Command Line-Version (SetACL.exe) – Syntax and Description

Command Line-Version (SetACL.exe) – Syntax and Description

For a quick start, tell SetACL the following:

  • Object name (-on): This is the path to the object SetACL should operate on (file/directory/registry key/network share/service/printer).
  • Object type (-ot): What kind of object does the object name refer to: file or directory (file), registry key (reg), service (srv), printer (prn), network share (shr)?
  • Action (-actn): What should SetACL do with the object specified?

Example:

SetACL.exe -on c:\Windows -ot file -actn list

This lists the permissions set on the Windows directory in the default list format (CSV).

Have a look at the examples section to get an idea what more complex commands look like.

Syntax^

SetACL -on ObjectName -ot ObjectType
       -actn Action1 ParametersForAction1
       [-actn Action2 ParametersForAction2]
       [Options]

It basically works like this: you specify one or more actions. Although actions have default parameters where that makes sense, in many cases you need to give SetACL some data to work with. That happens via additional parameters. Example: if the action is “set permissions”, then you need one additional parameter for each permission (ACE) to set, like “full control for everybody”.

Return codes^

SetACL returns 0 upon successful execution and a higher number if errors occurred. A complete list of all return codes can be found here.

Parameter List^

Lists all command-line parameters SetACL can digest. Some are mandatory, others are required if a certain other parameter has been specified, some are optional.

Click on the links to jump to sections with more detailed explanations.

Required parameters^

Object Name^
-on ObjectName
Sets path and/or name of the object to process.
Required
Object Type^
-ot ObjectType
Sets the type of object.
Required

Action parameters^

ACE^
-actn ace -ace “n:Trustee;p:Permission[;i:Inheritance;m:Mode;w:Where]“
Adds or modifies access control entries (ACEs).
Multiple ACEs may be specified like this: -actn ace -ace "n:UserX;p:full" -ace "n:GroupY;p:read"
Trustee^
-actn trustee -trst “n1:Trustee1[;n2:Trustee2];ta:TrusteeAction[;w:What]“
Removes Trustee1‘s ACEs, or
replaces Trustee1 within ACEs with Trustee2, or
copies ACEs from Trustee1 to Trustee2.
Multiple trustees may be specified like this: -actn trustee -trst "n1:UserA;n2:UserB;ta:cpytrst" -trst "n1:UserX;n2:UserY;ta:cpytrst"

or (new in SetACL 3.0)

-actn trustee -trst “csv:TrusteeInputFile;ta:TrusteeAction[;w:What]“
Removes ACEs with specified trustees, replaces trustees within ACEs or copies ACEs to different trustees. Input is read from TrusteeInputFile.
Domain^
-actn domain -dom “n1:Domain1[;n2:Domain2];da:DomainAction[;w:What]“
Removes all ACEs with trustees from Domain1, or
replaces Domain1 trustees in ACEs with corresponding Domain2 trustees, or
copies Domain1 trustee ACEs to corresponding Domain2 trustee ACEs.
Multiple domains may be specified like this: -actn domain -dom "n1:DomainA;n2:DomainB;ta:cpydom" -dom "n1:DomainX;n2:DomainY;da:cpydom"
Set Owner^
-actn setowner -ownr “n:Trustee
Sets the owner.
Set Primary Group^
-actn setgroup -grp “n:Trustee
Sets the primary group.
Set Protection Flags^
-actn setprot -op “dacl:Protection;sacl:Protection
Configures protection from inheritance (whether to ‘allow inheritable permissions from the parent object to propagate to this object’).
Reset Children^
-actn rstchldrn -rst Where
Resets permissions on all sub-objects and enables propagation of inherited permissions.
Clear^
-actn clear -clr Where
Clears the ACL of any non-inherited ACEs. You can configure whether to remove non-inherited ACEs from the DACL, the SACL or both.
List^
-actn list [-lst "f:Format;w:What;i:ListInherited;s:DisplaySID;oo:OrphanedOnly"] [-bckp Filename]
Lists permissions. If -lst is omitted, a listing of the non-inherited permissions is created in tabular format. The result can optionally be written to a backup file.
Restore^
-actn restore -bckp Filename
Restores entire or parts of security descriptors from a file created with the list function. Please note that the listing needs to be in SDDL format.
Delete Orphaned SIDs^
-actn delorphanedsids [-os Where]
Deletes ACEs with orphaned SIDs (SIDs from deleted users/groups). You can configure whether to do this for the DACL, the SACL or both (default: DACL).

