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GROUP(5)		    BSD File Formats Manual		      GROUP(5)

NAME
     group — format of the group permissions file

DESCRIPTION
     The group file is the local source of group information.  It can be used
     in conjunction with the Hesiod domain `group', and the NIS maps
     `group.byname' and `group.bygid', as controlled by nsswitch.conf(5).

     The file group consists of newline separated ASCII records, one per
     group, containing four colon ‘:’ separated fields.	 These fields are as
     follows:
	   group     Name of the group.
	   passwd    Group's encrypted password.
	   gid	     The group's decimal ID.
	   member    Group members.

     Lines whose first non-whitespace character is a pound-sign (#) are com‐
     ments, and are ignored.  Blank lines that consist only of spaces, tabs or
     newlines are also ignored.

     The group field is the group name used for granting file access to users
     who are members of the group.  The gid field is the number associated
     with the group name.  They should both be unique across the system (and
     often across a group of systems) since they control file access.  The
     passwd field is an optional encrypted password.  This field is rarely
     used and an asterisk is normally placed in it rather than leaving it
     blank.  The member field contains the names of users granted the privi‐
     leges of group.  The member names are separated by commas without spaces
     or newlines.  A user is automatically in a group if that group was speci‐
     fied in their /etc/passwd entry and does not need to be added to that
     group in the group file.

LIMITS
     There are various limitations which are explained in the function where
     they occur; see section SEE ALSO.

     In older implementations, a group cannot have more than 200 members.  The
     maximum line length of /etc/group is 1024 characters.  Longer lines will
     be skipped.  This limitation disappeared in FreeBSD 3.0.  Older binaries
     that are statically linked, depend on old shared libraries, or
     non-FreeBSD binaries in compatibility mode may still have this limit.

FILES
     /etc/group

SEE ALSO
     passwd(1), setgroups(2), crypt(3), getgrent(3), initgroups(3),
     nsswitch.conf(5), passwd(5), chkgrp(8), pw(8), yp(8)

HISTORY
     A group file format appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.  Support for com‐
     ments first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

BUGS
     The passwd(1) command does not change the group passwords.

BSD			      September 29, 1994			   BSD
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