Beginners Guide for Gpasswd Command in Linux

Linux TLDR
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The gpasswd command is used to administer “/etc/group” and “/etc/gshadow” file but that does not give you the complete context.

In other words, using the gpasswd command, you can add or remove users from a group, add or remove passwords from a group, promote a user as group admin, and set the list of group members.

On a positive note, remember that setting a password for a group is never a good idea for security reasons because all users are required to know the group password.

Tutorial Details

DescriptionGpasswd
Difficulty LevelLow
Root or Sudo PrivilegesYes
Host System and ArchitectureUbuntu 22.10 (x64)
OS Compatibility Ubuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc.
Prerequisitesgpasswd
Internet RequiredNo
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Syntax of the Gpasswd Command

The gpasswd command requires two arguments: one is the option, and the other is the group name.

$ gpasswd [OPTION] [GROUP]

Also Read: How to create and manage groups in Linux

Demo Group for Gpasswd Practise

To demonstrate the gpasswd command’s practical usage, we will create a temporary group (ex: demogroup) using the following command.

$ sudo addgroup demogroup
Adding group `demogroup' (GID 1006) ...
Done.

Verify the group is created by searching the “demogroup” name on the “/etc/group” file using the grep command.

$ grep demogroup /etc/group
demogroup:x:1006:

Also Read: How to Find All Users in Linux

Adding a User to a Group

The following command will add the specified user (ex: linuxtldr) to the newly created group (ex: demogroup).

$ sudo gpasswd -a linuxtldr demogroup
Adding user linuxtldr to group demogroup

Use the groups command with the username to verify the user is added to that group.

$ groups linuxtldr
linuxtldr : linuxtldr sudo admin newadmin demogroup

You can add multiple users to the specified group by using a comma (“,”) as a separator.

Removing the User from the Group

The following command will remove the specified user (ex: linuxtldr) from the specified group (ex: demogroup).

$ sudo gpasswd -d linuxtldr demogroup
Removing user linuxtldr from group demogroup

Verify that the users are removed from the specified group using the following command.

$ groups linuxtldr
linuxtldr : linuxtldr sudo admin newadmin

To remove multiple users from the specified group, use a comma (“,”) as a separator.

Setting the Password for the Group

You can set a password for a group name (ex: demogroup) with the gpasswd command.

$ sudo gpasswd demogroup
Changing the password for group demogroup
New Password: 
Re-enter new password: 

Removing Password from Group

Use the “-r” or “--remove-password” flag to remove the password from the specified group.

$ sudo gpasswd -r demogroup

Promote the User as Group Adminstrator

The following command will assign the specified user as the group administrator.

$ sudo gpasswd -A linuxtldr demogroup

To demote the user from the administrator position, use the same command, replacing the old user with the new one.

Setting the List of Group Members

Use the “-M” or “--members” flag to add multiple users to the specified group using the following command.

$ sudo gpasswd -M linuxtldr,jr demogroup

Removing the Demo Group

After you are done with the practice, you can remove the “demogroup” group we created at the beginning of this article by using the following command.

$ sudo groupdel demogroup

That was the last example.

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