Multiple Actions^

If multiple actions are specified, they are processed in this order:

  1. restore
  2. clear
  3. trustee
  4. domain
  5. ace, setowner, setgroup, setprot
  6. rstchldrn
  7. list

Optional parameters^

Recursion^
-rec Recursion
Configures recursion.
Log File^
-log Filename
Sets the name of a log file.
Filter Keyword^
-fltr Keyword
Adds a filter keyword.
May be specified more than once.
Silent^
-silent
Enables silent mode (no output written to screen).
Ignore Errors^
-ignoreerr
Enables the error ignore mode, where SetACL does not stop upon an error.
Raw Mode^
-raw
In version 2.1.1 filtering of pseudo-inherited ACEs was introduced. This changes pseudo-inherited ACEs into truly inherited ACEs right before they are set. This behavior may not be desired, so it can be switched off with the command-line parameter “-raw” beginning with version 2.2.2.

Parameter Description^

ObjectName^

Name of the object to process. The format depends on the object type, but you should be able to specify names in all common variations. If you want to access a remote machine, prepend “\\Servername\” to the name of the object.

File system paths can be relative, but should be absolute; only then can SetACL convert them to the format required by the kernel for very long paths – in other words, if you want SetACL to work with paths longer than MAX_PATH (260 characters), use absolute paths. You can use drive letters for local and mapped network drives and UNC paths for remote computers. You can also use volume GUIDs, typically to specify a mounted volume. Here are some examples of valid file system paths:

C:\Data
Directory “Data” on local drive C:
M:\Data
Directory “Data” on mapped network drive M:
\\Server\Share\Data
Directory “Data” on file server “Server” below share “Share”
\\Server.domain.com\Share\Data
Same as before, but the server name specified as DNS name instead of NetBIOS name
\\?\Volume{8a78ee92-4b22-11df-89ee-bb2cb99ebac7}\
Root directory of a volume identified by its GUID
\\?\Volume{8a78ee92-4b22-11df-89ee-bb2cb99ebac7}
(Note the missing backslash at the end)
Volume identify by its GUID. Tip: typically you do not want to set permissions on a volume, but on it’s root directory.

Registry paths can be specified flexibly, using the full hive names (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) or the well-known short forms (e.g. HKLM).

Note: On remote computers only the hives HKU and HKLM can be accessed!

Examples:

HKLM\Software
The registry key “Software” below hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
The registry key “Software” below hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
\\Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
The registry key “Software” below hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on the remote computer “Computer”.

Paths to the other supported object types are specified in a way similar to file system paths. Here are some examples:

LanmanWorkstation
The workstation service on the local computer.
\\Server\LanmanWorkstation
The workstation service on the remote computer “Server”.
“HP LaserJet 4200 PCL 6″
The HP 4200 printer on the local computer.
“\\Server\HP LaserJet 4200 PCL 6″
The HP 4200 printer on the remote computer “Server”.
Data$
The share Data$ on the local computer.
\\Server\Data$
The share Data$ on the remote computer “Server”.
root
The root of the WMI namespace.

If the object name ends with a backslash and you enclose it in quotes, make sure to escape the last backslash with another backslash. For example, use C:\\ instead of C:\.

ObjectType^

Type of object:

file
Directory/file
reg
Registry key
srv
Service
prn
Printer
shr
Network share
wmi
WMI object

TrusteeAction^

Action to perform on the trustee specified:

remtrst
Remove all ACEs belonging to trustee specified.
repltrst
Replace trustee ‘n1′ by ‘n2′ in all ACEs.
cpytrst
Copy the permissions for trustee ‘n1′ to ‘n2′.

TrusteeInputFile^

Name (and optionally path) of a file that contains trustees for the specified trustee action. The format depends on the trustee action. For “remtrst” it is one trustee per line, for “repltrst” and “cpytrst” it is:

SourceTrustee,TargetTrustee

Trustees can be specified via their names or SIDs. Details can be found here.

DomainAction^

Action to perform on the domain specified:

remdom
Remove all ACEs belonging to trustees of the domain specified.
repldom
Replace trustees from domain ‘n1′ by trustees with the same name from domain ‘n2′ in all ACEs.
cpydom
Copy permissions from trustees from domain ‘n1′ to trustees with the same name from domain ‘n2′ in all ACEs.

