acl_get_file(3) — Linux manual page


ACL_GET_FILE(3)          Library Functions Manual        ACL_GET_FILE(3)

NAME         top

       acl_get_file — get an ACL by filename

LIBRARY         top

       Linux Access Control Lists library (libacl, -lacl).

SYNOPSIS         top

       <sys/types.h> <sys/acl.h> acl_t acl_get_file(const char *path_p,
       acl_type_t type)

DESCRIPTION         top

       The acl_get_file() function retrieves the access ACL associated
       with a file or directory, or the default ACL associated with a
       directory. The pathname for the file or directory is pointed to
       by the argument path_p.  The ACL is placed into working storage
       and acl_get_file() returns a pointer to that storage.

       In order to read an ACL from an object, a process must have read
       access to the object's attributes.

       The value of the argument type is used to indicate whether the
       access ACL or the default ACL associated with path_p is returned.
       If type is ACL_TYPE_ACCESS, the access ACL of path_p is returned.
       If type is ACL_TYPE_DEFAULT, the default ACL of path_p is
       returned. If type is ACL_TYPE_DEFAULT and no default ACL is
       associated with the directory path_p, then an ACL containing zero
       ACL entries is returned. If type specifies a type of ACL that
       cannot be associated with path_p, then the function fails.

       This function may cause memory to be allocated.  The caller
       should free any releasable memory, when the new ACL is no longer
       required, by calling acl_free(3) with the (void*)acl_t returned
       by acl_get_file() as an argument.

RETURN VALUE         top

       On success, this function returns a pointer to the working
       storage.  On error, a value of (acl_t)NULL is returned, and errno
       is set appropriately.

ERRORS         top

       If any of the following conditions occur, the acl_get_file()
       function returns a value of (acl_t)NULL and sets errno to the
       corresponding value:

       [EACCES]           Search permission is denied for a component of
                          the path prefix or the object exists and the
                          process does not have appropriate access

                          Argument type specifies a type of ACL that
                          cannot be associated with path_p.

       [EINVAL]           The argument type is not ACL_TYPE_ACCESS or

       [ENAMETOOLONG]     The length of the argument path_p is too long.

       [ENOENT]           The named object does not exist or the
                          argument path_p points to an empty string.

       [ENOMEM]           The ACL working storage requires more memory
                          than is allowed by the hardware or system-
                          imposed memory management constraints.

       [ENOTDIR]          A component of the path prefix is not a

       [ENOTSUP]          The file system on which the file identified
                          by path_p is located does not support ACLs, or
                          ACLs are disabled.

STANDARDS         top

       IEEE Std 1003.1e draft 17 (“POSIX.1e”, abandoned)

SEE ALSO         top

       acl_free(3), acl_get_entry(3), acl_get_fd(3), acl_set_file(3),

AUTHOR         top

       Derived from the FreeBSD manual pages written by Robert N M
       Watson <>, and adapted for Linux by Andreas
       Gruenbacher <>.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the acl (manipulating access control lists)
       project.  Information about the project can be found at  If you have a bug
       report for this manual page, see
       ⟨⟩.  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
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       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Linux ACL                    March 23, 2002              ACL_GET_FILE(3)