How do I give read access to files in a directory?

Under Unix, all files have read, write, and execute permissions. For files, the meanings of these three permissions are obvious. For directories, "read" governs whether someone can list the contents of the directory, and "execute" governs whether the person can "use" the directory to access the files within it.

If a directory is read only, then a person can list the names of the files within it but cannot access them. If a directory has execute only permission, then a person can access a file only if they know its name; they cannot list the contents of the directory. Most directories have both read and execute or neither.

The command to make a directory executable is:

% chmod a+x directoryname

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