I found a strange thing while playing with pi3B. I want to create a file in /sys/class/gpio (just poking around, no specific reason) but I get a Permission Denied. Below is some information.

pi@raspberrypi:/sys/class/gpio $ groups
pi adm dialout cdrom sudo audio video plugdev games users input netdev gpio i2c spi
pi@raspberrypi:/sys/class/gpio $ ls -ld .
drwxrwx--- 2 root gpio 0 May  6 00:28 .
pi@raspberrypi:/sys/class/gpio $ touch somefile
touch: cannot touch 'somefile': Permission denied

As you can see, I am in group gpio and the group has the write permission of directory /sys/class/gpio.

So the question is Why I can't create new files in /sys/class/gpio even if the group I am a part of has the permission.

I tried relogin and reboot after add the pi user to group gpio and that's several days ago.

OS: raspbian stretch

tried newgrp newgrp

  • Have you try with newgrp gpio command (and then touch ...)? – Romeo Ninov May 6 '18 at 7:40
  • @RomeoNinov just tried, see Edit. – Charles May 6 '18 at 7:50
  • 1
    We see that. But you have posted an image. Please avoid that and post text version whenever available. – LinuxSecurityFreak May 6 '18 at 7:51
  • @Vlastimil OK I will pay attention to that next time(original text is gone now). thx. – Charles May 6 '18 at 7:55

/sys directory is special. You can't just poke around and create files

Wikipedia excerpt:

Modern Linux distributions include a /sys directory as a virtual filesystem (sysfs, comparable to /proc, which is a procfs), which stores and allows modification of the devices connected to the system, whereas many traditional UNIX and Unix-like operating systems use /sys as a symbolic link to the kernel source tree.

Entries in /sys are created by the kernel and by drivers; you cannot just create them from the command-line. You might edit some as root, but you cannot generally make new ones from userspace except by loading kernel modules or otherwise installing drivers or modifying the kernel.

  • Just noticed that I cannot create files even when I am root. That explains a lot. Thanks. – Charles May 6 '18 at 8:04

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