When I list al groups I see one called 'nogroup'. What is this for? Is it supposed to be least privileged one or something? I'm using ubuntu 11.04.


nogroup is the group analog to the nobody user. It is used for unprivileged processes so that even if something goes wrong the process does not have the permissions to cause any serious damage to an important user or group.

  • 2
    Is there any sense in nobody/nogroup? I once found that ntpd in OpenSuSE was running as "nobody" - so if someone gets nobody he can kill my ntpd...
    – Nils
    Oct 13 '11 at 19:59
  • 8
    @Nils You are correct. The nobody user paradigm only works for a single service. The recommended practice is moving towards running each process as a separate user.
    – jw013
    Oct 13 '11 at 20:21

Debian's documentation for nogroup explains it as:

nogroup (user: nobody): Daemons that need not own any files run as user nobody and group nogroup. Thus, no files on a system should be owned by this user or group.

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