Manpage of GETGROUPS

GETGROUPS

Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
Updated: 2016-03-15
Index
 

NAME

getgroups, setgroups - get/set list of supplementary group IDs  

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <unistd.h>

int getgroups(int size, gid_t list[]);

#include <grp.h>

int setgroups(size_t size, const gid_t *list);

Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

setgroups():
    Since glibc 2.19:
        _DEFAULT_SOURCE
    Glibc 2.19 and earlier:
        _SVID_SOURCE  

DESCRIPTION

getgroups() returns the supplementary group IDs of the calling process in list. The argument sizeshould be set to the maximum number of items that can be stored in the buffer pointed to by list. If the calling process is a member of more than sizesupplementary groups, then an error results. It is unspecified whether the effective group ID of the calling process is included in the returned list. (Thus, an application should also call getegid(2) and add or remove the resulting value.)

If sizeis zero, listis not modified, but the total number of supplementary group IDs for the process is returned. This allows the caller to determine the size of a dynamically allocated listto be used in a further call to getgroups().

setgroups() sets the supplementary group IDs for the calling process. Appropriate privileges (Linux: the CAP_SETGIDcapability) are required. The sizeargument specifies the number of supplementary group IDs in the buffer pointed to by list.  

RETURN VALUE

On success, getgroups() returns the number of supplementary group IDs. On error, -1 is returned, and errnois set appropriately.

On success, setgroups() returns 0. On error, -1 is returned, and errnois set appropriately.  

ERRORS

EFAULT
listhas an invalid address.

getgroups() can additionally fail with the following error:

EINVAL
sizeis less than the number of supplementary group IDs, but is not zero.

setgroups() can additionally fail with the following errors:

EINVAL
sizeis greater than NGROUPS_MAX(32 before Linux 2.6.4; 65536 since Linux 2.6.4).
ENOMEM
Out of memory.
EPERM
The calling process has insufficient privilege (it does not have the CAP_SETGIDcapability).
EPERM (since Linux 3.19)
The use of setgroups() is denied in this user namespace. See the description of /proc/[pid]/setgroupsin user_namespaces(7).
 

CONFORMING TO

SVr4, 4.3BSD. The getgroups() function is in POSIX.1-2001 and POSIX.1-2008. Since setgroups() requires privilege, it is not covered by POSIX.1.  

NOTES

A process can have up to NGROUPS_MAXsupplementary group IDs in addition to the effective group ID. The constant NGROUPS_MAXis defined in <limits.h>. The set of supplementary group IDs is inherited from the parent process, and preserved across an execve(2).

The maximum number of supplementary group IDs can be found at run time using sysconf(3):

    long ngroups_max;
    ngroups_max = sysconf(_SC_NGROUPS_MAX);

The maximum return value of getgroups() cannot be larger than one more than this value. Since Linux 2.6.4, the maximum number of supplementary group IDs is also exposed via the Linux-specific read-only file, /proc/sys/kernel/ngroups_max.

The original Linux getgroups() system call supported only 16-bit group IDs. Subsequently, Linux 2.4 added getgroups32(), supporting 32-bit IDs. The glibc getgroups() wrapper function transparently deals with the variation across kernel versions.  

C library/kernel differences

At the kernel level, user IDs and group IDs are a per-thread attribute. However, POSIX requires that all threads in a process share the same credentials. The NPTL threading implementation handles the POSIX requirements by providing wrapper functions for the various system calls that change process UIDs and GIDs. These wrapper functions (including the one for setgroups()) employ a signal-based technique to ensure that when one thread changes credentials, all of the other threads in the process also change their credentials. For details, see nptl(7).  

SEE ALSO

getgid(2), setgid(2), getgrouplist(3), group_member(3), initgroups(3), capabilities(7), credentials(7)


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
RETURN VALUE
ERRORS
CONFORMING TO
NOTES
C library/kernel differences
SEE ALSO

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