Unix-like operating systems identify users within the kernel by a value called a user identifier, often abbreviated to UID or User ID. The UID, along with the GID and other access control criteria, is used to determine which system resources a user can access. The password file maps textual usernames to UIDs, but in the kernel, only UID’s are used. UID’s are stored in the inodes of the Unix file system, running processes, tar archives, and the now-obsolete Network Information Service. In POSIX-compliant environments, the command-line command id gives the current user’s UID, as well as more information such as the user name, primary user group and group identifier (GID).
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