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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for access (redhat section 1)

ACCESS(1)						      General Commands Manual							 ACCESS(1)

access - determine whether a file can be accessed
access -mode file
Exit successfully if file can be accessed with the specified mode. mode is one or more letters of rwx, where r is for readable, w is for writable, and x is for executable. The difference between access and test is that the latter looks at the permission bits, while the former checks using the access(2) system call. This makes a difference when file systems have been mounted read-only.
access accepts the following additional options: --help Print help message and exit. --version Print version information and exit.
access(2) Kpathsea 3.3.1 4 January 1998 ACCESS(1)