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If I have a file that's owned by Me and is in group staff, I can chown Me:admin and chown Me:Me but in order to chown Me:staff I must sudo chown Me:staff to avoid an "Operation not permitted" error.

Why can't I change ownership to staff without sudo?


I'm running OS X (10.8.2) and in addition to Me, groups reports com.apple.access_screensharing everyone _appstore localaccounts admin _lpadmin _lpoperator _developer.

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Because you can't "give away" files (i.e., change ownership or change group ownership to a group that you don't belong to).

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  • So if I were a member of staff, I could. That makes sense. But it's odd that the default group for files on OS X one that I (the only user, and admin) am not a member of (by default, I think).
    – orome
    Feb 6 '13 at 1:51

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