Umask commands described in Linux Terminal

On Linux and Unix, all new files are created with the default permission set. The umask utility allows you to view or set the creation of a file mask mode, which defines bit permissions for newly created files or directories.

It’s used by mkdir, touch, tee and other commands that create new files and directories.

Permissions on Linux

Before we proceed, let’s describe the permission model in Linux.

In Linux, each file is associated with an owner and group and permissions are assigned to three different user classes:

  • The owner of the file.
  • Members of the group.
  • Everyone else.

There are three types of permissions that apply to each category:

  • Read permission.
  • Write permission.
  • Execution permission.

This concept allows you to specify which users are allowed to read the file, write to the file, or play the file.

To view file permissions, use the command ls:

ls -l dirname
drwxr-xr-x 12 linuxid users 4.0K Apr  8 20:51 dirname
|[-][-][-]    [------] [---]
| |  |  |        |       |       
| |  |  |        |       +-----------> Group
| |  |  |        +-------------------> Owner
| |  |  +----------------------------> Others Permissions
| |  +-------------------------------> Group Permissions
| +----------------------------------> Owner Permissions
+------------------------------------> File Type

The first letter represents a file type that can be a regular file (-), Guide (d), Symbolic link (l) Or other special file types.

The following nine characters represent permissions, each group of three groups of three characters. The first group displays the permissions of the owner, the second the permissions of the group, and the last group displays the permissions of other users.

Letter r Octal value 4 Means reading, w Octal value 2 To write, x has a value of eight 1 To implement permissions and (-) Has an octal value without permission.

There are also three other types of private file permissions: setuid, setgid And the Sticky Bit.

In the example above (rwxr-xr-x(Means that the owner has read, written and executed the permissions)rwx), Groups and others can read and perform.

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If we provided file permissions using digital notation, we would get a number 755:

  • owner: rwx = 4+2+1 = 7
  • Collection: r-x = 4+0+1 = 5
  • else: r-x = 4+0+1 = 5

When permissions are represented in digital notation, permissions can contain three or four octal numbers (0-7). The first number represents the private permission, and if it is deleted this means that no special permission has been assigned to the file. In our case this 755 Together with 0755. The first number can be any combination of 4 to setuid, 2 for setgid And the 1 to me Sticky Bit.

File permissions can be changed using the command chmod And ownership by using commands chown.

Understanding the Umask command

By default, on Linux systems, the default build permission is 666 For files, which give users, groups, and others read, write, and 777 For directories, which means the user, group, and others have read, write, and execute permissions. Linux does not allow file creation with Execute permission.

The default build permissions can be modified using the utility umask.

umask It only affects the current jacket environment. On most Linux distributions, the default Umask value is set at the system level Or files /etc/profile.

If you want to define different values ​​on a per user basis, edit the shell configuration file like ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc. You can also change the current session value by running umask Followed by the required value.

To see the current mask value, just type umask Without any arguments:


It will contain the output


Score umask It contains permission bits that will not be set on newly created files and directories.

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As mentioned, then the default file build is 666 And for evidence 777. To calculate the new file permission bits, subtract the Umask value from the default value.

For example, to calculate how uname 022 It will affect newly created files and directories, use:

  • Files: 666 - 022 = 644. Owners can read and edit files. Only groups and others can read files.
  • Guide: 777 - 022 = 755. Owners can do it cd To a directory and can read, modify, create or delete files in the directory. Groups and others can create a CD to directories and list and read files.

You can also view mask values ​​in symbolic notation using the options -S:

umask -S

Unlike digital notation, symbolic encoding values ​​contain the permission bits that will be assigned to newly created files and folders.

Set the mask value

The mask file creation can be adjusted using octal or symbolic notation. To make the changes permanent, assign a value umask New in common configuration files as files /etc/profile Which will affect all users. Or in the user’s shell configuration file like ~/.profile, ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc Which will only affect the user. User files take precedence over public files.

Before making changes to grades umaskEnsure that the new value does not pose a potential security risk. Less restrictive value in comparison 022 It should be used with great caution. For example, umask 000 means that anyone will be able to read, write, and execute all newly created files.

Let’s say we want to set more stringent permissions for newly created files and directories so that others cannot do that. cd To the directory and read files. The permissions we want are 750 For evidence and 640 For files.

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To calculate the value umask , Just subtract the permissions you want from the default permissions:

Umask value: 777-750 = 027

Score umask What you want to represent in digital notation is 027.

To permanently set the entire value system, open the /etc/profile Using your text editor:

sudo nano /etc/profile

Change or add the following line at the beginning of the file:

umask 027

For the changes to take effect, run the command source Or, log out and log back in:

source /etc/profile

To check the new settings, we will create a new file and directory using mkdir And the touch:

mkdir dirbaru
touch filebaru

If you check permission using the command ls You will see that the new file has new permissions 640 Proof 750As we want:

drwxr-x--- 2 linuxid users 4096 Jul  4 18:14  newdir
-rw-r----- 1 linuxid users    0 Jul  4 18:14  newfile

Another way to set the file creation mask is to use symbolic encoding. For example umask u=rwx,g=rx,o= himself umask 027.

Another way to organize mask files is to use symbolic notation. For example umask u=rwx,g=rx,o= Together with umask 027.


In this guide, we explained Linux permissions and how to use the commands umask To set permissions for the newly created file or directory.

For more information, type man umask At your stop.


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Originally posted 2020-11-18 15:16:05.

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