acl_from_text - Linux


acl_from_text is a powerful command-line tool for converting human-readable access control list (ACL) specifications into machine-readable format. This enables administrators to easily manage ACLs by working with familiar text-based representations.


acl_from_text [OPTIONS] <ACL_TEXT>


  • -c, –canonical
    Convert ACLs to canonical form.
  • -v, –verbose
    Print verbose output.
  • -h, –help
    Display usage information.
  • -V, –version
    Print program version.


Simple conversion:

acl_from_text "user:alice:rwxp,group:friends:rwx,other:r--"

Canonical form conversion:

acl_from_text -c "user::rwx,group::rwx,other::r--"

Verbose output:

acl_from_text -v "user:bob:rw-"
ACL string: user:bob:rw-
ACL type: access
ACL number: 1
ACL owner: 0
ACL group: 0
ACL mask: rw-

Common Issues

  • Invalid ACL syntax can result in errors. Ensure ACLs conform to proper syntax.
  • Permissions specified for a user or group that does not exist will be ignored.


Combining with other commands:

  • Use find to locate files with specific permissions.
  • Pipe output to grep to filter ACLs by specific criteria.

Related Commands

  • setfacl – Set file ACLs
  • getfacl – Get file ACLs
  • acl – Manage ACLs interactively

For more information, refer to the official acl_from_text man page.