Explanation:

For every SID in the ACEs of the ACL(s), the name of the domain and user/group of the corresponding account is looked up. If the domain name is equal to the domain name ‘n1′ specified, the ACE is deleted in the case of ‘remdom’. In the case of ‘repldom’ or ‘cpydom’ a user/group of the same name is searched in the domain ‘n2′ specified. If such a user/group is found, either a new ACE with the same permissions and flags is created (‘cpydom’), or the SID in the ACE is replaced with the SID of the user/group in the domain ‘n2′ specified (‘repldom’).

Trustee^

Name or SID of a trustee (a user or group). Supported formats:

  1. [{computer | domain}\]name
  2. SID string

Where:

  • computer: DNS or NetBIOS name of a computer -> ‘name’ must be a local account on that computer.
  • domain: DNS or NetBIOS name of a domain -> ‘name’ must be a domain user or group.
  • name: user or group name.
  • SID string: String representation of a SID, e.g. S-1-5-32-544 for the group Administrators. Here is a list of well-known SIDs that are the same across Windows versions and languages.

If no computer or domain name is given, SetACL tries to find a SID for ‘name’ in the following order:

  1. built-in accounts and well-known SIDs
  2. local accounts
  3. primary domain
  4. trusted domains

Specifying trustees as SIDs instead of using their names can be very useful in multi-language environments, because SIDs are language-independent, whereas predefined names are not. An example: the group ‘administrators’ is called ‘administratoren’ in German Windows versions. If you want your SetACL script to run on servers installed in either language you can use the well-known SID of the group ‘administrators’. Well-known SIDs are identical on every system. A list can be found here.

Domain^

Name of a domain (NetBIOS or DNS name).

Permission^

Permission(s) to set. Comma-separated list.
Here is a list of all permissions that can be set.

Example: ‘read,write_ea,write_dacl’

DisplaySID^

Display trustee names as SIDs?

y
Yes
n
No
b
Both (names and SIDs)

Inheritance^

Inheritance flags for the ACE. This may be a comma-separated list containing the following:

so
sub-objects
sc
sub-containers
np
no propagation
io
inherit only

Example: ‘io,so’

Mode^

Access mode of this ACE.

The following access modes are valid with DACLs:

set
Replace all permissions for given trustee by those specified.
grant
Add permissions specified to existing permissions for given trustee.
deny
Deny permissions specified.
revoke
Remove permissions specified from existing permissions for given trustee.

These access modes are valid with SACLs:

aud_succ
Add an audit success ACE.
aud_fail
Add an audit failure ACE.
revoke
Remove permissions specified from existing permissions for given trustee.

Where^

Apply settings to DACL, SACL, or both (comma-separated list):

dacl

Process the DACL (permissions list).
sacl

Process the SACL (auditing list).
dacl,sacl

Process DACL and SACL.

Recursion^

These recursion settings are valid for file system objects:

no
No recursion.
cont
Recurse, and process directories only.
obj
Recurse, and process files only.
cont_obj
Recurse, and process directories and files.

These recursion settings are valid for registry objects:

no
Do not recurse.
yes
Do Recurse.

Recursion is not supported for other object types.

Protection^

Controls the flag ‘allow inheritable permissions from the parent object to propagate to this object’:

nc
Do not change the current setting.
np
Object is not protected, i.e. inherits from parent.
p_c
Object is protected, ACEs from parent are copied.
p_nc
Object is protected, ACEs from parent are not copied.

Format^

Which list format to use:

sddl
Standardized SDDL format. Only listings in this format can be restored.
csv/own
SetACL’s own format. Easier to read than SDDL.
tab
SetACL’s tabular format. Humans prefers this over CSV and SDDL (especially over SDDL).

What^

Which components of security descriptors to include in the listing (comma-separated list):

d
DACL
s
SACL
o
Owner
g
Primary group

Example: ‘d,s’

ListInherited^

List inherited permissions? If no, only permissions set directly on an object are listed (default).

y
Yes
n
No

Filename^

Name of a file used for list/backup/restore operations or logging. The file is written in UNICODE.

Keyword^

Keyword to filter object names by. Names and paths containing this keyword are not processed.

OrphanedOnly^

Requires at least SetACL 3.0.

