The Caboteria / Tech Web / MsdosFsPermissions (04 Jan 2001, TobyCabot)
The January 2001 edition of (in "the answer gang" column) solved an issue that's been nagging me for quite some time now. The original article is at but since these things change I've excerpted the interesting parts:

In your '/etc/fstab', add the "noexec", "umask" and "gid" parameters to the appropriate partition:

/dev/hda3  /mnt/msdos  vfat  noexec,umask=003,gid=66  0 0

Obviously, the GID would be that of the "dos" group.

What we're doing here is mounting that partition with the appropriate group ID and setting the umask - this masks out the permissions that the mounted partition will have. The "noexec" parameter works with in concert with the other two to produce the following conditions:

Directory access under the mountpoint is allowed to members of GID 66 All files under the mountpoint are readable and writable by GID 66 The files are "read-only" to the other users None of the files are executable (does not apply to DOS emulation)

From this point on, if you want to give a user on your system read/write access to the files on that partition, simply add them to the "msdos" group.

It turns out that my Mandrake laptop already had a group called "dos" (GID 66) so I used that one. Works like a champ (if you don't forget to log out and back in).

I usually find one or two things in that column that I didn't know I didn't know.

-- TobyCabot - 04 Jan 2001

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