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 > I was talking about someone who installs debian who does something
 > like "ls -ld /*", and sees lots of "drwxr-sr-x" permissions.
After emailing with Ian, it appears that mounting partitions with bsd semantics
removes the requirement of setuid bits on directories.
Most people (including myself) don't appear to be happy with uncommon
permissions set on directories, so if Debian mounted with bsd semantics as its
default setup, then the change for adduser would be comparitively minor for the
resultant benefits.

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