groupdel(8) — Linux manual page


GROUPDEL(8)            System Management Commands            GROUPDEL(8)

NAME         top

       groupdel - delete a group

SYNOPSIS         top

       groupdel [options] GROUP

DESCRIPTION         top

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

OPTIONS         top

       The options which apply to the groupdel command are:

       -f, --force
           This option forces the removal of the group, even if there's
           some user having the group as the primary one.

       -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. Only
           absolute paths are supported.

       -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.

CAVEATS         top

       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.

FILES         top

           Group account information.

           Secure group account information.

EXIT VALUES         top

       The groupdel command exits with the following values:


           invalid command syntax

           specified group doesn't exist

           can't remove user's primary group

           can't update group file

SEE ALSO         top

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

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the shadow-utils (utilities for managing
       accounts and shadow password files) project.  Information about
       the project can be found at 
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       report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-12-15.)  If you discover any rendering
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shadow-utils 4.11.1            12/22/2023                    GROUPDEL(8)

Pages that refer to this page: gpasswd(1)groupadd(8)groupmems(8)groupmod(8)useradd(8)userdel(8)usermod(8)