setuid

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       int setuid(uid_t uid);

DESCRIPTION
       setuid()  sets  the  effective  user ID of the calling process.  If the
       effective UID of the caller is root (more precisely: if the caller  has
       the CAP_SETUID capability), the real UID and saved set-user-ID are also
       set.

       Under Linux, setuid() is implemented like the POSIX  version  with  the
       _POSIX_SAVED_IDS  feature.  This allows a set-user-ID (other than root)
       program to drop all of its user privileges, do some un-privileged work,
       and then reengage the original effective user ID in a secure manner.

       If  the  user  is root or the program is set-user-ID-root, special care
       must be taken.  The setuid() function checks the effective user  ID  of
       the  caller  and  if it is the superuser, all process-related user ID's
       are set to uid.  After this has occurred, it is impossible for the pro-
       gram to regain root privileges.

       Thus, a set-user-ID-root program wishing to temporarily drop root priv-
       ileges, assume the identity of an unprivileged user,  and  then  regain
       root privileges afterward cannot use setuid().  You can accomplish this
       with seteuid(2).

RETURN VALUE
       On success, zero is returned.  On error, -1 is returned, and  errno  is
       set appropriately.

       Note:  there  are cases where setuid() can fail even when the caller is
       UID 0; it is a grave security error to  omit  checking  for  a  failure
       return from setuid().

ERRORS
       EAGAIN The  call would change the caller's real UID (i.e., uid does not
              match the caller's real UID), but there was a temporary  failure
              allocating the necessary kernel data structures.

       EAGAIN uid  does not match the real user ID of the caller and this call
              would bring the number of processes belonging to the  real  user
              ID  uid  over  the  caller's RLIMIT_NPROC resource limit.  Since
              Linux 3.1, this error case no longer occurs (but robust applica-
              tions  should  check  for  this  error);  see the description of
              EAGAIN in execve(2).

       EINVAL The user ID specified in uid is not valid in  this  user  names-
              pace.

       EPERM  The  user is not privileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_SETUID
              capability) and uid does not match the real UID  or  saved  set-
              user-ID of the calling process.

       The original Linux setuid() system call supported only 16-bit user IDs.
       Subsequently, Linux 2.4 added setuid32() supporting  32-bit  IDs.   The
       glibc  setuid() wrapper function transparently deals with the variation
       across kernel versions.

   C library/kernel differences
       At the kernel level, user IDs and group IDs are a per-thread attribute.
       However,  POSIX  requires  that all threads in a process share the same
       credentials.  The  NPTL  threading  implementation  handles  the  POSIX
       requirements  by  providing  wrapper  functions  for the various system
       calls that change process  UIDs  and  GIDs.   These  wrapper  functions
       (including  the  one  for  setuid()) employ a signal-based technique to
       ensure that when one thread  changes  credentials,  all  of  the  other
       threads in the process also change their credentials.  For details, see
       nptl(7).

SEE ALSO
       getuid(2), seteuid(2), setfsuid(2), setreuid(2), capabilities(7),  cre-
       dentials(7), user_namespaces(7)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 4.04 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs,  and  the
       latest     version     of     this    page,    can    be    found    at
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux                             2015-07-23                         SETUID(2)
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