How to Show Users and Groups in Linux Command? A Comprehensive Guide


Linux commands offer powerful ways to manage users and groups on your system. Whether you’re an experienced sysadmin or a Linux enthusiast, understanding how to display user and group information is a fundamental skill. In this guide, we’ll explore various command-line techniques to accomplish this task seamlessly.

How to Show Users and Groups in Linux Command?

Displaying user and group information in Linux can be achieved using a variety of commands. Let’s dive into some of the most commonly used methods:

Using the cat /etc/passwd Command

One of the most straightforward ways to view users on a Linux system is by utilizing the cat command in conjunction with the /etc/passwd file. This file contains essential user information, and by displaying its contents, you can obtain a list of all users.

ecat /etc/passwd

The output will consist of multiple lines, each representing a user’s details, including their username, User ID (UID), group ID (GID), home directory, and default shell.

Listing Groups with the cat /etc/group Command

Similar to the previous approach, you can list all the groups on your system using the cat command along with the /etc/group file.

cat /etc/group

The output will provide details about each group, including the group name, GID, and a list of users that belong to that group.

Utilizing the id Command for User Information

The id command allows you to obtain specific information about a particular user by providing their username as an argument.

id username

Executing this command will provide you with a wealth of information, including the user’s UID, GID, group memberships, and supplementary group IDs.

Displaying Group Memberships with the groups Command

To quickly see the groups a user belongs to, the groups command is highly useful. By entering the command followed by a username, you can retrieve a list of the groups associated with that user.

groups username

The output will list the user’s primary group as well as any supplementary groups they are a part of.

Using getent to View Users and Groups

The getent command provides a versatile way to access various databases, including those containing user and group information. To list all users, you can use:

getent passwd

For displaying groups, the following command can be used:

getent group

Exploring User and Group Information: FAQs

Can I use these commands as a regular user, or do I need root privileges?

Most of these commands can be executed by regular users to view information about themselves. However, some commands, like cat /etc/passwd and cat /etc/group, may require root privileges to access system files.

Is it possible to customize the output of these commands?

While the commands themselves don’t offer extensive formatting options, you can combine them with other tools like grep, awk, or cut to filter and format the output according to your preferences.

How can I export the user or group information to a file?

You can redirect the output of these commands to a file using the > or >> operators. For example, to create a file named “users.txt” containing the user information, you can use cat /etc/passwd > users.txt.

What is the significance of UID and GID?

The User ID (UID) uniquely identifies a user in the system, while the Group ID (GID) identifies a group. These IDs are crucial for the system to manage permissions and access control effectively.

Can I create custom groups and users?

Yes, you can create custom users and groups using commands like useradd and groupadd. However, ensure you have the necessary privileges to do so.

Are there graphical interfaces available for managing users and groups?

Yes, many Linux distributions offer graphical tools like “Users and Groups” that provide a user-friendly way to manage users and groups. These tools often provide a visual representation of the information you can obtain using command-line tools.

How to show users and groups in Linux command?

You can use the cat /etc/passwd command to display users and cat /etc/group for groups.

How do I list all users and groups in Linux?

To list all users, use cut -d: -f1 /etc/passwd, and for groups, use cut -d: -f1 /etc/group.

How to list AD group members in Linux?

You can use the getent group <AD-group-name> command to list Active Directory group members.

How do I see users and groups in Linux?

To see users, use cat /etc/passwd, and for groups, use cat /etc/group in the terminal.

How to check user and user group in Linux?

Check users with cut -d: -f1 /etc/passwd and groups with cut -d: -f1 /etc/group in Linux.


Effectively displaying user and group information is a fundamental skill for any Linux user. The various commands outlined in this guide offer different ways to access this information, catering to both beginners and experienced users. By mastering these commands, you’ll have a solid foundation for managing users and groups on your Linux system.

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