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GETENT(1) General Commands Manual GETENT(1)


getentget entries from administrative database


getent database [key ...]


The getent program retrieves and displays entries from the administrative database specified by database. The order in which entries are looked up is defined by the specific database (for example, the lookup order for the “hosts” database is determined by resolv.conf(5)). The display format for a given database is as per the “traditional” file format for that database.
database may be one of:
Database Display format
ethers address name
group group:passwd:gid:[member[,member]...]
hosts address name [alias ...]
passwd user:passwd:uid:gid:gecos:home_dir:shell
protocols name protocol [alias ...]
rpc name number [alias ...]
services name port/protocol [alias ...]
shells /path/to/shell
If one or more key arguments are provided, they will be looked up in database using the appropriate function. For example, passwd supports a numeric UID or user name; hosts supports an IPv4 address, IPv6 address, or host name; and services supports a service name, service name/protocol name, numeric port, or numeric port/protocol name.
If no key is provided and database supports enumeration, all entries for database will be retrieved using the appropriate enumeration function and printed.


The getent utility exits with one of the following values:
There was an error in the command syntax.
One of the specified key names was not found in database.
There is no support for enumeration on database.


ethers(5), group(5), hosts(5), passwd(5), protocols(5), rpc(5), services(5), shells(5)


A getent command first appeared in OpenBSD 3.9. It was based on the command of the same name in Solaris and Linux.
October 24, 2014 OpenBSD-current