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What is a recommended setup for /home permissions?

I know about user / group / other, about sgid flag and I know what User Private Groups are. I have read the comment about adduser no longer setting sgid on /home/<user> "because of bad side-effects". So apparently the original User Private Group setup is no longer "the way to go".

What I did not find was any hint as to what the recommended "way to go" is with regards to user permissions and groups in /home.

Use case: Family computer, four users, two parents, two kids, and I want to share certain files / directories and prohibit access of the kids to others. I know half a dozen ways to do this, but what is recommended (so I avoid roadblocks I haven't thought about yet)?

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Recommended for what? A system with trustworthy users? Or a system bursting with vandals and thieves? – wallyk Oct 15 '12 at 5:15
@wallyk: Recommended for handling user / group permissions consistently and easily. I don't really want to get into ACLs. There was the "original" setup - <user>, group "users", other - and User Private Groups - <user>, <user>, others with sgid set. Apparently, they are both no longer "en vogue". So, is there some guideline on how to handle things, or is it all "ad hoc" now? – DevSolar Oct 15 '12 at 5:42
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The umask that should be used in a system depends on the needs of that system, the users and the system administrator himself.

The most typical values, however, are 022 (everything created is world-readable), 077 (hardened, nothing shared by default) and what's considered a compromise between the two: 027 (group-readable).

You may still use a separate user-read/writable location for your users to collaborate, even if you choose a restrictive umask.

If you do end up changing the umasks for your system, do not forget to run commands like the following:

find /home/name -type d -exec chmod -v 0700 {} \;

find /home/name -type f -exec chmod -v 0600 {} \;

Keep in mind that these will -x all files in the user's home directory tree.

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