I installed the Security Update 2020-001 for High Sierra. As a result of this, I am no longer able to use sudo. It just exits with the message

sudo: 4294967295: invalid value

As requested, here are the two id results:

> id $(whoami)
uid=501(my_username) gid=20(staff) groups=20(staff),12(everyone),

> id root
uid=0(root) gid=0(wheel) groups=0(wheel),4294967295(nogroup)

The culprit seems to be root being in the nogroup group which has an "invalid" id.

Having a look at /etc/group, the group has an id of -1.

> grep nogroup /etc/group 

Figured out how to list group memberships on macOS:

> dscl . read /Groups/nogroup
AppleMetaNodeLocation: /Local/Default
Password: *
PrimaryGroupID: -1
 No Group
RecordName: nogroup
RecordType: dsRecTypeStandard:Groups

The group does not have any members. And I don't seem to be able to find the root user on this system:

> dscl . read /Users/root
<dscl_cmd> DS Error: -14136 (eDSRecordNotFound)

New question: How do I remove root from the nogroup?


While trying to enable the root user, I got the error

dsenableroot:: ***Failed to enable root user.

So I looked into that and found out thanks to an answer to Why would dsenableroot NOT work on a 10.7.5 OSX Server? that I had to check my root user in the file /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/users/root.plist.

Sadly, the file was missing. And this was the root cause of the problem: I didn't had a root user. After copying it from another macOS installation,

  • sudo started working again
  • id did no longer show the membership to nogroup
  • the command dscl . read /Users/root said that it finally found a user
  • and I was able to find root in the directory browser

In my opinion this is related with root being member of No Group (nogroup, groupids: 4294967295 and -1!).

My root user was enabled before running the Security Update 2020-001 for High Sierra. I didn't encounter this problem.

Your question and additional details suggest that your root user wasn't enabled.

To follow the steps below you probably have to enable root first in Directory Utility > Edit > Enable Root User!

To remove root from the group No Group you have to open Directory Utility and unlock it:

enter image description here

Hit Directory Editor and navigate to Groups in node /Local/Default

Choose No Group and remove root from GroupMembership and FFFFEEEE-DDDD-CCCC-BBBB-AAAA00000000 (= root) from GroupMembers.

enter image description here

A reboot is not necessary.

I tested this the other way round by adding root/FFFFEEEE-DDDD-CCCC-BBBB-AAAA00000000 to the respective attributs.

With root being member of No Group I get the following result executing some sudo ... command:

host:~ user$ sudo ls
sudo: 4294967295,701,33,98,100,204,250,395,398,399: invalid value

After removing root from No Group sudo ... works as expected.

  • Thanks for the time you spend on composing this answer. It is really appreciated. It didn't solved my problem, but hopefully someone else problem. Will compose an answer on how I solved my problem. It needed some inspiration from another one of your answers here :). +1 – rollstuhlfahrer Feb 25 '20 at 21:15

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