I am the co-administrator of a small private school's domain system. I set the system up using Zentyal 3.4 of which Windows and Ubuntu clients both connect. Students have their own personal logins with their personal "Server Drive" of 500Mb space on the server. These "Server Drives" are the users' home folders (ie, user john.smith server drive is under /home/john.smith).

I have had multiple problems with the permissions before. By mixing ubuntu's drwxrwxrwx permission system and Zentyal's ACLs, I managed to get all administrators access to the users files by creating a symlink to the home folder that only admins have permission to. I used the Zentyal File Sharing (Samba) to add this to Samba, and it worked for a while. (/userfiles is symlink to /home that only admins can access. I do this because Samba will mess up if I create a share with /home since that is what the users are using when they get their Server Drive, duplicate samba entries I guess).

Each user's home folder is owned by them as the user but owned by Administrators as the group. Perms are set to 770 for all of them, including any sub-folders, the typical user's folder will look as follows:

drwsrws---  4 john.smith    Administrators  4096 Aug 15 16:02 john.smith/

The users can access all their files, and the admins can access their files as well. The problem comes when the users create their own personal folders. In /etc/skel, the users start with a Documents and a Pictures folder. Anything in here (not including subfolders) is readable by any admin. If a user creates a personal folder anywhere (ie /home/john.smith/Computer Class), admins can't read it.

I have tried fixing the problem by doing:

for line in `ls -1`
    do chown $line:Administrators $line -R
    chmod 770 $line -R

This basically sets the permissions of all folders and files to that seen above. It still doesn't work. I've also tried doing:

setfacl -b john.smith

Still nothing. There is no difference between ACL and ubuntu's permission system results of the Documents or Pictures folder (readable) and the users' personally created folders (non-readable). What am I doing wrong here? Any suggestions to clean up this mess? How can I get these permission to how I need them to be?

  • I guess you are using the free version of Zentyal; check forum.zentyal.org and you will find answer from Zentyal staff there.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Oct 28, 2014 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


I have only a little Ubuntu experience, and less Zentyal experience, but I had a similar issue today. I was restoring files from an old Ubuntu/Samba fileserver to a new Ubuntu/Zentyal fileserver. I set/updated ACLs, used my administrator:adm ownership, but could not browse on a windows client. I then did a chown shareuser:sharegroup (a user/group that actually needed the files) and it worked fine. Maybe that's obvious or redundant in your case, but on the outside chance it could help, I'm posting.

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