What is the plus sign at the end of the permissions telling me?

ls -l
total 4
drwxrwxrwx+ 2 benson avahi-autoipd 4096 Jan 27 17:37 docs

Here's the context:

cat /etc/issue
\CentOS release 5.3 (Final)
Kernel \r on an \m
up vote 101 down vote accepted

It means your file has extended permissions called ACLs.

You have to run getfacl <file> to see the full permissions.

See Access Control Lists for more details.

via man page 'ls'

"If the file or directory has extended security information, the permissions field printed by the -l option is followed by a '+' character."

This generally means the file is encumbered with access restrictions outside of the traditional Unix permissions - likely Access Control List (ACL).

  • "encumbered with access restrictions" - does that mean that a file or directory without a + has less restrictions? – squarecandy Mar 22 '16 at 22:00
  • 3
    @squarecandy : No, the + can remove restrictions (so add permissions). For example, in the current Ubuntu default, when you plug in an external drive, it gets mounted in /media/{yourusername}/, but the permissions on /media/{yourusername} are drwxr-x---+ and the owner and group are both root, so you'd expect nobody besides root to be able to do anything with anything in there. But the ACL says user:{yourusername}:r-x, so in fact you do have access (but none of the other users do). – Toby Bartels Sep 26 '17 at 5:34

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