Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Thu Dec 11 07:00:53 PST 2003

"jonathan" <jonathan at> writes:

> Hi, i'm jonathan and i'm running a freebsd 4.8 box.
> i wish to increase the value of  NGROUPS_MAX into /usr/src/sys/sys/syslimits.h.
> I'd like to know how increasing that number to permit users from /etc/passwd to be member of more than 16 groups will affect system performances. 

Depends on how the systems is used, to some extent.  You probably
won't notice it as long as it doesn't get ridiculously large.  I
realize that statement is a circular definition, but an accurate
answer would, well, depend on how the system is used.

> What will be an acceptable value for NGROUPS_MAX?
> I know this number is set to 32 in suse linux....

I suspect doubling it would be fine, but trying it is the best way to

> I know that ACL is a better way but i wont use it until it's stable under 5.x freebsd and that 5.x is recomended for production issues.

If your application really requires this sort of thing, 5.x might be
more stable for your application than 4.x.  Or maybe you should
describe how you're getting to need so many groups, and see if someone
can suggest a better way without the groups...

> About how doing that change...
> Is it just about changing the value and reboot the machine or there is some recompilation matter linked to that change?

You have to rebuild everything that uses it, of course.  I'd recommend
a full system rebuild.

Lowell Gilbert, embedded/networking software engineer, Boston area: 
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