Section (7) credentials
credentials — process identifiers
Process ID (PID)
Each process has a unique nonnegative integer identifier
that is assigned when the process is created using
fork(2). A process can
obtain its PID using getpid(2). A PID is
represented using the type
pid_t (defined in
A process_zsingle_quotesz_s PID is preserved across an execve(2).
Parent process ID (PPID)
A process_zsingle_quotesz_s parent process ID identifies the process
that created this process using fork(2). A process can
obtain its PPID using getppid(2). A PPID is
represented using the type
A process_zsingle_quotesz_s PPID is preserved across an execve(2).
Process group ID and session ID
Sessions and process groups are abstractions devised to support shell job control. A process group (sometimes called a job) is a collection of processes that share the same process group ID; the shell creates a new process group for the process(es) used to execute single command or pipeline (e.g., the two processes created to execute the command ls | wc are placed in the same process group). A process_zsingle_quotesz_s group membership can be set using setpgid(2). The process whose process ID is the same as its process group ID is the process group leader for that group.
A session is a collection of processes that share the same session ID. All of the members of a process group also have the same session ID (i.e., all of the members of a process group always belong to the same session, so that sessions and process groups form a strict two-level hierarchy of processes.) A new session is created when a process calls setsid(2), which creates a new session whose session ID is the same as the PID of the process that called setsid(2). The creator of the session is called the session leader.
All of the processes in a session share a controlling terminal. The
controlling terminal is established when the session leader
first opens a terminal (unless the
O_NOCTTY flag is specified when calling
open(2)). A terminal may
be the controlling terminal of at most one session.
At most one of the jobs in a session may be the
other jobs in the session are background jobs. Only the
foreground job may read from the terminal; when a process
in the background attempts to read from the terminal, its
process group is sent a
SIGTTIN signal, which suspends the job.
TOSTOP flag has been
set for the terminal (see termios(3)), then only
the foreground job may write to the terminal; writes from
background job cause a
SIGTTOU signal to be generated, which
suspends the job. When terminal keys that generate a signal
(such as the
interrupt key, normally
control-C) are pressed, the signal is sent to the processes
in the foreground job.
Various system calls and library functions may operate
on all members of a process group, including kill(2), killpg(3), getpriority(2), setpriority(2), ioprio_get(2), ioprio_set(2), waitid(2), and waitpid(2). See also the
discussion of the
F_SETOWN_EX operations in fcntl(2).
User and group identifiers
Each process has various associated user and group IDs.
These IDs are integers, respectively represented using the
gid_t (defined in
On Linux, each process has the following user and group identifiers:
Effective user ID and effective group ID. These IDs are used by the kernel to determine the permissions that the process will have when accessing shared resources such as message queues, shared memory, and semaphores. On most UNIX systems, these IDs also determine the permissions when accessing files. However, Linux uses the filesystem IDs described below for this task. A process can obtain its effective user (group) ID using geteuid(2) (getegid(2)).
Saved set-user-ID and saved set-group-ID. These IDs are used in set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs to save a copy of the corresponding effective IDs that were set when the program was executed (see execve(2)). A set-user-ID program can assume and drop privileges by switching its effective user ID back and forth between the values in its real user ID and saved set-user-ID. This switching is done via calls to seteuid(2), setreuid(2), or setresuid(2). A set-group-ID program performs the analogous tasks using setegid(2), setregid(2), or setresgid(2). A process can obtain its saved set-user-ID (set-group-ID) using getresuid(2) (getresgid(2)).
Filesystem user ID and filesystem group ID (Linux-specific). These IDs, in conjunction with the supplementary group IDs described below, are used to determine permissions for accessing files; see path_resolution(7) for details. Whenever a process_zsingle_quotesz_s effective user (group) ID is changed, the kernel also automatically changes the filesystem user (group) ID to the same value. Consequently, the filesystem IDs normally have the same values as the corresponding effective ID, and the semantics for file-permission checks are thus the same on Linux as on other UNIX systems. The filesystem IDs can be made to differ from the effective IDs by calling setfsuid(2) and setfsgid(2).
Supplementary group IDs. This is a set of additional group IDs that are used for permission checks when accessing files and other shared resources. On Linux kernels before 2.6.4, a process can be a member of up to 32 supplementary groups; since kernel 2.6.4, a process can be a member of up to 65536 supplementary groups. The call
sysconf(_SC_NGROUPS_MAX)can be used to determine the number of supplementary groups of which a process may be a member. A process can obtain its set of supplementary group IDs using getgroups(2), and can modify the set using setgroups(2).
A child process created by fork(2) inherits copies of its parent_zsingle_quotesz_s user and groups IDs. During an execve(2), a process_zsingle_quotesz_s real user and group ID and supplementary group IDs are preserved; the effective and saved set IDs may be changed, as described in execve(2).
Aside from the purposes noted above, a process_zsingle_quotesz_s user IDs are also employed in a number of other contexts:
when determining the permissions for sending signals (see kill(2));
when determining the permissions for setting process-scheduling parameters (nice value, real time scheduling policy and priority, CPU affinity, I/O priority) using setpriority(2), sched_setaffinity(2), sched_setscheduler(2), sched_setparam(2), sched_setattr(2), and ioprio_set(2);
when checking resource limits (see getrlimit(2));
when checking the limit on the number of inotify instances that the process may create (see inotify(7)).
Process IDs, parent process IDs, process group IDs, and session IDs are specified in POSIX.1. The real, effective, and saved set user and groups IDs, and the supplementary group IDs, are specified in POSIX.1. The filesystem user and group IDs are a Linux extension.
Various fields in the
/proc/[pid]/status file show the process
credentials described above. See proc(5) for further
The POSIX threads specification requires that credentials are shared by all of the threads in a process. However, at the kernel level, Linux maintains separate user and group credentials for each thread. The NPTL threading implementation does some work to ensure that any change to user or group credentials (e.g., calls to setuid(2), setresuid(2)) is carried through to all of the POSIX threads in a process. See nptl(7) for further details.
bash(1), csh(1), groups(1), id(1), newgrp(1), ps(1), runuser(1), setpriv(1), sg(1), su(1), access(2), execve(2), faccessat(2), fork(2), getgroups(2), getpgrp(2), getpid(2), getppid(2), getsid(2), kill(2), setegid(2), seteuid(2), setfsgid(2), setfsuid(2), setgid(2), setgroups(2), setpgid(2), setresgid(2), setresuid(2), setsid(2), setuid(2), waitpid(2), euidaccess(3), initgroups(3), killpg(3), tcgetpgrp(3), tcgetsid(3), tcsetpgrp(3), group(5), passwd(5), shadow(5), capabilities(7), namespaces(7), path_resolution(7), pid_namespaces(7), pthreads(7), signal(7), unix(7), user_namespaces(7), sudo(8)
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