I'd like to change group id of a specific group. There are so may solution for changing the gid of a file or directories. But that's not what I want. Is there a way to do that?

3 Answers 3


The GID is the primary identifier of the group. As far as the system is concerned, a different GID is a different group. So to change the GID, you're going to have to modify all the places where that GID is used.

You should avoid treating the GID as significant and use group names instead; you can change the name of a group with a single command (on Linux: groupmod -n NEW_GROUP_NAME OLD_GROUP_NAME).

However, if you do really want to change the GID, this is how:

  • First, you may need to log out users in the group and kill processes who have that group as their effective, real or saved group.
  • Change the entry in the group database. On Linux, run groupmod -g NEWGID GROUPNAME. On other systems, use that system's administration tool, or vigr if available, or edit /etc/group as applicable.
  • Change the group of all the files on your system that belong to the old group.

    find / -gid OLDGID ! -type l -exec chgrp NEWGID {} \;
  • chgrp clears suid and sgid flags, restore those.

  • If you have any archive that uses the old GID, rebuild it.
  • If you have any configuration file or script that references the old GID, update it.
  • Restart all processes that must use the new GID.
  • 6
    Suggest using chgrp -h ... instead of chgrp .... Without -h, the target of any relevant symlink will have its group changed. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 21:44
  • 3
    groupmod take's a name as the main argument for me... groupmod -g NEWGID GROUPNAME
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 15:41

The easiest way is to use groupmod -g <NEW_GID> <groupname>

Another way is to edit /etc/group directly. The third field in each column is the gid.

If the changed group is the main group of a user, /etc/passwd need to be adapted, too: usermod -g <NEW_GID> <username>.

  • Will this also effect gid of files too ? I mean, gid of file and gid of group will change at same time ?
    – mibzer
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:12
  • 3
    No. This will change only the id of the group. Files/Directories keeps their (now unnamed) gid and need to be changed separately.
    – jofel
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:18
  • Ok thank you. So if I'd like to change their(files) gid to new gid, I have to execute another command. Is that right ? That would be better if there is way to change both gid of froup file and gid of related files at the same time.
    – mibzer
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:21
  • I've added the other command to my answer. It is not a problem if temporary a gid is used which is not in /etc/group. Every user in the group has to re-login to have the new gid.
    – jofel
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:25

find /path -group foo -print0 | xargs -0 chgrp bar

  • as I said that will change the gid of files. But that is not what I mean. I want to change gid of a group not a file.
    – mibzer
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:11
  • ok, i was confused, then 'vi /etc/group' :)
    – jirib
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:13

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