The Linux /etc/group file

The /etc/group file stores information about groups. By default, it can be viewed by every user, bot modified only by root. This file is modified by the groupadd or groupmod commands:

$ ls -l /etc/group
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1164 2012-06-02 16:18 /etc/group

The /etc/group file contains a line for each group. Every line has 4 fields delimited by colon (:) :

< /etc/group grep test
test:x:1035:

  • groupname
  • password – usually, x is displayed.
  • GID – the group’s ID
  • users – the users contained by the group (the user with the same name as the group is not displayed here)

This /etc/group is also an important file in the Linux system.

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