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Is it possible to see who (in the group) has accessed a certain directory on a Linux or Unix machine?

What is the command?

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What do you mean? To know who use opened files in some directory you may use commands lsof or fuser. If you want to know, who had open/edit files in past, I need to disappoint you: it's impossible! – Eddy_Em Mar 26 '13 at 5:03
I mean, I have a directory under ~/my_user/ that is 'read/write-able' to people in my group. I'm am required to let them read it, and possibly write to it. But I am a bit paranoid that people will change things in it without letting me know. So I'm interested in seeing the history of change in the directory. I thought of check it into git, but then they can always delete the .git file, and there's gone the history! – One Two Three Mar 26 '13 at 17:11
You can use VCS saving its files in other place, where that users can't write. – Eddy_Em Mar 26 '13 at 17:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check the user's ~/.bash_history file and see if they have a cd to the folder you're checking out. This works if they weren't paranoid.

stat -c 'Owner: %U / Access_rights: %A / Last_access %x' ~/ will print the owner username and access rights for your home directory. Change ~/ to the folder that you're interested in.

last will give you user login history with dates/times.

You can match all of these things together to get a good idea of the last user who looked at it.

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I think you understand what I meant, thank you! :) – One Two Three Mar 26 '13 at 17:03
The first command shows me the timestamp when it was last accessed, but it doesn't say who. But unfortunately, there are A LOT of users on my system, hence, last doesn't help much ... Do you happen to know some other trick? – One Two Three Mar 26 '13 at 17:08

Take a look at the inotifywatch, it listens for filesystem events then outputs a summary count of the events received on each file or directory

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