In Linux, getting information from /etc/passwd, /etc/group, /etc/hosts, etc are being replaced with /usr/bin/getent command. This command support NIS and LDAP environment where account information and group are setup in remote servers.
Common use commands:
getent passwd - Get all accounts setup. Replace /etc/passwd
getent group - Get all group. Repalce /etc/group
getent hosts - Get all hostname. Similar to /etc/hosts
getent alias - Get user name alias
getent ethers - Get ethernet
getent protocols - /etc/protocols