Given this directory structure:


Can I prevent the "parent" folder to be removed/renamed/changed permissions by any user other than root, while the user "bob" could freely add/delete/edit files and folders inside it? Like removing "a", renaming "b", creating "c"... but nothing on "parent".

Thank you

1 Answer 1


You'll utilize chmod and chown to accomplish this:

# Nested Files and Directories #
  chown -R bob:bob /parent/*
  chmod -R 760 /parent/*

# Parent Directory #
  chown root:root /parent
  chmod 750 /parent
  • After I ran these commands, bob cannot cd to /parent anymore. Which is normal as he cannot execute it. I need bob to be able to cd to /parent, as well as create/delete directories and files in /parent. Just, he shouldn't be able to edit /parent itself
    – Ninj
    Sep 7, 2019 at 14:46
  • @Ninj I can't boot up a VM at the moment to test, but you should be able to play around with the permissions of /parent to get the desired access. Try chmod 755 /parent. Let me know if that works and I'll update my answer =]
    – JW0914
    Sep 7, 2019 at 14:55
  • I tried chown root:bob (because bob is in the "bob" group): it can cd, but cannot mkdir. I tried chmod 755: same result. I think that a user can mkdir only if the current directory gives him write access. But I don't want that because I don't want the user to delete /parent
    – Ninj
    Sep 7, 2019 at 15:00
  • @Ninj The only workaround I've found thus far is to created an additional nesting within /parent (i.e. /parent/1/a, /parent/1/b, etc.) and have bob work out of the nested folder /parent/1. If this is an acceptable solution, I'll edit my answer accordingly.
    – JW0914
    Sep 7, 2019 at 15:07

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