This article is generally good, I need to pull and merge from what was learned in the WordPress instructions.
Basically I have given up on ACLs as they do not behave the way I would like and the creators think that is ok. Instead, I am looking at application level virtualization to define control.
What are ACLs?
Advanced permissions beyond the traditional Unix permissions. It has powerful features such as being able to give permissions to more than one user and more than one group.
ACLs versus Traditional Permissions
ACLs though powerful add additional complexity to the system and do have some limitations discussed further below. You will notice throughout the Bonsai Framework that I tried and then pretty much gave up on using ACLs. Instead, I am looking at application based virtualization solutions to segregate control.
umask - ACLs are only applied generally during create. More specifically, create(), mkdir(), mknod(), mkfifo(), or open(). Other operations will be limited by what the umask of the user performing the operation such as copy or move. (I need to go into more detail here but this is very very limiting and intuitively not the behaviour most people expect). In other words, you apply an ACL to a directory and subdirectory expecting files copied in would inherit those ACLs, well they don't because of the default umask.
Copying Files - This is no-longer an issue with modern (2012 is when I checked) versions of Ubuntu and I would guess other *nix systems. If you want to preserve specific ACL permissions and not inherit, use -p. With an older system, check that when setting default ACLs on a directory, the following commands will inherit permissions properly: local copy, sftp remote create and sftp remote copy.
Move - Moving a file(s) or folder(s) created outside of an ACL directory into an ACL directory will not result in inheritance of permissions. (even if you have specified inheritance in the ACL directory)
Backup - The most used backup command in *nix, tar, does not support ACLs unless modified. Some distributions like redhat have this built into tar. Otherwise your options are to use star or manually backup and restore the ACLs. Options are covered in this article.
Support in Utilities - For example, the version of GNU tar packaged with the OS may not back up or restore ACLs.
Standardizing Across Operating Systems - Moving files with ACLs between operating systems that both support ACLs may not work.
ACLs and Groups
The most scalable way to use ACLs is to apply groups. A tutorial approach will be used to illustrate the commands.
The scenario is we want to provide website hosting for two different clients, The Daily Planet and LexCorp. Employees from the respective companies will kept in the system under the following groups, wgdailyplanet and wglexcorp. The web server process also plays a factor and uses the group www-data.
|User Name||Assigned User||Group||Web Root Directory||File Access||Directory Access|
|dailyplanet01||Clark Kent||wgdailyplanet||/opt/web/php/dailyplanet.com/||Read, Write and Execute||Read, Write and Execute|
|lexcorp01||Lex Luthor||wglexcorp||/opt/web/php/lexcorp.com/||Read, Write and Execute||Read, Write and Execute|
|Read||Read and Execute (required to transverse directories)|
|Read||Read and Execute (required to transverse directories)|
|Other||No Access||No Access|
We do not want employees from different companies access or even have awareness of each others web directory. At the same time, the Apache Server belonging to group www-data also needs access to all the directories. We also want to grant users of the staff group read access for support purposes. Finally, we want all subsequent directories and files under the respective Web Root Directories to inherit the same permissions.
This is just not possible using standard Unix groups.
Directory Structure and Permissions
These directories start at /opt/
Notice the base Unix permissions are more open than ideal. This is due to how masking works with ACLs.
|Directory||Unix Permissions for serveradmin:staff||ACL and ACL Default||Notes|
Don't need ACLs here. Use Unix permissions "drwxr-x--x 3 serveradmin staff".
|./web/php/||rwXr-X--X||n/a||Don't need ACLs here. Use Unix permissions, "drwxr-x--x 4 serveradmin staff".|
|./web/php/tmp/||rwXr-X---||www-data:rwX||In a shared environment lock down. Consider ACLs to make it easy for staff to review.|
|,/web/php/logs/||rwXr-X---||www-data:rwX||In a shared environment lock down. Consider ACLs to make it easy for staff to review.|
|In order to install plugins, www-data needs write access.|
All directories will be owned by serveradmin:staff
Creating Users and Groups
First create the groups following the standards of the Bonsai Framework,
sudo --gid 4000 wgdailyplanet sudo --gid 4010 wglexcorp sudo useradd -d /opt/web/php/dailyplanet01 -m -g wgdailyplanet -u 4000 -c "email@example.com" -s /bin/bash dailyplanet01 sudo useradd -d /opt/web/php/lexcorp01 -m -g wglexcorp -u 4010 -c "firstname.lastname@example.org" -s /bin/bash lexcorp01
Start by creating the web folder. We do this in your home directory so you do not have to keep using the sudo command,
mkdir web #next set the permissions chmod u+rwX,g+r-w+X,o-rwx web #now set www-data for the acl setfacl -Rm g:www-data:rX ./web/ setfacl -Rm g:staff:rX ./web/
Now check your permissions for the web folder
getfacl web # file: web # owner: rfongyee # group: staff user::rwx group::r-x group:www-data:r-x group:staff:r-x mask::r-x other::--x
Now look at the defaults of the folder the default affects the folders and files created within this folder
getfacl --default web # file: web # owner: rfongyee # group: staff
To apply the permissions to defaults use
getfacl --access ./web/ | sudo setfacl -d -RM - ./web/ chmod o-rw+X web
getfacl --access = retrieves the ACL the permissions applied to the directory only (default permissions are not returned). The details are then piped to setfacl and the parameters read,
-d = Change default permissions for newly created files and folder.
