[TUHS] [COFF] Will someone please explain the history and usage of gpasswd / newgrp / sg?

Arrigo Triulzi arrigo at alchemistowl.org
Tue Nov 16 02:26:03 AEST 2021

On 15 Nov 2021, at 17:11, Grant Taylor via COFF <coff at minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:
> I've run across them again recently while reading old Unix texts.  I've been aware of them for years, but I've never actually used them for anything beyond kicking the tires.  So I figured that I'd inquire of the hive mind that is TUHS / COFF.

The only time I ever used it was back in the early ‘90s when on a SunOS system (dirac, for friends) it was used to allow graduate students access to the grading database (i.e. a text file) which was within a directory normally only accessible to teaching staff. The directory was group writable to a special “marking group” to which the various graduate students were added each term.

We’d "newgrp grades” and type the password we had been given to be able to edit the file and add the grades for the assessments we had marked (for food money).

I eventually became root on the machine and found my “su -“ screen to be a faster solution to accessing the file (sorry Franco, should you ever read this).



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