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What is a good permission scheme for this scenario?

  • user administrator (from administrator group) has full access (read/write/execute) to /home folder
  • any other user (from users group, example: bob.users) has full access (read/write/execute) to his home folder only: /home/bob

So administrator has full rights to /home/any-user, but any-user only has full rights to his home folder.

  • If "administrator" = "root", this is already the case. – Kusalananda Oct 2 '11 at 10:55
  • Not the same thing, administrator is just a different user, from a different group – marius Oct 2 '11 at 11:10
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Instead of chmod, see if your unix version and filesystem understand extended POSIX ACLs (Link refers to linux in specific, but basics should be applicable to other OSen that support them).

If you do, or if you can set up your system to understand them, you can simply say (for example:

setfacl -mR d:g:admingroup:rwx /home/
setfacl -mR g:admingroup:rwx /home/

And all users in the admingroup group will automatically have read/write access to everything in /home and subdirectories.

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