I am learning more about Linux user and groups in depth and noticed fourth field in both /etc/gshadow/ and /etc/group are exactly same.

Do they have any difference or is there any special reason why it is duplicated in both file?

1 Answer 1


The 4th field is a list of users that are members of the identified group. You can get a description of these two files with

man 5 group  
man 5 gshadow  

I suspect the values in the two fields are the same for convenience. I don't offhand know what happens if the two lists are different.

  • 3
    This sounds like a Bad Thing and Random Problems Waiting To Happen. If only there was a proper user database for Unix systems :-( Nov 21, 2017 at 11:52
  • @DavidTonhofer Like windows registry haha
    – user121183
    Nov 22, 2017 at 21:18

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