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In Linux, multiple users can be categorized into groups. Linux file system permissions are organized into three classes, user, group, and others. The use of groups allows additional abilities to be delegated in an organized fashion, such as access to disks, printers, and other peripherals. This method, amongst others, also enables the Superuser to delegate some administrative tasks to normal users, similar to the Administrators group on Microsoft Windows NT and its derivatives.

A group identifier, often abbreviated to GID, is a numeric value used to represent a specific group. The range of values for a GID varies amongst different systems; at the very least, a GID can be between 0 and 32767, with one restriction: the login group for the Superuser must have GID 0. This numeric value is used to refer to groups in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files or their equivalents.

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