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Grouping Users

Now that you have users on your system, you’ll need to do some management to get them set up correctly. One mechanism for that task is the group. A group is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of users who have some similarities. In this case the similarities are either permissions on files and directories or privileges granted, or both. This is effective because a user gets all the permissions granted to the groups in which the user is a member. By using the roles of the users, you can create groups and apply permissions to the groups rather than to the individual users. This is a role-based access model. For small numbers of users, building groups and adding only one user might seem silly, and for home users I agree that building a role-based access model isn’t required. However, if you own a small business or do work from home, you might want to build some groups to manage who gets access to what, just so it’s easy to maintain later. It is also sometimes helpful when setting permissions to have a group called HomeUsers to which you can apply permissions and that contains all the Users of your home system but not the Everyone Else group. This way you can easily apply permissions to Users without the exposure of granting the same access to everyone on the Internet as well.

In Windows NT 4.0, you can set up a HomeUsers group by accessing the User Manager application in the Administrative Tools menu selection. In Windows 2000, you access this functionality by going to the Administrative Tools applet in the Control Panel, choosing the Computer Management applet, and finding the Local Users and Groups under System Tools (as shown in Figures 2-3, 2-4, and 2-5).


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