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I see that some of the files in my directories under Linux have a . at the end of the permissions listing. What does the dot mean at the end of -rw-r--r--? How do you set it with chmod?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 8 '11 at 10:43

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

According to ls.c (line 3785), . means an SELinux ACL. (+ means a general ACL.)

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13  
+1 for being a programmer – ta.speot.is Jan 8 '11 at 10:59
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@taspeotis: The OP originally posted this on SO, so it seems it got programmers' attention too. :-P – Chris Jester-Young Jan 8 '11 at 15:36

I had the same question. It took me a while to find this, having browsed the "man ls" page a hundred times (well, maybe not that often) until I finally saw the note in the SEE ALSO section about using the command:

 info coreutils 'ls invocation'

In the section describing "-l" (--format=long):

 Following the file mode bits is a single character that specifies
 whether an alternate access method such as an access control list
 applies to the file.  When the character following the file mode
 bits is a space, there is no alternate access method.  When it is
 a printing character, then there is such a method.

 GNU `ls' uses a `.' character to indicate a file with an SELinux
 security context, but no other alternate access method.

 A file with any other combination of alternate access methods is
 marked with a `+' character.
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It means the file has an access list with SELinux. Check out this topic, it tells you how to allow you to edit/change the file http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1315684

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Most likely this is due to an Access Control List (ACL) although I've only seen them shown as a + as in rw-rw-rw-+. Perhaps the . means a lack of an ACL on that file.

You can try typing getfacl . in the current directory to see what access controls those files might have.

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2  
Nope, the dot doesn't mean lack of ACLs - see other answers – Linker3000 Jan 8 '11 at 10:55

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