Ubuntu – Does the file owner appear as ‘user # 1004’

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When I view properties of a file, the file owner appears as ‘user # 1004’. Why doesn’t it show the user name? I tried asking at #ubuntu but nobody answered.

Best Answer

The file system itself only stores the numeric user and group ID for a file, it does not store the names. The name comes from the running system's /etc/passwd and /etc/group.

If you mount the same filesystem on another system, that numeric ID might not correspond to the same user or group name. Or, it may not correspond to any user or group, in which case it will appear only by its number, no matter where you view it.

Another situation in which this may occur is if you have deleted the user or group since the file's ownership information was set.