acl_copy_entry - Linux


acl_copy_entry is a command-line utility used to copy access control list (ACL) entries from one file or directory to another. It allows fine-grained control over user and group permissions, making it useful for managing file access and permissions in a secure and organized manner.


acl_copy_entry [options] <username/groupname> <source> <destination>


  • -nv: Do not print progress messages.
  • -q: Suppress all output.
  • -t: Copy specific entry type(s) (a=user, g=group, o=other, m=mask).


Copy a user ACL entry from one file to another:

acl_copy_entry user john source.txt destination.txt

Copy all ACL entries from a directory to a file:

acl_copy_entry -a * source_dir destination.txt

Copy a group ACL entry with specific flags (append and create) from one file to another:

acl_copy_entry -t g groupname:ag:rw source.txt destination.txt

Common Issues

  • Permission Denied: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to both read from the source and write to the destination.
  • Invalid ACL Entry: Verify that the specified username or groupname exists and has valid ACL entries.
  • File Not Found: Ensure that both the source and destination files or directories exist.


Combine with find to selectively copy ACL entries:

find . -type f -name '*.txt' | xargs acl_copy_entry -a * source_dir .

Related Commands

  • setfacl: Set or modify ACL entries.
  • getfacl: Retrieve ACL entries.