Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was wondering if anyone knew what determines the order of users in /etc/group entries? It does not appear to be alphabetical or by UID or chronologically by date added.

I don't think this makes any difference whatsoever, but I am just curious.

I know that it can be hand-edited and then it will just be in whatever order the admin puts them in, but it appears not to be in any logical order when entered by adding a user to a group via usermod.

share|improve this question

By date-added. If you hand-edit the file, order does not matter.

You can check format with the grpck command.

share|improve this answer
Clarification: By the date the group was added. Adding a user to a pre-existing group does not change the original order of the entries. – Sammitch Feb 28 '14 at 21:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.