Command Section
GROUP(5)                  FreeBSD File Formats Manual                 GROUP(5)

     group - format of the group permissions file

     The group file is the local source of group information.  It can be used
     in conjunction with the Hesiod domain `group', and the NIS maps
     `group.byname' and `group.bygid', as controlled by nsswitch.conf(5).

     The file group consists of newline separated ASCII records, one per
     group, containing four colon `:' separated fields.  These fields are as
           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
     comments, 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
     privileges of group.  The member names are separated by commas without
     spaces or newlines.  A user is automatically in a group if that group was
     specified in their /etc/passwd entry and does not need to be added to
     that group in the group file.

     The passwd(1) command does not change the group passwords.  The pw(8)
     utility's groupmod command should be used instead.

     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 limit.


     newgrp(1), passwd(1), setgroups(2), crypt(3), getgrent(3), initgroups(3),
     nsswitch.conf(5), passwd(5), chkgrp(8), pw(8), yp(8)

     A group file format appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.  Support for
     comments first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4        February 8, 2013        FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4
Command Section