-M = Take as input files. Because the dash is used, the file is instead standard input.
R = Apply changes recursively to folders and files.
The default ACLs should now be changed,
getfacl --default ./web/ # file: web # owner: serveradmin # group: staff user::rwx group::r-x group:www-data:r-x group:staff:r-x mask::rwx other::--x
If you want to see what the applied and default look like dont specify
getfacl ./web/ # file: web # owner: serveradmin # group: staff user::rwx group::r-x group:www-data:r-x group:staff:r-x mask::rwx other::--x default:user::rwx default:group::r-x default:group:www-data:r-x default:group:staff:r-x default:mask::rwx default:other::---
Now go into the web folder and create the php folder
cd web mkdir php getfacl php # file: php # owner: serveradmin # group: staff user::rwx group::r-x group:www-data:r-x group:staff:r-x mask::r-x other::--x default:user::rwx default:group::r-x default:group:www-data:r-x default:group:staff:r-x default:mask::r-x default:other::--x
The php folder has inherited the permissions from web. If you notice the next set of folders do not use execute for others so rather than setting others permission for each folder simply change the php others permission.
chmod o-rw+X php #check the permissions getfacl php # file: php # owner: serveradmin # group: staff user::rwx group::r-x group:www-data:r-x group:staff:r-x mask::r-x other::--x default:user::rwx default:group::r-x default:group:www-data:r-x default:group:staff:r-x default:mask::r-x default:other::---
Setting up the Virtual Hosts Structure
Next create your folders
cd php mkdir dailyplanet.com lexcorp.com tmp logs
Now to add the necessary groups to their respective virtual hosts
cd php setfacl -Rm g:wgdailyplanet:rwX dailyplanet.com getfacl --access ./dailyplanet.com/ | sudo setfacl -d -RM - ./dailyplanet.com/ cd dailyplanet.com mkdir www
Now do the same to lexcorp.com
setfacl -Rm g:wglexcorp:rwX lexcorp.com getfacl --access ./lexcorp.com/ | sudo setfacl -d -RM - ./lexcorp.com/ cd lexcorp.com mkdir www
Setting Permissions for tmp and logs
cd php setfacl -Rm g:www-data:rwX tmp getfacl --access ./tmp/ | sudo setfacl -d -RM - ./tmp/ setfacl -Rm g:www-data:rwX logs getfacl --access ./logs/ | sudo setfacl -d -RM - ./logs/
Next move the web folder to the opt directory and make serveradmin:staff own it
cd ~ sudo mv web /opt/ cd /opt/ sudo chown -R serveradmin:staff web
Change the group ownership and apply acls for lexcorp.com,
User Lex Luthor has been given access to his directory "lexcorp.com" but learns of the "dailyplanet.com" directory by using his robots to spy on Clark Kent's computer. So Lex terminals in...
cd /opt/web/php/ cd dailyplanet.com -su: cd: dailyplanet.com: Permission denied
Backup and Restore
The current (September 2012) GNU version of TAR does not support ACLs without modifications.
As with any backup and restore scenario where user based permissions matter, make sure the users actually exist and match. To ensure you have no issues, also ensure consistent use of user and group UIDs.
ACLs permissions can be backed up to a text file,
sudo getfacl -R dailyplanet.com/ > ~/dailyplanet.com.acl.bck.txt
It is important to run getfacl with sudo so that getfacl can properly transverse the directories and owner comments or group comments will be retained.
Backup the files into tar and gzip or similar program,
# consider command what will also drop in the acl.bck file.
Uncompress the backup, in this case we used the tar with gunzip,
Restoring is a pretty straightforward process.
cd /opt/web/php/ sudo setfacl --restore ./bck.dailyplanet.com.acl.bck.txt
Good introduction from the Ubuntu docs - https://help.ubuntu/community/FilePermissionsACLs
Slightly Skeptical view on ACLs - http://softpanorama.org/Articles/slightly_skeptical_view_on_unix_acl.shtml
Got me to understand why execute permission was set on the groups - http://superuser/questions/180545/setting-differing-acls-on-directories-and-files
Notes on backup and restoring ACLs using dump file - http://projectenvision/blog/4/Enable-Support-for-ACL-in-Debian-Ubuntu
Good article on masks but I think it might be wrong - http://novell/documentation/suse91/suselinux-adminguide/html/apbs03.html
Looks like another good read on masks in ACLS - http://users.suse.com/~agruen/acl/linux-acls/online/
After some thought, for newbies or environments where umasks are set differently it is better to explicitly set the permissions,
Update docs in second rewrite and testing of article.