machine?, access to various files on the machine?
[ October 03, 2006: Message edited by: Lewin Chan ]

I have no java certifications. This makes me a bad programmer. Ignore my post.
S Santhosh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 73
Thanks Lewin,

I was trying to make an user account which has access only to web browser and destop, nothing else.

Do you happen to know what files control these....
Stefan Wagner
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Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1923

I never did this, but this sounds like a kiosk mode - perhaps a useful expression to feed google.
S Santhosh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 73
Thanks Lewin, Stefan.

I did find some links for firefox kiosk mode...digging more it those.

Thanks for the help,
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: User access rights/privelages in linux
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