How to See Which Groups Your Linux User Account Belongs To

RELATED: How to See Which Groups Your Windows User Account Belongs To

Groups help define the permissions and access your Linux user account has to files, folders, settings, and more. Finding out the groups to which a user account belongs helps give you a better understanding of that user’s access (and troubleshoot when things don’t work right).

Note: We’re using Ubuntu for our examples here, but this command works just the same on most flavors of Linux.

Start by opening up your Terminal. At the prompt, type the following command, and then hit Enter:


Just using the groups command by itself like that shows you the groups to which the currently logged in user belongs.

You can also add a username after the groups command if you’re investigating group membership for a different account. Just use the syntax:

groups <username>

RELATED: Add a User to a Group (or Second Group) on Linux

Yes, it’s a super simple process, but it’s also a super helpful one. Of course, you can use the groups command itself for more than just checking membership. For example, you can also use it to add users to groups.

Lowell Heddings is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He spends all his free time making sure this site can bring you fresh geekery on a daily basis, and has been doing so for over eleven years.

More Articles You Might Like

Join the How-To Geek Club! (It's Free)

  • Get exclusive articles before everybody else.
  • Get downloadable ebooks for free!
  • Get geeky trivia, fun facts, and much more.