what does getent do

I have a following in a spec of an rpm :
getent group %{groupname} >/dev/null || groupadd -r %{groupname}
getent passwd %{username} >/dev/null || useradd -r -g %{groupname} -s /sbin/nologin %{username}
install -d /var/log/%{name} -o %{username} -g %{groupname} -m 750
exit 0

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what does getent do. Also how are %{groupname} specified ?

Rohit BajajAsked:
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what does getent do
 it will  get entries from Name Service Switch libraries

it will  displays entries from databases supported by the Name Service Switch libraries, which are configured in /etc/nsswitch.conf

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Rohit BajajAuthor Commented:
Can you please explain what its doing in the above code and why its required in a predeployment script ?
Also what does install do here ?
It is being used so that groupadd -r %{groupname} can be done if getent group %{groupname} fails, to assure that group %{groupname} will exist
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