How to Delete Group in Linux (groupdel Command)

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In Linux, groups are used to organize and administer user accounts. The primary purpose of groups is to define a set of privileges such as reading, writing, or executing permission for a given resource that can be shared among the users within the group.

A new group can be created using the groupadd command. If a group is no longer needed and can be removed from the system.

This article explains how to remove a group in Linux, using the groupdel command.

groupdel Command Syntax

The general syntax for the groupdel command is as follows:

groupdel [OPTIONS] GROUPNAME

GROUPNAME is the name of the group you want to remove.

Only the root or a user with sudo privileges can remove groups.

It is not possible to remove the primary group of an existing user without removing the user first.

The groupdel command accepts only a few options that are rarely used. See the groupdel man page for more information about the command’s options.

Deleting a Group in Linux

To delete(remove) a given group from the system, invoke the groupdel command followed by the group name.

For example, to remove a group named mygroup you would run:

groupdel mygroup

The command above removes the group entry from the /etc/group and /etc/gshadow files.

On success, the groupdel command does not print any output.

You can verify that the group is removed, by listing all groups using the following command:

getent group | grep mygroup

If the group you want to remove doesn’t exist, the system will print an error message like the following:

groupdel: group 'mygroup' does not exist

Conclusion

In Linux, you can remove groups using the groupdel command.

The same instructions apply for any Linux distribution, including Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Debian, Fedora, and Arch Linux.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.