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/etc/group group tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 25, 2015

Question: What is the /etc/group dba group used for?  Why is it important to have an  /etc/group dba in UNIX/Linux?

Answer: The /etc/group holds information regarding security group definitions.

When a UNIX/Linux user is assigned to the /etc/group dba group, they are OS-level DBA work such as starting and stopping the database and listener services. This is referred as SYSDBA privileges.

Attempting a privileged operation without being assigned to the /etc/group dba group leads to the ORA-0103 insufficient privileges error.

Groups are defined in a file called /etc/group. Each line of the /etc/group file contains group data separated by a colon ":". This file defines each group and contains the following values:

   group name : group_nbr : members of the group

Here is an example of an /etc/group file:

root> cat /etc/group


Now see how user information is stored inside UNIX.  Note that there are the colon-delimited columns in /etc/group:

1:  The name of the group (dba)

2:  The number of the group (102)

3:  A comma-delimited list of users who are assigned to the dba group

For Windows groups, see my notes on ora_dba group tips.

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