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Acl

public interface Acl
implements Owner

java.security.acl.Acl


Interface representing an Access Control List (ACL). An Access Control List is a data structure used to guard access to resources.

An ACL can be thought of as a data structure with multiple ACL entries. Each ACL entry, of interface type AclEntry, contains a set of permissions associated with a particular principal. (A principal represents an entity such as an individual user or a group). Additionally, each ACL entry is specified as being either positive or negative. If positive, the permissions are to be granted to the associated principal. If negative, the permissions are to be denied.

The ACL Entries in each ACL observe the following rules:

  • Each principal can have at most one positive ACL entry and one negative entry; that is, multiple positive or negative ACL entries are not allowed for any principal. Each entry specifies the set of permissions that are to be granted (if positive) or denied (if negative).

  • If there is no entry for a particular principal, then the principal is considered to have a null (empty) permission set.

  • If there is a positive entry that grants a principal a particular permission, and a negative entry that denies the principal the same permission, the result is as though the permission was never granted or denied.

  • Individual permissions always override permissions of the group(s) to which the individual belongs. That is, individual negative permissions (specific denial of permissions) override the groups' positive permissions. And individual positive permissions override the groups' negative permissions.

The java.security.acl package provides the interfaces to the ACL and related data structures (ACL entries, groups, permissions, etc.), and the sun.security.acl classes provide a default implementation of the interfaces. For example, java.security.acl.Acl provides the interface to an ACL and the sun.security.acl.AclImpl class provides the default implementation of the interface.

The java.security.acl.Acl interface extends the java.security.acl.Owner interface. The Owner interface is used to maintain a list of owners for each ACL. Only owners are allowed to modify an ACL. For example, only an owner can call the ACL's addEntry method to add a new ACL entry to the ACL.

See also:

Summary

Public methods

abstract boolean addEntry(Principal caller, AclEntry entry)

Adds an ACL entry to this ACL.

abstract boolean checkPermission(Principal principal, Permission permission)

Checks whether or not the specified principal has the specified permission.

abstract Enumeration<AclEntry> entries()

Returns an enumeration of the entries in this ACL.

abstract String getName()

Returns the name of this ACL.

abstract Enumeration<Permission> getPermissions(Principal user)

Returns an enumeration for the set of allowed permissions for the specified principal (representing an entity such as an individual or a group).

abstract boolean removeEntry(Principal caller, AclEntry entry)

Removes an ACL entry from this ACL.

abstract void setName(Principal caller, String name)

Sets the name of this ACL.

abstract String toString()

Returns a string representation of the ACL contents.

Inherited methods

From interface java.security.acl.Owner

Public methods

addEntry

Added in API level 1
boolean addEntry (Principal caller, 
                AclEntry entry)

Adds an ACL entry to this ACL. An entry associates a principal (e.g., an individual or a group) with a set of permissions. Each principal can have at most one positive ACL entry (specifying permissions to be granted to the principal) and one negative ACL entry (specifying permissions to be denied). If there is already an ACL entry of the same type (negative or positive) already in the ACL, false is returned.

Parameters
caller Principal: the principal invoking this method. It must be an owner of this ACL.
entry AclEntry: the ACL entry to be added to this ACL.
Returns
boolean true on success, false if an entry of the same type (positive or negative) for the same principal is already present in this ACL.
Throws
NotOwnerException if the caller principal is not an owner of this ACL.

checkPermission

Added in API level 1
boolean checkPermission (Principal principal, 
                Permission permission)

Checks whether or not the specified principal has the specified permission. If it does, true is returned, otherwise false is returned. More specifically, this method checks whether the passed permission is a member of the allowed permission set of the specified principal. The allowed permission set is determined by the same algorithm as is used by the getPermissions method.

Parameters
principal Principal: the principal, assumed to be a valid authenticated Principal.
permission Permission: the permission to be checked for.
Returns
boolean true if the principal has the specified permission, false otherwise.

See also:

entries

Added in API level 1
Enumeration<AclEntry> entries ()

Returns an enumeration of the entries in this ACL. Each element in the enumeration is of type AclEntry.

Returns
Enumeration<AclEntry> an enumeration of the entries in this ACL.

getName

Added in API level 1
String getName ()

Returns the name of this ACL.

Returns
String the name of this ACL.

See also:

getPermissions

Added in API level 1
Enumeration<Permission> getPermissions (Principal user)

Returns an enumeration for the set of allowed permissions for the specified principal (representing an entity such as an individual or a group). This set of allowed permissions is calculated as follows:

  • If there is no entry in this Access Control List for the specified principal, an empty permission set is returned.

  • Otherwise, the principal's group permission sets are determined. (A principal can belong to one or more groups, where a group is a group of principals, represented by the Group interface.) The group positive permission set is the union of all the positive permissions of each group that the principal belongs to. The group negative permission set is the union of all the negative permissions of each group that the principal belongs to. If there is a specific permission that occurs in both the positive permission set and the negative permission set, it is removed from both.

    The individual positive and negative permission sets are also determined. The positive permission set contains the permissions specified in the positive ACL entry (if any) for the principal. Similarly, the negative permission set contains the permissions specified in the negative ACL entry (if any) for the principal. The individual positive (or negative) permission set is considered to be null if there is not a positive (negative) ACL entry for the principal in this ACL.

    The set of permissions granted to the principal is then calculated using the simple rule that individual permissions always override the group permissions. That is, the principal's individual negative permission set (specific denial of permissions) overrides the group positive permission set, and the principal's individual positive permission set overrides the group negative permission set.

Parameters
user Principal: the principal whose permission set is to be returned.
Returns
Enumeration<Permission> the permission set specifying the permissions the principal is allowed.

removeEntry

Added in API level 1
boolean removeEntry (Principal caller, 
                AclEntry entry)

Removes an ACL entry from this ACL.

Parameters
caller Principal: the principal invoking this method. It must be an owner of this ACL.
entry AclEntry: the ACL entry to be removed from this ACL.
Returns
boolean true on success, false if the entry is not part of this ACL.
Throws
NotOwnerException if the caller principal is not an owner of this Acl.

setName

Added in API level 1
void setName (Principal caller, 
                String name)

Sets the name of this ACL.

Parameters
caller Principal: the principal invoking this method. It must be an owner of this ACL.
name String: the name to be given to this ACL.
Throws
NotOwnerException if the caller principal is not an owner of this ACL.

See also:

toString

Added in API level 1
String toString ()

Returns a string representation of the ACL contents.

Returns
String a string representation of the ACL contents.
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