Can I set the permissions on a symbolic link under Linux/UNIX?

Posted on in Categories last updated September 1, 2006

No, you cannot. If you try to execute chmod command on a symbolic link, it will return with error Changing permissions of `filename’: Operation not permitted. This is quite logical, as permission on a symbolic link is meaningless. The only thing is important is permission on the file that the link points. In short, permissions on a symbolic link do not really mean anything.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

4 comment

  1. soft links permissions are only for renaming the soft link and removal of the link itself thus the 777 permissions are not at all valid for changing the contents of the original file, or changing the contents of the file it shows through the cat command

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