Questions about groups.

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon May 4 19:02:36 UTC 2009

On Mon, 4 May 2009 21:18:34 +0700, Old Crankbuster <crankbuster at> wrote:
> Coming from Gnu/Linux, I see differences in group generation on regular
> user generation, and there's a group I'm not familiar with - 'operator'.
> What does that one do?

The operator groupt allows its users to perform some operator tasks,
without needing them to be in the wheel group. It's like a "limited
root permissions" group. You'll find some programs that are +x for
this group (for example /sbin/shutdown).

> I'm familiar with 'staff' and I've added my normal user to that, [...]

I've often seen that FreeBSD defaults to user name = group name
for the adduser script, but I usually use the staff group, as you
do. Further fine grained parameters for user and group preferences
can be set in an environment where you have more than one user.

> [...] and of
> course 'wheel'.

Why "of course"? :-)

> I intend to use the system on a laptop in this case, [...]

Typical single user setting.

> [...] and need to enable
> regular user access to audio, cdrom/dvd read and write, usb access, and
> network reconfiguration/dialout, games and so forth.

There are several groups that you can add your user to, but because
you're already in wheel, you don't have to (such as the "dialer"
group for ppp).

> I am not seeing such things as plugdev,audio,cdrom in etc/group after
> initial install.

No, they seem to be "Linuxisms". :-)

> Do I need to manually add such groups and then point relevant packages
> to them?

No. What should happen then? How should that work? :-)

FreeBSD manages the things you're requiring through two important
files: /etc/devfs.conf (and /etc/devfs.rules) and /etc/devd.conf.

The devfs files control the virtual device file system. It allows
you to have permissions on a per-device file basis. These files are
those that are present from system startup on.

The devd file controls how the system should react if it detects
new devices while it's already running.

See the manpages for these files. Yes, they do exist. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list