Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to change the group of several files in Mac OS X using the group nogroup:

chown my_user:nogroup file.txt

Problem is that it does not change at all, although the nogroup is currently listed in /etc/group and Directory Service (I checked it with dscl . list /groups).

What can be happening?

EDIT: I wanted to do this because XAMMP user and group is nobody:nogroup, and I needed XAMMP's httpd server to be able to write in some directories. I ended up changing the group to _www, but curiosity made ask this question.


share|improve this question

migrated from Apr 28 '11 at 9:39

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Because the GID of nogroup is (intentionally) -1, which is an illegal GID for chown.

Why do you want to do that?

share|improve this answer
However, you can do it with nobody group, which is -2. That's why I got surprised. I've edited the question to clarify my purpose – elitalon Mar 11 '11 at 9:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.