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Re: Owner/Group showing up as "??????????" on some Windows files despite mkpasswd/mkgroup

On 1/2/2011 7:08 PM, aputerguy wrote:

Larry Hall (Cygwin) wrote:

On 1/2/2011 9:09 AM, aputerguy wrote:
Csaba Raduly-2 wrote:

On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 7:59 AM, aputerguy wrote:
If trustedinstaller is a valid file owner then I would like it to
show up as the file owner in cygwin so that rsync transfers it over
properly. Presumably this would mean adding it to my /etc/passwd file
though I'm not sure what would be the best entry to use.

On the other hand if trustedinstaller SHOULD NOT be owning any files
and its just an error on my windows system then I would like to
correct the file ownership in windows so that the files have the
correct owners.

On Windows 7 and Vista, "trustedinstaller" owns (and is supposed to own) all the files of the OS:
(quoted in

If so, wouldn't it make sense to add trustedinstaller to the passwd and group file to distinguish those files that have a legitimate ownership from others that truly may be owned by an unknown user?

Sure. But the point is that the SID isn't considered a Windows user so that's why it doesn't show up by default. As a work-around for now, you can add a line like this to your '/etc/passwd' file:

TrustedInstaller:unused:80:544:Trusted Installer,U-NT

(The above is all on one line)

This will make "TrustedInstaller" show up as the user, just like you will
see in Windows.  The group is still '????????' though.  I'll leave
tracking down the proper SID for the group as an exercise for the reader.

- Are you aware of any other "non-user" users& groups on a typical Vista/Windows7 installation that I should be looking out for and making ad-hoc adjustments for as above?

No but that doesn't mean Windows doesn't have them. ;-)

- Just so I can understand, can someone explain to me the rationale for not
having cygwin by default be able to recognize such an incredibly common and
seemingly standard owner of files as the TrustedInstaller ssid? I'm not sure
I understand the benefit of mapping such a common and known owner to the
'????????' notation which is supposed to be for unknown users and groups.

I mean from a user perspective, I don't see the downside of not including
any standard user who is likely to own files. I mean just like in regular
*nix, we create users for services such as mail, apache, etc that are likely
to be owning and/or requiring access to files, why wouldn't we do the same
on Windows?

The reason is simple. Virtual users aren't enumerated by the standard Windows APIs that provide all the other user SIDs. So, we don't get this covered for free. We need more code. It's just a case of <>.

You can be the first on your block to offer a patch to Cygwin to handle
this. :-)



A: Yes.
Q: Are you sure?
A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

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