how do i set permissions to a folder for 1 user in linux to read the files within the folder?
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You read this link: How to Manage File and Folder Permissions in Linux and Linux Permissions  This will give you a better understanding.

sudo chmod 400

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A user might be:

- owner: owns a folder or a file
- from same group of users of the owner of folder or file
- others: none of above

perms are: read (r), write (w), or execute (x).

when folders or files are created, in general, gives read to all.

if you want to restrict perms to a particular user, then change ownership to that user and revoke perms:


chown user1 /path/to/folder

chmod 700 /path/to/folder
by the way giving perms on folder on folder does not mean giving perms on files under it.

you may need to change ownership and perms of files as well
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Would be great if you will explain what exactly you need.. for the answer of your question

1. Add user to folder as owner

#chown user folder

2. Provide read access by remoing other access.

#chmod u+r,go-rwx folder

Jack_son_Author Commented:
okay thanks; also what is the command just to add the user to a group?
usermod -g <primary_group_name> -G <secondary_group_name> user

-g == whenever you want to assign primary group membership
-G == to add a user as a member of more than one group.

Those are the old standard POSIX permissions that don't easily allow fine tuning down to a single user.  Newer linux has more versatile ACLs with getfacl and setfacl to better fine tune permissions.  If your linux supports it, it's a bit easier to assign individual permissions without assigning entire groups.

getfacl /Path/to/FolderOrFile

setfacl -m "u:USER_ACCOUNT_NAME:rw-" /PATH/or/File

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