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I'm struggling with the SGID command.

Given the following situation:

----rws--- 1 simon simon 233 nov 24 13:52 hosts

Why can't a user open/edit this file?

  • What is the name of the user opening this file? – Anthon Nov 24 '13 at 14:25
  • Normally, a group named after a user (simon in your case) will only contain that user by default. Are you sure the user opening this file is in the simon group? – Joseph R. Nov 24 '13 at 14:28
  • @Anthon: alice, she isn't in the simon group. – user52999 Nov 24 '13 at 14:32
  • @JosephR.: I would like to open/edit the file without being part of the simon group hence why I chose for SGID. – user52999 Nov 24 '13 at 14:32
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The SGID bit will not help you edit a file if you don't belong to the group owning it. The SGID bit on files is mainly useful for running a script with the file's group as your EGID (effective group ID).

To open the file, you still need read permissions to it (i.e. either it should be world-readable or you should be a member of its owning group). Similarly, to edit it, you need write permissions to it.

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