How do I make there be no group owner of a file in Mac OSX, since

chgrp nogroup file

doesn't work? If I try, the group owner doesn't change at all.

2 Answers 2


Use chgrp nobody file instead.


You can't. Every file has to have an owner and a group.

There is, however, a common convention of having a user called nobody (usually with uid 65534) and a group called either nobody or nogroup (usually with gid 65534).

e.g. on my debian systems, I have:

$ getent group nogroup

$ getent passwd nobody

if nogroup doesn't exist on your Mac, try chgrp nobody file instead.

  • This answer jogged into mind a question I've had for a while, which I decided to post separately.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 4:18

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