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group(5)                    BSD File Formats Manual                   group(5)


     group -- format of the group permissions file


     The file </etc/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.

     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 /etc/group file.


     Processes generally find group records using one of the getgrent(3) fam-
     ily of functions.  On Mac OS X, these functions interact with the
     DirectoryService(8) daemon, which reads the /etc/group file as well as
     searching other directory information services to determine groups and
     group membership.




     passwd(1), setgroups(2), crypt(3), getgrent(3), initgroups(3), passwd(5),


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


     A group file format appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

Mac OS X                         July 18, 1995                        Mac OS X

Mac OS X 10.8 - Generated Sat Sep 1 12:44:35 CDT 2012
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