If enabled, only objects with orphaned SIDs are listed. Orphaned SIDs are SIDs that cannot be resolved to a name.

y
Yes
n
No

Valid Standard Permissions^

Standard permissions sets provide easy access to the most commonly used combinations of specific permissions (for a list of the latter, see below).

Files / Directories^

read
Read (FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY + FILE_READ_EA + FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES + READ_CONTROL)
write
Write (FILE_ADD_FILE + FILE_ADD_SUBDIRECTORY + FILE_WRITE_EA + FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES)
list_folder
List folder (FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY + FILE_READ_EA + FILE_TRAVERSE + FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES + READ_CONTROL)
read_ex
Read, execute (FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY + FILE_READ_EA + FILE_TRAVERSE + FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES + READ_CONTROL)
change
Change (FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY + FILE_ADD_FILE + FILE_ADD_SUBDIRECTORY + FILE_READ_EA + FILE_WRITE_EA + FILE_TRAVERSE + FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES + FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES + READ_CONTROL + DELETE)
full
Full access (FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY + FILE_ADD_FILE + FILE_ADD_SUBDIRECTORY + FILE_READ_EA + FILE_WRITE_EA + FILE_TRAVERSE + FILE_DELETE_CHILD + FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES + FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE)

Registry^

read
Read (KEY_ENUMERATE_SUB_KEYS + KEY_EXECUTE + KEY_NOTIFY + KEY_QUERY_VALUE + KEY_READ + READ_CONTROL)
full
Full access (KEY_CREATE_LINK + KEY_CREATE_SUB_KEY + KEY_ENUMERATE_SUB_KEYS + KEY_EXECUTE + KEY_NOTIFY + KEY_QUERY_VALUE + KEY_READ + KEY_SET_VALUE + KEY_WRITE + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE)

Printers^

print
Print (PRINTER_ACCESS_USE + READ_CONTROL)
man_printer
Manage printer (PRINTER_ACCESS_ADMINISTER + PRINTER_ACCESS_USE + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE)
man_docs
Manage documents (JOB_ACCESS_ADMINISTER + JOB_ACCESS_READ + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE)
full
Full access (manage printer + manage documents)

Services^

read
Read (SERVICE_ENUMERATE_DEPENDENTS + SERVICE_INTERROGATE + SERVICE_QUERY_CONFIG + SERVICE_QUERY_STATUS + SERVICE_USER_DEFINED_CONTROL + READ_CONTROL)
start_stop
Start / Stop (SERVICE_ENUMERATE_DEPENDENTS + SERVICE_INTERROGATE + SERVICE_PAUSE_CONTINUE + SERVICE_QUERY_CONFIG + SERVICE_QUERY_STATUS + SERVICE_START + SERVICE_STOP + SERVICE_USER_DEFINED_CONTROL + READ_CONTROL)
full
Full access (SERVICE_CHANGE_CONFIG + SERVICE_ENUMERATE_DEPENDENTS + SERVICE_INTERROGATE + SERVICE_PAUSE_CONTINUE + SERVICE_QUERY_CONFIG + SERVICE_QUERY_STATUS + SERVICE_START + SERVICE_STOP + SERVICE_USER_DEFINED_CONTROL + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE)

Shares^

read
Read (SHARE_CHANGE + READ_CONTROL + SYNCHRONIZE)
change
Change (SHARE_READ + DELETE + READ_CONTROL + SYNCHRONIZE)
full
Full access (SHARE_READ + SHARE_CHANGE + SHARE_WRITE + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_OWNER + WRITE_DAC + DELETE + SYNCHRONIZE)

WMI^

full
Full access (WBEM_ENABLE + WBEM_METHOD_EXECUTE + WBEM_FULL_WRITE_REP + WBEM_PARTIAL_WRITE_REP + WBEM_WRITE_PROVIDER + WBEM_REMOTE_ACCESS + READ_CONTROL + WRITE_DAC)
execute
Execute access (WBEM_ENABLE + WBEM_METHOD_EXECUTE + WBEM_WRITE_PROVIDER)
remote_access
Remote access (WBEM_ENABLE + WBEM_REMOTE_ACCESS + WBEM_WRITE_PROVIDER)
enable_account
Enable account (WBEM_ENABLE)

