How can I check if a group does not have users and delete it?

I'm doing a bash linux script, and I need to delete a group with the groupdel command, but I have to validate that the group I'm going to remove is empty, which does not have users.

This is what I have done:

  bajagroup () {
printf "\ nEnter the name of the group to delete: \ n"
read -r remove group
[ -n $ deletegroup ] && groupdel $ deletegroup
if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
                 echo "The group was not deleted from the system. Please try again."
                 echo "The group was deleted from the system."
sleep 3

Something similar to the delgroup command with the --only-if-empty option, but with the groupdel command.

Example: delgroup --only-if-empty

  • It's not sufficient to look at users, but at files which happen to use that group (and happen to be accessible). Deleting the group gives you just a number for the group-id. – Thomas Dickey Jul 16 '17 at 18:53

Getting the members of a group in Linux isn't as easy as one might think. In my opinion the easiest way would be using the lid command. Install it using

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libuser

then you should try if it works using

lid -g root

If it says command not found try

/usr/sbin/libuser-lid -g root

And for your script

bajagroup () {
printf "\n Enter the name of the group to delete: \n"
read -p groupname #the variable has to be one word(normally)
deletegroup=$(lid -g $groupname)
[ -z $deletegroup ] && groupdel $deletegroup #between $ and the name no space


Since you can't install the package I wrote a little script that should solve your problem

read -p "Enter groupname here: " groupname #Takes the input and save it to the variable groupname
gid=$(cat /etc/group | grep ^"$groupname": | cut -d":" -f3) #get the content of /etc/group (list of every group with groupid) | search for the line that starts with $groupname: (That means if a group name is Test, Test1 or 1Test wouldn't be matched) | get the groupid
member=$(cat /etc/passwd | cut -d":" -f4 | grep -x "$gid") #get the content of /etc/passwd (list of all users with some extra information like the attached gid) | get the part with the gid | grep the line that is exactly $gid
[ -z $member ] && groupdel $groupname #if $member is empty then delete that group

This is the base you need. You can change the ending and beginning to your needs.

| improve this answer | |
  • Great, thank you so much, the problem is that I have to run this script on a computer with OpenSuse and it is an old version. Therefore, I can not install that package on the computer. – chelomvd Jul 16 '17 at 17:03
  • @user240991 I wrote a script that should substitute the package. – ADDB Jul 16 '17 at 17:52

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