[NBLUG/talk] User groups in linux

Eric Eisenhart eric at nblug.org
Mon Jun 28 16:06:51 PDT 2004

On Mon, Jun 28, 2004 at 04:01:52PM -0700, Steve Johnson wrote:
> I'm curious, a few years back, it seems all the Linux distros went
> from putting everyone into one group (users) and started putting each user
> account into its very own group (with the same name as the user).
> Anyone know what the reasoning behind this was?  Is it a security issue?

My guess:

It allows the umask to be set to 0002 instead of 0022, which means that
files in a directory that are *supposed* to be shared (have a different
group than the user-specific group with multiple people in the group) get
the right permissions.

I've commonly run into problems with an 0022 umask and things like shared
web space, CVS repositories, etc.  Setting setgid on the directory doesn't
help any with an 0022 umask, but works *great* with an 0002 umask.
Eric Eisenhart
NBLUG Co-Founder & Director-At-Large
The North Bay Linux Users Group
eric at nblug.org, IRC: Freiheit at freenode, AIM: falschfreiheit, ICQ: 48217244

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