what does the flag "-u" in a OPTIONS line of a sysconfig file mean in linux?

example - in the file /etc/sysconfig/ntpd:

OPTIONS="-u ntp:ntp"

  • which sysconfig file ? – user9517 Jan 4 '17 at 17:48
  • Absolutely nothing. You need to figure out where the -u is being used and look at the man page for that command to find out. Here I suspect that would be man ntpd. As for sysconfig, that's just a variable being set. – yoonix Jan 4 '17 at 17:48
  • updated in question. it's the ntpd file. one of the many sysconfig files on the operating system. – arcee123 Jan 4 '17 at 17:50

I am going to guess that in this particular case it means user and that the ntp:ntp means user ntp and group ntp. I would though expect it to be application specific.

From the ntpd(8) man pages

   -u user[:group]
           Specify  a  user,  and  optionally  a group, to switch to. This
           option is only available if the OS supports running the  server
           without  full  root  privileges. Currently, this option is sup‐
           ported under  NetBSD  (configure  with  --enable-clockctl)  and
           Linux (configure with --enable-linuxcaps).
| improve this answer | |
  • is it normal to have a ntp user to run this, is that a default system user? – arcee123 Jan 4 '17 at 17:52

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