A group password in Linux

Have you ever heard of (or used) a group password in Linux? For me this strange concept was new, but here's what you can use it for.

A group password in Linux allows a user to temporarily (in a subshell) gain extra permissions of a group, after successfully entering the group password.

To set a group password use gpasswd:

# gpasswd finance
New Password:
Re-enter new password:

To gain those extra permissions you can use newgrp:

$ newgrp finance

Some of the disadvantages are:

  1. Sharing a password is not good; a password should be personal.
  2. You can also solve this by adding the user to a secondary group.
  3. Another way to solve it is to use sudo.
  4. Usage of the group password is not accountable.


This is really a new concept

This is really a new concept to me as well. But this is definitely a useful idea. - Marla Ahlgrimm

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References Red Hat Certified Architect By Robert de Bock Robert de Bock
Curriculum Vitae By Fred Clausen +31 6 14 39 58 72
By Nelson Manning [email protected]