SUMMARY: Increasing max number of groups

From: Dave Haut (
Date: Mon Jul 08 1996 - 12:51:00 CDT


Sorry for the late summary, but I've been in class. Basically my fears
were correct, you can only have a max of 16 groups.

Thanks to and

The responses are below



About 2 weeks ago, I asked:

Hi Sun-stars,

According to the sun-managers FAQ, Subject 3.6, the max number of groups a
user can belong to is 16 ( for NFS v4.0 ).

Other people have told me that there is a way to increase this number by
modifying a kernel parameter ( I doubt it since it appears that it is an
NFS restriction ).

Does anybody know if there is indeed a way to increase the max number of groups
a user can belong to beyond 16 for BOTH solaris and SunOS ??

Thanks in advance,

  _ /| Dave Haut
  \,o.O' Sr. Sys Admin
  =(___)= Level One Communications
             (916) 854-2838


My observations are that Solaris supports up to 32, but NFS is still
restricted to 16.

I don't know about SunOS, but you can set the parameter ngroups_max
to allow solaris to support up to 32 groups. This works great until you
try NFS ops. If you set ngroups_max to higher than 16 in /etc/system,
and then perform an nfs op, you'll get lots of RPC authentication
errors. Ugly....

--Scott McBain

>From casper@holland.Sun.COM,

There is no such way. It's a limitation in AUTH_SYS w/ ONC RPC.

You can only have 16 groups (you can have more than 16 groups in Solaris as
user, but not using NFS).

Why are you needing that many groups? In Solaris 2.5 you may be better of
using ACLs.


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