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[[Category:Linux shell commands]] Techniques: Linux: groupadd



groupadd - Create a new group


standard: groupadd [-g gid [-o]]


Red Hat: groupadd [-g gid [-o]] [-r] [-f]



The groupadd command creates a new group account using the values

specified on the command line and the default values from the system. The new group will be entered into the system files as needed. The options which apply to the groupadd command are

-g gid The numerical value of the group's ID. This value must be unique,

unless the -o option is used. The value must be non-negative. The default is to use the smallest ID value greater than 500 and greater than every other group. Values between 0 and 499 are typically reserved for system accounts.

Red Hat Linux only:
-r This flag instructs groupadd to add a system account. The first

available gid lower than 499 will be automatically selected unless the -g option is also given on the command line. This is an option added by Red Hat.

-f This is the force flag. This will cause groupadd to exit with an

error when the group about to be added already exists on the system. If that is the case, the group won't be altered (or added again). This option also modifies the way -g option works. When you request a gid that it is not unique and you don't specify the -o option too, the group creation will fall back to the standard behavior (adding a group as if neither -g or -o options were specified). This is an option added by Red Hat.


  • /etc/group - group account information
  • /etc/gshadow - secure group account information

See Also

chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), groups(1), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), useradd(8), userdel(8), usermod(8)


Julianne Frances Haugh (


  • What is a system account? Apparently it's a Red Hat concept, so it may

not be important for general use.

  • System accounts are accounts that aren't logged into or used by users.

Examples are audio, video, cdrom, dialout, scanner, staff, etc.

Edit Log

  • 2005-06-09 Transcribed from Red Hat Linux 7.1 2.96-98 Linux

manpages and KUbuntu "hoary" (Debian 1:3.3.5-8ubuntu2) manpages.