SETFSGID(2) Linux Programmer's Manual SETFSGID(2)
setfsgid - set group identity used for file system checks
#include <unistd.h> /* glibc uses <sys/fsuid.h> */
int setfsgid(uid_t fsgid);
The system call setfsgid() sets the group ID that the Linux kernel uses to check for all
accesses to the file system. Normally, the value of fsgid will shadow the value of the
effective group ID. In fact, whenever the effective group ID is changed, fsgid will also
be changed to the new value of the effective group ID.
Explicit calls to setfsuid(2) and setfsgid() are usually used only by programs such as the
Linux NFS server that need to change what user and group ID is used for file access with-
out a corresponding change in the real and effective user and group IDs. A change in the
normal user IDs for a program such as the NFS server is a security hole that can expose it
to unwanted signals. (But see below.)
setfsgid() will succeed only if the caller is the superuser or if fsgid matches either the
real group ID, effective group ID, saved set-group-ID, or the current value of fsgid.
On success, the previous value of fsgid is returned. On error, the current value of fsgid
This system call is present in Linux since version 1.2.
setfsgid() is Linux-specific and should not be used in programs intended to be portable.
When glibc determines that the argument is not a valid group ID, it will return -1 and set
errno to EINVAL without attempting the system call.
Note that at the time this system call was introduced, a process could send a signal to a
process with the same effective user ID. Today signal permission handling is slightly
The original Linux setfsgid() system call supported only 16-bit group IDs. Subsequently,
Linux 2.4 added setfsgid32() supporting 32-bit IDs. The glibc setfsgid() wrapper function
transparently deals with the variation across kernel versions.
No error messages of any kind are returned to the caller. At the very least, EPERM should
be returned when the call fails (because the caller lacks the CAP_SETGID capability).
kill(2), setfsuid(2), capabilities(7), credentials(7)
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project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at
Linux 2010-11-22 SETFSGID(2)