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Now that you are familiar with the files behind the commands, take a look at the commands themselves. You'll learn how to create a user as well as modify a user after it has been created.
Like user administration, it's important that you know the configuration files behind the commands that modify them.
The /etc/group file contains the basics of a group. For example:
system:!:0:root,pconsole,esaadmin staff:!:1:ipsec,esaadmin,sshd,xander bin:!:2:root,bin sys:!:3:root,bin,sys adm:!:4:bin,adm uucp:!:5:uucp,nuucp mail:!:6: security:!:7:root cron:!:8:root printq:!:9:lp audit:!:10:root ecs:!:28: nobody:!:4294967294:nobody,lpd perf:!:20: shutdown:!:21: lp:!:11:root,lp invscout:!:12:invscout snapp:!:13:snapp ipsec:!:200: pconsole:!:14:pconsole sshd:!:201:sshd
As you can see, the file is colon delimited like the /etc/passwd file, and each entry contains only four fields in the following format (with spaces added before and after the delimiter to ease reading):
Group Name : Password Flag : GID : User(s)
Here's the line-by-line breakdown:
Note: This field is comma delimited.
The /etc/security/group file is much like /etc/security/user for users: It contains extended attributes to the specified group:
||user1, user2, …||Comma-delimited list of users with administrative rights to the group.|
||TRUE | FALSE||If True, the group has administrative rights to the group.|
For more attributes, read the man page for /etc/security/group (
group), or visit
The file is broken down into stanzas like the other configuration files
in /etc/security, with the group name as the identifier. A nice feature
of this file is that it allows you to set administrator rights to a standard
user for a group. The administrators of that group can then modify the group
as they see fit by adding members to or removing members from the group.
Listing 18 provides an example
of what an /etc/security/group looks like. In this example, the group jradmin
admin set to False and standard users pac and xander defined
as administrators of the group.
system: admin = true staff: admin = false bin: admin = true sys: admin = true jradmin: admin = false adms = pac,xander
You've read enough about the files behind the commands. Now, let's look at the commands themselves. You'll see how to create a group as well as modify it after it has been created.
Creating a group in AIX is simple and straightforward. The same restrictions for creating a user pertain to creating a group:
Both user and group name lengths are handled by the same parameter:
v_max_logname. To view or change the value, follow the instructions
provided for viewing and changing the user name length in
mkuser, earlier in this article.
To create a group, simply execute the
mkgroup command with
the group name as an argument, as shown in in example:
# mkgroup atctest # grep atctest /etc/group atctest:!:202: # grep -p atctest /etc/security/group atctest: admin = false
To create an admin group, add the
-a switch, as shown in
# mkgroup -a atcadmin # grep atcadmin /etc/group atcadmin:!:15: # grep -p atcadmin /etc/security/group atcadmin: admin = true
To create a group and add Xander as the administrator of the group, add
adm section of the /etc/security/group stanza to the command
line, as shown in example below:
# mkgroup adms=xander xangroup # grep xangroup /etc/group xangroup:!:203: # grep -p xangroup /etc/security/group xangroup: admin = false adms = xander
mkgroup follows the same attributes
chgroup. For a full list of the attributes, read
man page (
chgroup command works just like
and its man page contains all the attributes you can change on a group.
Listing 22 provides an example
of how to change the group's
xangroup GID from 203 to 204.
Add a few users to the group, as well.
# grep xangroup /etc/group xangroup:!:203: # chgroup id=204 users=xander,atc,amdc xangroup # grep xangroup /etc/group xangroup:!:204:xander,atc,amdc
Another way to modify a group's members is with
chgrpmem command allows you to list, add, and remove users
from a group as well as modify the administrators of the group.
For example, the group xangroup has xander and atc as members and xander as an administrator of the group. Remove atc from the group:
# chgrpmem xangroup xangroup: members = xander,atc adms = xander # chgrpmem -m - atc xangroup # chgrpmem xangroup xangroup: members = xander adms = xander
Suppose there was a mistake and user atc was not supposed to be removed. Instead, user atc was supposed to become the administrator of the group, while xander's administrative rights were to be removed. Listing 24 shows the code to make the correction.
# chgrpmem -m + atc xangroup # chgrpmem -a + atc xangroup # chgrpmem -a - xander xangroup # chgrpmem xangroup xangroup: members = xander,atc adms = atc
With such a nice command for users as
there be one for groups, as well? There is:
lsgroup. To continue
with the standard format of commands and their options in AIX,
follows the same structure as
# lsgroup xangroup xangroup id=204 admin=false users=xander,cormany adms=cormany registry=files # lsgroup -f xangroup xangroup: id=204 admin=false users=xander,cormany adms=cormany registry=files # lsgroup -c xangroup,atcadmin #name:id:admin:users:adms:registry xangroup:204:false:xander,cormany:cormany:files #name:id:admin:registry atcadmin:15:true:files # lsgroup -c -a id xangroup,atcadmin #name:id xangroup:204 #name:id atcadmin:15
Throughout this article, you've been creating sample groups. Now, it's
time to clean up the AIX system you're using. To remove a group from the
system, simply execute
rmgroup with the group's name as the
# rmgroup atctest
rmgroup command does not allow you to remove the group
until you have moved all users that have the group as their primary group
to another group.
AIX user and group administration by Adam Cormany
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