How to List Users on Linux OS

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Check How to List Users on Linux OS

Multiple users can operate a single computer system at any one time. However, for such shared systems, a system administrator must take appropriate security measures to prevent one user from invading another’s privacy, for example, by applying an access control mechanism that sets each user’s privileges. . Sometimes a change in user privileges may be required.

For example, it may be necessary to extend a user’s privileges for a particular task or completely revoke a particular user’s access to the system. In such scenarios, it is important for the system administrator to know all the users of the system. In this article, we examine the methods used to enumerate users on a Linux system.

How to list users in Linux OS

Get a list of all users using the /etc/passwd file

  • Local user information is stored in the /etc/passwd file. Each line in this file represents a user’s login information. To open the file, you can use cat or less:
  • Each line of the file has seven colon-delimited fields that contain the following information:
    • Username.
    • Encrypted password (x means the password is stored in the /etc/shadow file).
    • User identification number (UID).
    • User’s group ID number (GID).
    • Full name of the user (GECOS).
    • User’s home directory.
    • Login shell (defaults to /bin/bash).
  • If you want to display only the username, you can use the awk or cut commands to print only the first field that contains the username:
    • awk -F: ‘{print $1}’ /etc/passwd
    • cut -d: -f1 /etc/passwd
      • root
      • evil
      • compartment
      • system
      • sync up
      • ssh
      • homeless
      • Jack
      • Ana

Get a list of all users using getent command

  • The getent command displays the configured database entries in the /etc/nsswitch.conf file, including the passwd database, which can be used to query a list of all users. To get a list of all Linux users, enter the following command:
  • As you can see, the output is the same as when displaying the contents of the /etc/passwd file. If you are using LDAP for user authentication, the getent will show all Linux users from both the /etc/passwd file and the LDAP database. You can also use awk or cut to print only the first field that contains the username:
    • get password | awk -F: ‘{ print $1}’
    • get password | cut -d: -f1

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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