When HDFS is enabled, user access to HDFS requires legal permissions in order to operate HDFS properly, such as read data, create folders and others.

Add a configuration

Configurations related to HDFS permission are as follows:

  • dfs.permissions.enabled

    Enable permission check. Even if the value is false, chmod/chgrp/chown/setfacl performs permission check.

  • dfs.datanode.data.dir.perm

    The permission of the local folder used by datanode, which is 755 by default.

  • fs.permissions.umask-mode
    • Permission mask, default permission settings when creating a new file/folder
    • File creation: 0666 & ^umask
    • Folder creation: 0777 & ^umask
    • Default umask value is 022, i.e. the permission of file creation is 644 (666&^022 = 644), and permission of folder creation is 755 (777&^022 = 755).
    • The default setting of Kerberos security cluster in the EMR is 027, the corresponding permission of file creation is 640, and permission of folder creation is 750.
  • dfs.namenode.acls.enabled
    • Enable ACL control. This gives you permission control on owner/group, and you can also set it for other users.
    • Commands for setting ACL:
      hadoop fs -getfacl [-R] <path>
      hadoop fs -setfacl [-R] [-b |-k -m |-x <acl_spec> <path>] |[--set <acl_spec>   <path>]
      For example:
      su test
       #The user test creates a folder
       hadoop fs -mkdir /tmp/test
       #View the permission of the created folder
       hadoop fs -ls /tmp
       drwxr-x---   - test   hadoop          0 2017-11-26 21:18 /tmp/test
       #Set ACL and grant rwx permissions to user foo
       hadoop fs -setfacl -m user:foo:rwx /tmp/test
       #View the permission of the file (+ means that ACL is set)
       hadoop fs -ls  /tmp/
       drwxrwx---+  - test   hadoop          0 2017-11-26 21:18 /tmp/test
       #View ACL
        hadoop fs -getfacl  /tmp/test
        # file: /tmp/test
      # owner: test
      # group: hadoop
  • dfs.permissions.superusergroup

    Super user group. Users in the group have super user permissions.

Restart the HDFS service

For Kerberos security clusters, HDFS permissions have been set by default (umask is set to 027), without configuration and service restart.

For non-Kerberos security clusters, a configuration must be added and the service must be restarted.


  • Umask value can be modified as needed.
  • HDFS is a basic service, and Hive/HBase are based on HDFS. Therefore, HDFS permission control must be configured in advance when configuring other upper layer services.
  • When permissions are enabled for HDFS, the services must be set up (such as /spark-history for spark, and /tmp/$user/ for yarn).
  • Sticky bit:

    Sticky bit can be set for a folder to prevent users other than superuser/file owner/dir owner from deleting files/folders in the folder (even if other users have rwx permissions on the folder), for example:

    #That is, adding numeral 1 as the first digit
    hadoop fs -chmod 1777 /tmp
    hadoop fs -chmod 1777 /spark-history
    hadoop fs -chmod 1777 /user/hive/warehouse