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Type chmod xxx <filename> to change permissions where xxx is the numerical code from the table below.

Explaination of the Codes: .      ...                 ...                 ...
                           (type) (user persmissions) (group permissions) (world permissions)

The first item can be d (a directory), - (a regular file) or l (a symbolic link).
The following three triplets specify permissons for the user, group and world in that order.
In each tripplet, permissions can be r (read), w (write), x (execute) or - (not assigned).
Setting permissions can be done via numbers: r=4, w=2, x=1 and -=0.

Setting Code Use Case
---------- 000 Locking even yourself out. Use chmod again, if this happens.
-r-------- 400 An auto-generated password file (e.g. ~/.google_authenticator).
-rw------- 600 Owner can read and write, everyone else has no access. ~/.history, all the ssh keys in your ~/.ssh folder.
-rwx------ 700 Owner has full access, no one else has access. Your ~/.ssh folder.
-r--r--r-- 444 A textfile, that others should see as well, but nobody should modify it.
-r-xr-xr-x 555 A folder, that others should be able to cd into as well, but nobody should modify it.
-rw-r--r-- 644 Owner can read and write, everyone else can read.
-rw-rw-rw- 666 All users can read and write but not execute.
-rwxr-xr-x 755 Owner has full access, others can read and execute the file. Files and folders you want other people to see.
-rwxrwxrwx 777 No restriction, global WRX any user can do anything. Files and folders you want other people to see and modify. The most open permission.

Permissions on directory have the following meaning:
The read bit allows to list the files within the directory.
The write bit allows to create, rename, or delete files within the directory, and modify the directory's attributes.
The execute bit allows to enter the directory, and access files and directories inside.

To view permissions as numerical code: stat -c %a <filename>.

What does s mean? (click to expand) "s", like "x", means something different for directories and regular files.

For files, "x" means "executable" of course. For directories, it means "searchable." Without "x" permission on a directory, you can't set it to be your current directory, or get any of the file information like size, permissions, or inode number, so that you effectively can't access any of the files. If a directory has no "r" permission, you can't get a listing, but if you know a file is there, you can still access the file.

Now "s", for files, means "setuid exec." If a file has s permission, then it's executable, and furthermore, the user id and/or group id of the process is set to the user or group id of the owner of the file, depending on whether it's the user or group "s" that's set. This is a way to give limited root powers to a user -- a program that runs as root when an ordinary user executes it. For example, the "passwd" program, which can change otherwise write-protected files on behalf of a user, works this way: it's owned by the "bin" group (generally) and has g+s so that it can write to /etc/passwd and/or /etc/opasswd which are also owned by group "bin."

For directories, "s" means "sticky". If a directory has "s", then the owner and/or group of any files put into the directory are set to the owner/group of the directory. This is often used on CVS repositories, so that the files in the repository end up all owned by the same person and/or group, even though they're put in by different people. I use g+s on all the CVS repositories I set up.

File System

  • /bin Common programs, shared by the system, the system administrator and the users.
  • /boot Boot files, boot loader (grub), kernels, vmlinuz
  • /dev Contains references to system devices, files with special properties.
  • /etc Important system config files.
  • /home Home directories for system users.
  • /lib Library files, includes files for all kinds of programs needed by the system and the users.
  • /lost+found Files that were saved during failures are here.
  • /mnt Standard mount point for external file systems.
  • /media Mount point for external file systems (on some distros).
  • /net Standard mount point for entire remote file systems – nfs.
  • /opt Typically contains extra and third party software.
  • /proc A virtual file system containing information about system resources.
  • /root root users home dir.
  • /sbin Programs for use by the system and the system administrator.
  • /tmp Temporary space for use by the system, cleaned upon reboot.
  • /usr Programs, libraries, documentation etc. for all user-related programs.
  • /var Storage for all variable files and temporary files created by users, such as log files, mail queue, print spooler. Web servers, Databases etc.

Interesting files and directories

Places that are worth a look if you are attempting to privilege escalate / perform post exploitation.

  • /etc/passwd Contains local Linux users.
  • /etc/shadow Contains local account password hashes.
  • /etc/group Contains local account groups.
  • /etc/init.d/ Contains service init script – worth a look to see whats installed.
  • /etc/hostname System hostname.
  • /etc/network/interfaces Network interfaces.
  • /etc/resolv.conf System DNS servers.
  • /etc/profile System environment variables.
  • ~/.ssh/ SSH keys.
  • ~/.bash_history Users bash history log.
  • /var/log/ Linux system log files are typically stored here.
  • /var/adm/ UNIX system log files are typically stored here.
  • /var/log/httpd/access.log Apache access log file typical path.
  • /etc/fstab File system mounts.

Cron Jobs


Every Minute    * * * * *
Every Five Minutes    */5 * * * *
Every 10 Minutes    */10 * * * *
Every 15 Minutes    */15 * * * *
Every 30 Minutes    */30 * * * *
Every Hour    0 * * * *
Every Two Hours    0 */2 * * *
Every Six Hours    0 */6 * * *
Every 12 Hours    0 */12 * * *
During the Work Day    */5 9-17 * * *
Every day at Midnight    0 0 * * *
Every Two Weeks    0 0 * * Sun [ $(expr $(date +%W) % 2) -eq 1 ] && /path/to/command
At the Start of Every Month    0 0 1 * *
On January 1st at Midnight    0 0 1 1 *