what is operator group for?

perryh at pluto.rain.com perryh at pluto.rain.com
Sun Dec 31 14:13:18 PST 2006

> can anyone tell me what the operator group is for, or docs where I can
> read about it? I see that /sbin/shutdown and /sbin/mk_snap_ffs are both 
> executable by members and various things in /dev/ are mountable by them.

My understanding is that group "operator" is intended for those who
deal with devices, e.g. running backups and monitoring printers.

> I want a regular user to be able to mount removeable media and shutdown 
> the computer. If I make them a member of operator group what else am I
> allowing them to do?

With the usual permission settings, you are also allowing them to read
disks directly (e.g. with dump(8)), and thus to read any file on the
system -- including the system's and other users' private key files.

One alternative is sudo.

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