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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Groups in Linux
3.
Listing all the Groups in Linux
3.1.
Using /etc/group file
3.2.
Using the ‘cut’ and ‘sort’ commands
3.3.
Using the ‘awk’ command
3.4.
Using the ‘getent’ command
3.5.
Using the ‘id’ command
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
What are the groups in Linux?
4.2.
How to create and delete a group in Linux?
4.3.
How to list all the groups of ‘/etc/group’?
4.4.
How to list all the group names of Linux in a sorted manner?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

How to List All Group in Linux

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Speaker
Anubhav Sinha
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12 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Welcome to Coding Ninjas; Today, we are going to discuss an important topic in the world of Linux ‘How to List All Group in Linux’. In this article, we will discuss what are the groups in Linux and how to list all groups in Linux. We will also discuss some frequently asked questions related to groups in Linux, So I will strongly recommend you read these questions and answers.

If you want to read about groups in Linux in detail, I’ll recommend you read this article on ‘Linux - Groups’.

How to List All Groups in Linux

Also read, Features of linux operating system

Groups in Linux

Groups are the collections of users with their permissions to the system. These groups can be divided on the basis of permissions of group level, such as some users can have different permissions to the system.

The details related to these groups of users are stored at the location /etc/group. Users can view this file and can view information such as group names, encrypted passwords, group identification, and user name.

Here’s an example of the group and its user:

coding_ninjas:y:1004:ninja

In the above example, ‘coding_ninjas’ is a group name, ‘y’ is an encrypted password, ‘1004’ is a group identification number, and ‘ninja’ is the name of the user.

If you want to read more about the groups and their commands, you can read this article on ‘Linux - Groups’.

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Listing all the Groups in Linux

Here is the main topic of our today's article, to list all the groups in Linux. There are several ways to list all the groups in Linux, are following:

Using /etc/group file

We can view the contents of the file /etc/group with the command cat in the text editor. This file contains information about all the groups of users in the Linux system. This is the command to list all the groups; multiple lines will be shown in the output. Each line contains the group names, encrypted passwords, group identification, and user name.

cat /etc/group

 

Here’s an example output of listing the groups using the cat command:

root:x:0:
users:x:100:
developers:x:1000:user1,user2,codingninja
ninjas:x:2000:user3,codingninja,codingninja2

 

In this example, the /etc/group file lists four groups:

  1. The "root" group has a group ID (GID) of 0 and doesn't have any specific users listed.
     
  2. The "users" group has a GID of 100 and doesn't have any specific users listed.
     
  3. The "developers" group has a GID of 1000 and includes "user1," "user2," and "codingninja" as members.
     
  4. The "ninjas" group has a GID of 2000 and includes "user3," "codingninja," and "codingninja2" as members.

Using the ‘cut’ and ‘sort’ commands

The ‘cut’ and ‘sort’ commands can be used to extract and sort the group names in the file /etc/group. This method is used not to show additional information about the groups.

cut -d: -f1 /etc/group | sort

 

Here’s an example output of listing the groups using the ‘cut’ and ‘short’ commands:

codingninja
codingninja2
developers
ninjas
root
users

 

In this example, the group names from the /etc/group file are extracted using the cut command and sorted alphabetically using the sort command. The group names "codingninja" and "codingninja2" are listed first, followed by "developers," "ninjas," "root," and "users."

Using the ‘awk’ command

The ‘awk’ command is used to list the group names from the file /etc/group, where we can manipulate and extract the data in a powerful manner.

awk -F: '{print $1}' /etc/group

 

Here’s an example output of listing the groups using the ‘awk’ command:

codingninja
codingninja2
developers
ninjas
root
users

 

In this example, the ‘awk’ command is used with the ‘-F’ option to specify the field separator as ":". The ‘{print $1}’ statement tells awk to print the first field (which is the group name) from each line of the ‘/etc/group’ file. The output is then sorted alphabetically.

Using the ‘getent’ command

In this method, The ‘getent’ command is used to retrieve the entries from the various databases, including the group database.

getent group

 

Here’s an example output of listing the groups using the ‘getent’ command:

codingninja:x:1001:
codingninja2:x:1002:
developers:x:1000:
ninjas:x:2000:
root:x:0:
users:x:100:

 

In this example, the ‘getent group’ command is used to retrieve the group entries from the system's group database. Each line represents a group and includes the group name, group password (usually 'x' indicating it is stored in the ‘/etc/gshadow’ file), and group ID (GID). The group names "codingninja" and "codingninja2" are listed first, followed by "developers," "ninjas," "root," and "users".

Using the ‘id’ command

The ‘id’ command is used to list the group names of the logged-in user. This command is used with the ‘-Gn’ option.

id -Gn


Here’s an example output of listing the groups using the ‘id’ command:

user adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare codingninja ninjas


In this example, the id -Gn command lists the group names of the currently logged-in user. The output includes various group names such as "user," "adm," "cdrom," "sudo," "dip," "plugdev," "lpadmin," "sambashare," "codingninja," and "ninjas".

gzip command in linux

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the groups in Linux?

Groups are the collections of users with their permissions to the system. These groups can be divided on the basis of permissions of group level, such as some users can have different permissions to the system.

How to create and delete a group in Linux?

The ‘groupadd’ command can be used to create a new group, or file ‘/etc/group’ can be edited manually.

The ‘usermod’ command can be used to delete a group, or file ‘/etc/group’ can be modified manually.

How to list all the groups of ‘/etc/group’?

There are several ways to list all the groups in Linux, but the most basic method is to use the ‘cat’ command. 

Here is what you have to type in the text editor: cat /etc/group.

How to list all the group names of Linux in a sorted manner?

The ‘cut’ and ‘sort’ commands can be used to extract and sort the group names in the file /etc/group. This method is used not to show additional information about the groups.

Also see : Touch command in linux

Conclusion

Groups are the collections of users with their permissions to the system. These groups can be divided on the basis of permissions of group level, such as some users can have different permissions to the system. In this article, we discussed what are the groups in Linux and how to list all groups in Linux. We also discussed some frequently asked questions related to groups in Linux, So I will strongly recommend you read these questions and answers.

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