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On Wings, each file and directory has permissions (read, write,
and execute) defined for three sets of users: the owner, the group,
and the world. These permissions (known as “Unix permissions,
after the operating system Wings runs on) control who can view and
To view your files’ permissions, connect to wingsadm.acsu.buffalo.edu.
Browse to your directory, and list its contents (ls –l). The permissions, along with the names of the file’s owner and group, are displayed at left for each directory and file. Here is a simplified example:
-rw-rw-r-- 1 owner-name group-name file-name.ext
Here, the first character (-) indicates that this is a file. If it were a directory, a (d) would appear here instead.
The next three spaces describe the permissions that the owner has on the file. In this case, the owner has read (r) and write (w) permission. The (-) signifies that the owner does not have execute (x) permission.
The following three spaces give the same information for users who are members of the “group-name” group. The last three spaces describe permissions for the world, usually meaning the Internet.
When you create or place a file in your directory, it is automatically assigned to you as the owner, and to your default group (e.g., ABC Staff). While you have write permission on that file, the world does not, and usually neither does the group.
For more information, see Wikipedia’s article on Traditional Unix permissions.