groupmod - Linux


The groupmod command in Linux is used to modify the definitions of existing user groups. This command allows system administrators to change group names or GIDs (group IDs) efficiently. It is particularly useful in system management tasks, dealing with user permissions, and maintaining organized group access.


The basic syntax of the groupmod command is as follows:

groupmod [options] GROUP
  • GROUP is the name of the group to modify.


  • -g, --gid GID: Sets the group ID to GID. This option changes the numerical group ID associated with the group. Care must be taken since files that have the old GID will not be updated.
  • -h, --help: Display a help message and exit.
  • -n, --new-name NEW_GROUP: Changes the name of the group to NEW_GROUP. This is used when renaming a group.
  • -o, --non-unique: Allow changing the group GID to a non-unique value. This can be useful in specific situations where multiple groups need to share the same GID.
  • -p, --password PASSWORD: Sets the group password to PASSWORD. This rarely used option sets a password for the group.


  1. Changing the group name:

    sudo groupmod --new-name developers olddevgroup

    This command renames the group olddevgroup to developers.

  2. Changing the group ID:

    sudo groupmod --gid 789 sales

    This example sets the GID of the sales group to 789.

  3. Using non-unique GIDs:

    sudo groupmod -o --gid 999 sharedgroup

    Allows the sharedgroup to have a GID of 999, potentially sharing it with another group.

Common Issues

  • Group Not Found: If the specified group does not exist, groupmod will fail. Always check the group name’s correctness.
  • GID Clash: Changing a GID to a value already taken by another group can lead to confusion and possible security issues unless deliberately overlapping GIDs (using the -o option).
  • File Permissions: Updated group attributes might not apply to files and directories until their group ownership is manually adjusted.


groupmod is often used together with other user and group management commands. For instance, combining groupmod with usermod allows administrators to modify group settings and then assign users to newly configured groups:

sudo groupmod --new-name team --gid 5600 projectgroup
sudo usermod -aG team username

This changes the projectgroup to team and adds the user username to the new team group.

  • groupadd: Adds a new group to the system.
  • groupdel: Deletes a group.
  • usermod: Modify a user’s system account information, including group memberships.
  • groups: Shows the groups a user is a member of.

For more information about the groupmod command, you can refer to the man pages by typing man groupmod in the terminal or visiting the online documentation provided by your Linux distribution.