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Chapter 3. Working with User Accounts > Understanding POSIX Permissions

3.2. Understanding POSIX Permissions

As I mentioned, Mac OS X, as a variety of Unix, labels each and every file and folder with a series of permissions. Leopard and Snow Leopard follow the POSIX standard, which specifies, among other things, a way to express permissions. Most other varieties of Unix also use POSIX permissions.

3.2.1. Read, write, and execute

To begin at the simplest level, POSIX permissions include three main capabilities for any item: read (abbreviated r), write (abbreviated w), and execute (abbreviated x). Read, of course, means open a file and see what's inside. Write permission implies permission to modify or delete a file or folder. Execute permission means, in the case of a program, permission to run it — or, in the case of a folder, permission to list its contents.


  

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