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Re: groups

On Sat, Feb 09, 2002 at 01:24:29AM -0600, Greg Murphy wrote:
> I recently switched from slackware to debian. Under slack, when users
> were added they were defaultly added to the group "users". I see
> debian gives each user his/her own group.
> 1. Why did debian adopt this method? 

I don't know why it was originally adopted, but I can tell you why I
think it's a good idea. If you're working on a shared project with
another user, you'll want to make sure those files are group-writeable.
If you have all users in the same group, then it's not safe for any user
to have umask 002 by default, because everybody will be able to write to
all the files in their home directory. On the other hand, they'll have
to remember to use umask 002 when working on shared files, because
otherwise those files will only be writeable by them.

With one group per user, umask 002 is safe. All the files in your home
directory can be group-writeable, and it makes no difference - but when
you go to work on a shared project you don't have to remember to switch
the umask over.

(Another answer to this problem is "use CVS", granted, but I don't think
revision control is appropriate for each and every shared project.)

> 2. If say, I want to add two of my users to the same group, is it safe
> to add them to the already existing "users (GID=100)" group, or is
> this reserved for some program that comes with debian?

Go ahead, although personally I'd create a new group.

Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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