Make new user sub-folders inherit parent permissions

John Hupp lubuntu at
Mon Jan 21 00:40:38 UTC 2013

On 1/20/2013 2:27 PM, Ioannis Vranos wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 8:56 PM, John Hupp <lubuntu at> wrote:
>> This opens up yet more questions.  /etc/passwd only contains the original
>> GID's for user1 and user2.  It does not reflect that both have now been also
>> added to the "users" group.  So it seems that more than one user/group
>> configuration system is being supported.
>> I have been reading today the manpages for adduser, addgroup, and
>> adduser.conf.  Interestingly, it does not document where it stores the
>> configuration information -- perhaps because adduser and addgroup are only
>> front-ends for useradd and groupadd.  There is no mention of /etc/passwd,
>> for instance.
>> But apart from that, Lubuntu's GUI tool for Users and Groups is users-admin
>> (which I used for my customizations), and I have not yet found any handy
>> documentation for that.  There may be something somewhere at
>>, but I have not found it yet.  But poking around a bit in
>> the interface, I see that it does not even show that user1 is a member of
>> the user1 group, and likewise with user2.  So again, that indicates to me
>> that more than one user/group configuration system in effect.
> Users can belong to many groups, one of them is the "primary group".
> You can change a user's primary group, from the Users and Groups
> program. Select the user, and go to Advanced Settings->Advanced->Main
> group.
OK, thanks to all who have responded so far.

 From the several responses here and additional reading, I'm glad to 
come to the understanding that there is only one set of user/group 
configuration information (/etc/passwd, /etc/group and /etc/shadow), 
though it can be managed by different available tools.  (This in 
contrast to network configuration, which really does support two 
different configuration systems.)

For a case where it is desirable for a couple users to work with the 
same set of files, I'm now thinking that my fundamental approach was not 
quite right and that I do not need to involve or maybe should not 
involve the "users" system group.

What I'm now thinking should be the setup:
1) Assign /home/user1 as the co-home directory for user2.
2) Assign user2 to the user1 group as user2's *primary* group.
3) Leave the ownership of /home/user1 as Owner: user1 and Group: user1.  
With the /home/user1 permissions such that owner and group can edit, 
user1 and user2 should then be able to freely create, access and edit 
everything in /home/user1.
4) Delete /home/user2.

I expect then that this would solve my original problem in which new 
sub-folders did not inherit ownership by the "users" group. And maybe 
better respects Linux design principles.

Is that a good and workable proposed setup?  Is there any obvious 
consideration I am missing?

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