Valid Specific Permissions^

Files / Directories^

traverse
Traverse Folder/Execute File
Traverse Folder allows or denies moving through folders to reach other files or folders, even if the user has no permissions for the traversed folders (applies to folders only). Traverse folder takes effect only when the group or user is not granted the “Bypass traverse checking” user right in the Group Policy snap-in. (By default, the Everyone group is given the Bypass traverse checking user right.)
Execute File allows or denies running program files (applies to files only).
Setting the Traverse Folder permission on a folder does not automatically set the Execute File permission on all files within that folder.
list_dir
List Folder/Read Data
List Folder allows or denies viewing file names and subfolder names within the folder. List Folder only affects the contents of that folder and does not affect whether the folder you are setting the permission on will be listed. Applies to folders only.
Read Data allows or denies viewing data in files (applies to files only).
read_attr
Read Attributes
Allows or denies viewing the attributes of a file or folder, such as read-only and hidden. Attributes are defined by NTFS.
read_ea
Read Extended Attributes
Allows or denies viewing the extended attributes of a file or folder. Extended attributes are defined by programs and may vary by program.
add_file
Create Files/Write Data
Create Files allows or denies creating files within the folder (applies to folders only).
Write Data allows or denies making changes to the file and overwriting existing content (applies to files only).
add_subdir
Create Folders/Append Data
Create Folders allows or denies creating folders within the folder (applies to folders only).
Append Data allows or denies making changes to the end of the file but not changing, deleting, or overwriting existing data (applies to files only).
write_attr
Write Attributes
Allows or denies changing the attributes of a file or folder, such as read-only or hidden. Attributes are defined by NTFS.
The Write Attributes permission does not imply creating or deleting files or folders, it only includes the permission to make changes to the attributes of a file or folder. In order to allow (or deny) create or delete operations, see “Create Files/Write Data”, “Create Folders/Append Data”, “Delete Subfolders and Files”, and “Delete”.
write_ea
Write Extended Attributes
Allows or denies changing the extended attributes of a file or folder. Extended attributes are defined by programs and may vary by program.
The Write Extended Attributes permission does not imply creating or deleting files or folders, it only includes the permission to make changes to the attributes of a file or folder. In order to allow (or deny) create or delete operations, see “Create Files/Write Data”, “Create Folders/Append Data”, “Delete Subfolders and Files”, and “Delete”.
del_child
Delete Subfolders and Files
Allows or denies deleting subfolders and files, even if the Delete permission has not been granted on the subfolder or file. (applies to folders)
delete
Delete
Allows or denies deleting the file or folder. If you don’t have Delete permission on a file or folder, you can still delete it if you have been granted Delete Subfolders and Files on the parent folder.
read_dacl
Read Permissions
Allows or denies reading permissions of the file or folder, such as Full Control, Read, and Write.
write_dacl
Write Permissions
Allows or denies changing permissions of the file or folder, such as Full Control, Read, and Write.
write_owner
Take Ownership
Allows or denies taking ownership of the file or folder. The owner of a file or folder can always change permissions on it, regardless of any existing permissions that protect the file or folder.

Registry^

query_val
Query value
set_val
Set value
create_subkey
Create subkeys
enum_subkeys
Enumerate subkeys
notify
Notify
create_link
Create link
delete
Delete
write_dacl
Write permissions
write_owner
Take ownership
read_access
Read control

Services^

SERVICE_CHANGE_CONFIG
Required to call the ChangeServiceConfig or ChangeServiceConfig2 function to change the service configuration.
SERVICE_ENUMERATE_DEPENDENTS
Required to call the EnumDependentServices function to enumerate all the services dependent on the service.
SERVICE_INTERROGATE
Required to call the ControlService function to ask the service to report its status immediately.
SERVICE_PAUSE_CONTINUE
Required to call the ControlService function to pause or continue the service.
SERVICE_QUERY_CONFIG
Required to call the QueryServiceConfig and QueryServiceConfig2 functions to query the service configuration.
SERVICE_QUERY_STATUS
Required to call the QueryServiceStatus or QueryServiceStatusEx function to ask the service control manager about the status of the service. Required to call the NotifyServiceStatusChange function to receive notification when a service changes status.
SERVICE_START
Required to call the StartService function to start the service.
SERVICE_STOP
Required to call the ControlService function to stop the service.
SERVICE_USER_DEFINED_CONTROL
Required to call the ControlService function to specify a user-defined control code.