delete a group


Delete an existing group

>_ groupdel [group_name]


' groupdel 'u groupdel [ options ] GROUP


The groupdel command modifies the system account files, deleting all entries that refer to GROUP . The named group must exist .


The options which apply to the groupdel command are:

-h , --help Display help message and exit .

-R , --root CHROOT_DIR Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory .

-P , --prefix PREFIX_DIR Apply changes in the PREFIX_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the PREFIX_DIR directory . This option does not chroot and is intended for preparing a cross -compilation target . Some limitations: NIS and LDAP users/groups are not verified . PAM authentication is using the host files . No SELINUX support .


You may not remove the primary group of any existing user . You must remove the user before you remove the group .

You should manually check all file systems to ensure that no files remain owned by this group .


The following configuration variables in /etc/login .defs change the behavior of this tool:

MAX_MEMBERS_PER_GROUP (number) Maximum members per group entry . When the maximum is reached, a new group entry (line) is started in /etc/group (with the same name, same password, and same GID) .

The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the number of members in a group .
This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines in the group file . This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS groups are not larger than 1024 characters .
If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25 .
Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the Shadow toolsuite) . You should not use this variable unless you really need it .


/etc/group Group account information .

/etc/gshadow Secure group account information .


The groupdel command exits with the following values:

0 success

2 invalid command syntax

6 specified group doesn (Aqt exist

8 can (Aqt remove user (Aqs primary group

10 can (Aqt update group file


chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), gpasswd(8), groupadd(8), groupmod(8), useradd(8), userdel(8), usermod(8).

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