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How to use the groups command: 2-Minute Linux Tips

Network World | Aug 9, 2019

Learn how to use the groups command. It provides a list of the groups that a user is a member of by pulling information from the /etc/group and /etc/passwd files.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

Hi, this is Sandra Henry-Stocker, author of the “Unix as a Second Language” blog on NetworkWorld.
In this Linux tip, we’re going to look at the groups command that provides a list of the groups that a user is a member of. It does this by pulling information from the /etc/group and /etc/passwd files. Here’s an example:
The username is shown on the left and the group list on the right. This is easier to see when there’s more than one group:
As you probably know, the primary group assigned to each user on most Linux systems today is the same as the person’s username.
If you run the groups command without an argument, it will list the groups that you are a member of – whichever account you are currently logged into or using.
Note that the groups command only lists group memberships. It doesn’t tell you anything more about user privileges that may be provided along with some of those group memberships.
That’s your Linux tip for the groups command.
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