GUI for file permissions management

Chad Perrin perrin at
Thu Nov 19 19:31:58 UTC 2009

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 07:23:33PM +0000, Thomas Adam wrote:
> 2009/11/19 Chad Perrin <perrin at>:
> > Those are all filesystem browsers/managers -- right?  I've already told
> > the person who asked that many such applications have that kind of
> > functionality.  In my initial question to this list, I said:
> I know what you mentioned -- unfortunately you're only going to find
> what you want as *part* of something much larger -- in this case a
> file manager.  And in the examples I gave, those are considered
> light-weight, especially midnight commander.
> > Do you know if there's anything like *that* available, rather than an
> > entire filesystem browser/manager application that just happens to also
> > have a way to change permissions on files and directories?
> See above.  I have never come across anything standalone, and at this
> point, given your somewhat unique requirements, you might be better
> off writing one yourself perhaps in Tk or something.  :)

I was afraid that might be the case.  I guess the filesystem browser
approach and the desktop environment approach are the only options
available to the person who asked the question, then -- at least unless
and until I develop the urge to write a permissions management GUI that
I'll probably never use myself.  Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

> > Also . . . do any of the applications you mentioned provide a way to
> > manage things like umasks or home directory default permissions?  In my
> > original post to this list, I had also mentioned that sort of thing:
> This would be more beneficial as a shell setting -- changing one's
> umask at the drop of a hat is almost always the wrong thing to do.

It's not so much for the purpose of being able to change it at the drop
of a hat that the person asked me about this, I think.  He just wants to
be able to do everything without ever having to touch a configuration
file directly.  While I think that's probably the wrong way to do it,
some people just refuse to take a different approach, and I still feel
the urge to try to be helpful when someone asks how he can do something.

> >> >  login.conf or adduser.conf configuration
> >
> > . . . though I'm not holding my breath on that.  I rather suspect
> > managing umasks in login.conf and user directory default permissions in
> > adduser.conf is not something anyone has bothered to incorporate in a GUI
> > interface.
> Correct, see above.  It's not something one would interactively
> change. especially as it's a shell setting -- so this GUI app would
> have  a hard time enforcing it (c.f. interactive shell instances
> already open.)

I don't think he cares as much about *enforcing* it as about setting
defaults that can be overridden on a case-by-case basis, rather than
having to override a default he doesn't want in almost every case.

Anyway . . . thanks again for the responses.  I'll just add some
confirmation of my suspicion that nothing like what I asked about exists
to my repertoire of knowledge.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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