5.7.3.2. File Sharing

When multiple users need to share a single copy of a file, allowing access by making changes to file permissions is not the best approach. It is far preferable to formalize the file's shared status. There are several reasons for this:
  • Files shared out of a user's directory are vulnerable to disappearing unexpectedly when the user either leaves the organization or does nothing more unusual than rearranging their files.
  • Maintaining shared access for more than one or two additional users becomes difficult, leading to the longer-term problem of unnecessary work required whenever the sharing users change responsibilities.
Therefore, the preferred approach is to:
  • Have the original user relinquish direct ownership of the file
  • Create a group that will own the file
  • Place the file in a shared directory that is owned by the group
  • Make all users needing access to the file part of the group
Of course, this approach would work equally well with multiple files as it would with single files, and can be used to implement shared storage for large, complex projects.