An access control list (ACL) is a table that tells a computer operating system which access rights each user has to a particular system object, such as a file directory or individual file.
The list has an entry for each system user with access privileges.
The most common privileges include the ability to read a file (or all the files in a directory), to write to the file or files, and to execute the file (if it is an executable file, or program). Microsoft Windows NT/2000, Novell's NetWare, Digital's OpenVMS, and UNIX-based systems are among the operating systems that use access control lists.
The list is implemented differently by each operating system.
In Windows NT/2000, an access control list (ACL) is associated with each system object.
For each of these users, groups, or roles, the access privileges are stated in a string of bits called an access mask. Generally, the system administrator or the object owner creates the access control list for an object.
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