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/etc/group is a text file which defines the groups to which users belong under Linux and UNIX operating system.

In Unix and Linux distributions multiple users can be categorized into groups. In Linux file system permissions are organized into three distinct classes, user, group, and others.

/etc/group file


  1. group_name: It is the name of group. If you run ls -l command, you will see this name printed in the group field.
  2. Password: Generally password is not used, hence it is empty/blank. It can store encrypted password. This is useful to implement privileged groups.
  3. Group ID (GID): Each user must be assigned a group ID.
  4. Group List: It is a list of user names of users who are members of the group.

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One thought on “/etc/group – Linux Groups & File Formats”

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