I have a file where I want there to be not one but two groups who can have extra privileges to access it. But when I chown or chgrp it to a group it always erases the previous group. How do I add a group owner without deleting the existing group owner.

Thanks you so much for the help :D

  • Either make a new group that has all members of the other two groups as member (that's the "classic" unix way), or use ACLs.
    – dirkt
    Oct 22, 2022 at 6:06
  • @dirkt is it possible to directly add a group itself (such that it automatically adjusts if one of the two groups gains or loses members) to another group or do you have to add all the users in said groups Oct 22, 2022 at 23:32
  • No, you cannot add a group to itself. But classical Unix (before ACLs were introduced) all used groups the way I described: You have lots of groups, and each group represents "some kind of collection I want to set permissions for". And not "some group of users that somehow reflect my organization". That worked well, and it took me about one decade of using Unix to catch up with this way of thinking.
    – dirkt
    Oct 23, 2022 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


ACLs are the answer. Hope this helps!


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