Basic Linux Tutorial
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Symbolic Mode

Symbolic Mode

In the Absolute mode, you change permissions for all 3 owners. In the symbolic mode, you can modify permissions of a specific owner. It makes use of mathematical symbols to modify the file permissions.
The table below gives the file permission operators :

Operator Description
+ Adds a permission to a file or directory
- Removes the permission
= Sets the permission and overrides the permissions set earlier

The various owners are represented as :

User Denotations
U user/owner
G Group
O Other
A All

Here's an example using generalnote. Running ls -l on the generalnote shows that the file's permissions are as follows −

ls with chmode command

Then each example chmod command from the preceding table is run on the testfile, followed by ls –l, so you can see the permission changes −

chmode command