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When I use ls -al to show files downloaded from internet,

-rw-rw-r--  1  427 6011    7544 Jul 20  2006 INSTALL
-rw-rw-r--  1  427 6011    4229 Dec  9 15:36 Makefile.am
-rw-rw-r--  1  427 6011   27893 Dec 10 17:47 Makefile.in

I can see the owner and group ids are shown because there are no corresponding entries in /etc/passwd and /etc/group respectively.

I don't know much about linux and dare not to edit these files, I wonder if somebody already knows whether linux would map the owner id of files coming from other computers to the account name in /etc/passwd and display them when necessary (for example, when using ls -al)?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The uid and gid there demonstrate the owner/group of the whoever created those files. In truth, since you downloaded them from the net and it appears to be a source tarball, they don't really matter. If you plan on using these files yourself in, lets say, your home directory you can just overwrite the uid and gid without having to fear that your computer will melt.

In this situation, what does matter is the fact that you are neither the owner nor part of the owning group for those files and the permissions are set so that you have no write access. To change this, you could simply change the owner/group via "sudo chown : *".

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