Complete Guide Managing File Permissions with Umask

Managing File Permission with UMASK
Managing File Permission with UMASK

What is UMASK?

Umask stands for User mask or User creation mask. When you create any new file or directory on a Linux system. These files get default permissions from the system. This permission is provided or given by the Umask configuration on Linux.

In simple words, it is a system default permissions for new files or directories.

Default UMASK Values

By default, UMASK values define under the “/etc/profile” or “~/.bashrc” file.

On most of the Linux distros default value set to files “022”.

For a directory, default minimum and the maximum value is “000” & “777“.
For files, default minimum and the maximum value is “000” & “666”.

With a UMASK of 022, the default permissions for a file will become 644 (rw-r–r–, 666-022) and the default permissions for a directory will become 755 (rwx-r-xr-x, 777-022).

Common UMASK Values

UMASK has some common values with the help of these common values, you can define the new values for Files and Directories on the system.

  • 000 : Full Access to Everyone or 666
  • 006 : No Access to Other or 660
  • 022 : Full Access to Owner and Read to Group & Other or 644
  • 066 : Full Access to Owner and No access to group & others or 600

Normally, you can subtract from 666 but be very careful as it maybe 777. Before changing or working on UMASK make sure what UMASK value is set on your Linux distro.

How to check Default UMASK Value?

Run the following command that gives you the default UMASK value,

$ umask

You can also view UMASK in symbolic form using, –S parameter shows the human-readable value of UMASK,

$ umask -S

You can calculate the UMASK values by subtracting value with 666 or 777.

Managing File Permissions

How to change the Default value for New User?

For changing default permissions for files and directories for new users. You need to do changes in the “/etc/profile” file.

Let’s assumed you want to give new user ‘655’ permission for files and ‘426’ for directories. So you need to subtract 011 from 666 and 011 from 777 to get the permissions for files and directories as per the UMASK value.

For example,

666-011 = 655 [Symbolic form : rw-r-xr-x]
777-011 = 766 [symbolic form : rwxrw-rw-]

Copy these UMASK values and open the file “/etc/profile” or “~/.bashrc” file then append/modify with default Umask values.

vim /etc/profile

umask 011


vim ~/.bashrc

umask 011

Save and close the file. Logout the user then login again. Now the new Umask permissions will be effective for the user.

Find Some Preferred UMASK Values In Terms of Security



Octal Value Permissions

Below values help you to calculate the Umask value,

  • 0 : read, write and execute
  • 1 : read and write
  • 2 : read and execute
  • 3 : read only
  • 4 : write and execute
  • 5 : write only
  • 6 : execute only
  • 7 : no permissions

Learn more about the Umask with help of “Umask man” Page.

I hope you like the article if you find any difficulties then please do comment queries or problem via the comment section, till then stay tuned to for more such valuable articles. 

Also, Share if you have more information about the Umask on Linux in the comment box.

Thank You 🙂



Welcome to Linuxgrow. I'm Prashant, a tech-blogger from Mumbai, India. I started Linuxgrow as a passion and to share my knowledge about technologies. Here at Linuxgrow, I write about Linux technologies, Aws Cloud, Wordpress blogging and scripting knowledge. You can read more about me at About us page. Thank You :)

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