Linux Commands - groupadd (create group)

The groupadd command without any options can be used to create a new group. For example, to create a group named group1.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd group1


The records in the /etc/group file will contain 4 fields. The 4 fields are: group name:password:GID:group members.

The /etc/group file contains group1. The group will not be secured with a password, in this example the GID is 1001, and the group does not have any members.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/group



The -p or --password option can be used to secure a group with a password. Adding or changing a group password using the groupadd or groupmod commands will create an unencrypted, cleartext password. Adding or changing a group password using the gpasswd command will create an encrypted password.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd -p Password123 group1


Regardless if the group is or is not secured with a password, the second field of /etc/group will display an "x", so viewing the /etc/group file does not help to know if the group is secured with a password.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/group


The /etc/gshadow file will contain the group password.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/gshadow



The -g or --gid option lets you choose the GID when creating a group.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd -g 1234 group1


In this example, the GID of group1 is 1234.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/group


By default, the system expects each group to have a unique GID. When attempting to add a new group using a GID already in use, an error will appear.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd -g 1234 group2
groupadd: GID '1234' already exists


The -o or --non-unique option can be used to create a new group using a GID already being used by another group.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd -og 1234 group2


In this example, there will now be two groups with GID 1234.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/group


System group

The -r or --system option can be used to create a system group.

[root@server1 ~]# groupadd -r sysgroup


In this example, thereis a system group named sysgroup.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/group


Add group members

There is no option to add members to a group with the groupadd command. The usermod command can be used to add members to a group.


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