File create permissions, what am I missing?

Brooks Davis brooks at
Fri Aug 12 23:37:29 GMT 2005

On Fri, Aug 12, 2005 at 06:34:34PM -0300, João Carlos Mendes Luis wrote:
> In a directory with -rwxrwxrwx, any user can create files, but who should 
> be the owner/group of this file?
> Long time ago in Unix history, the owner would be the user who created the 
> file, and the group would be the users's primary group.
> Later, IIRC, if the directory group was one of the user's secondary groups, 
> the file would also be from this group.
> A later modification defined that a setgid directory would effect in all 
> files created belonging to the directory's user.
> Am I correct?
> But I have already tested 3 system, 2 with 5-stable and 1 with 4-stable, in 
> which the created file inside a -rwxrwxrwx directory is created belonging 
> to the directory's group, WITHOUT the setgid bit.  What did I miss?

On BSD systems, the group of a file is always the group of the directory
it is in.  This differs from SysV UNIX.  The resident grey-beard at work
feels this is a new and annoying behavior. (i.e. it wasn't always this
way. :)

-- Brooks

Any statement of the form "X is the one, true Y" is FALSE.
PGP fingerprint 655D 519C 26A7 82E7 2529  9BF0 5D8E 8BE9 F238 1AD4
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