Hello. I'm not sure this is specific to ZFS, but I suspect it is. I'm also not sure if this is a bug or feature request, so I apologize for wasting anyone's time. In any case, it doesn't work as I was expecting, so it *seems* like a bug to me...
It took me a long time to get ACLs on FreeBSD to work how I wanted, meaning similar to how they work in Windows/NTFS--a surprisingly and embarrassingly long time. It's almost impossible to set it up such that files actually inherit the ACLs of their parent(s), and it seems that it IS impossible to do this in a maintainable/update-able fashion, which is very frustrating. I hope there is a method I just haven't found yet, but here I am nonetheless.
I have a ZFS file system with aclmode and aclinherit set to passthrough. The passthrough value is supposed to cause any ACLs with the inherit flags to be applied to any created child files. That is what the zfs manual page says, and that seems to work. The problem is, if I later want to add a new ACL to everything, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to do that, or it doesn't work as I though it would.
What I need to do in that situation is something like:
1. Reconstruct the directory tree including any point at which the ACLs change for children. For example, create the root directory, set inheritable ACLs on that, create root/sub, set ACLs specific to that directory and its children, create root/sub/subsub, set those ACLs, etc.. Just the directories, essentially creating a skeleton tree with all the inheritance pre-set.
2. Copy (without permissions) files from the original tree to the new tree.
3. Move the old tree and move the new tree to the old tree's location (to reduce downtime).
Since I am technically creating files when I do this copy, it inherits the ACLs as expected (I suppose). If, instead, I just use setfacl on, say, the root directory, it happily adds the inheritable ACL on the root, but doesn't propagate that change to any of the children. Creating new files that are immediate children of the root will inherit the new inheritable ACL, but no existing files will, no children beyond that first level will, and nothing I've tried makes them change (e.g. touching, move to *-tmp name and back, I can't remember what else at this point, been a lot of random attempts).
I need to use inheritance because I have too many files to set ACLs on them all individually--ZFS has some crazy small limit on total number of ACL entries on a filesystem. Inheritance somehow avoids this issue (maybe that's a bug). Even if it didn't, I wouldn't want to set individual ACLs on thousands of files when we have inheritance, because it's a lot easier to maintain with a single rule.
Ideally there would be a tool or an option to setfacl which applies inheritable ACLs to children when adding/modifying (not individually, but "correctly"). Maybe this already exists and I'm just not aware of it, or if people have methods better than copying, that would help.
I even switched to Linux at one point but it's even worse over there (without ZFS passthrough). I'd really rather not have to switch to NTFS; I like fbsd, I've been using, supporting and advocating for it for almost 20 years now.