setcap (8) - Linux Manuals

setcap: set file capabilities


setcap - set file capabilities


setcap [-q] [-n <rootuid>] [-v] {capabilities|-|-r} filename [ ... capabilitiesN fileN ]


In the absence of the -v (verify) option setcap sets the capabilities of each specified filename to the capabilities specified. The optional -n <rootuid> argument can be used to set the file capability for use only in a user namespace with this root user ID owner. The -v option is used to verify that the specified capabilities are currently associated with the file. If -v and -n are supplied, the -n <rootuid> argument is also verified.

The capabilities are specified in the form described in cap_from_text(3).

The special capability string, '-', can be used to indicate that capabilities are read from the standard input. In such cases, the capability set is terminated with a blank line.

The special capability string, '-r', is used to remove a capability set from a file. Note, setting an empty capability set is not the same as removing it. An empty set can be used to guarantee a file is not executed with privilege in spite of the fact that the prevailing ambient+inheritable sets would otherwise bestow capabilities on executed binaries.

The -q flag is used to make the program less verbose in its output.


The setcap program will exit with a 0 exit code if successful. On failure, the exit code is 1.


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