Sticky bit Change ??

bsd info bsdinfo at
Fri Jul 16 13:33:29 UTC 2010

Hello all,


Thank you for your response in advance.


I am running i386 FreeBSD 7.2 p4 on an HP DL380 G2.  I upgraded from 6.1 p23
in March but the machine was built last fall.  I am not at liberty to
upgrade the machine due to its purpose.  However I agree it is time.  I had
been using sticky bits set on directories to allow groups of users to upload
files but making sure only the file or directory owner could modify the
file.  The directory owner would retrieve the file and delete it.  It seems
that my later release no longer allows the directory owner to manipulate
(delete) the files.  This functioned in the earlier release.


The documentation sees to be at odds.  The current Freebsd Handbook claims
that only the file owner is allowed to manipulate a file loaded in the
directory where the sticky bit is set.  However, in the man pages, sticky(8)
claims that root, the directory owner, and the file owner are allowed to
manipulate (write/delete) the file.


It appears that I have found a bug in documentation or code.  Can you tell
me where the issue is, code or documentation?    If this is a conscious
change by the project, can you suggest an alternate method to achieve the


I apologize if I missed documentation that describes this as a change.


Thank you,



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