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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.

     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 /etc/group file.

     The /etc/group file can be	configured to enable the YP/NIS	group data-
     base.  An entry whose name	field consists of a plus sign (`+') followed
     by	a group	name, will be replaced internally to the C library with	the
     YP/NIS group entry	for the	named group.  An entry whose name field	con-
     sists of a	single plus sign with no group name following, will be re-
     placed with the entire YP/NIS "group.byname" map.

     If	the YP/NIS group database is enabled for any reason, all reverse
     lookups (i.e., getgrgid())	will use the entire database, even if only a
     few groups	are enabled.  Thus, the	group name returned by getgrgid() is
     not guaranteed to have a valid forward mapping.

     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 limits.


     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.  The YP/NIS func-
     tionality is modeled after	SunOS and first	appeared in FreeBSD 1.1.  Sup-
     port for comments first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

BSD			      September	29, 1994			   BSD


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