adduser username; #create new user with home directory (interactive mode)
useradd -m -c "Maria Meier" maria
# non-interactively add user maria with full name and home-directory - but without password :-D
# you will have to run to specify a password - otherwise maria won't be able to login
# what is interesting and SUSE only - that the users's home is owned by a group called "users" that per default ALL users belong to (!!! i don't think this is cool - imho it is probably a security problem)
# no per-user group is created as with Debian and RedHat/CentOS (where for every user with username test a new group is created with the same name)
# and the home directory is set to test:test, while in SUSE it is test:users)
suse:/home # ll
drwxr-xr-x 7 maria users 253 11. Mai 10:18 maria
drwxr-xr-x 22 user users 4096 11. Mai 10:16 user
suse:/home # su - maria
userdel -r username; # remove user including home directory
deluser username; # just the user, not the files (/home/username still exists
deluser --remove-home username; # delete user and /home/username
By default, deluser will remove the user without removing the home directory, the mail spool or any other files on the system owned by the user. Removing the home
directory and mail spool can be achieved using the --remove-home option.
The --remove-all-files option removes all files on the system owned by the user. Note that if you activate both options --remove-home will have no effect because all
files including the home directory and mail spool are already covered by the --remove-all-files option.
If you want to backup all files before deleting them you can activate the --backup option which will create a file username.tar(.gz|.bz2) in the directory specified
by the --backup-to option (defaulting to the current working directory). Both the remove and backup options can also be activated for default in the configuration
file /etc/deluser.conf. See deluser.conf(5) for details.
expire account or password:
you can time account and password validity with:
Changing the aging information for maria
Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
Minimum Password Age :
Maximum Password Age :
Last Password Change (YYYY-MM-DD) [2017-05-11]:
Password Expiration Warning :
Password Inactive [-1]:
Account Expiration Date (YYYY-MM-DD) [-1]:
# in german
Passwortalterung für maria wird geändert.
Geben Sie einen neuen Wert an oder drücken Sie ENTER für den Standardwert
Minimales Passwortalter : 3
Maximales Passwortalter : 3
Letzte Passwortänderung (JJJJ-MM-TT) [2017-05-11]:
Passwort inaktiv [-1]:
Ablaufdatum des Benutzerzugangs (JJJJ-MM-TT) [-1]: 2017-04-01
First off, the respective man page snippets highlight the differences between the two commands and give some indication of what is going on. For
adduser and addgroup add users and groups to the system according to command line options and configuration information in /etc/adduser.conf. They are friendlier front ends to the low level tools like useradd, groupadd and usermod programs, by default choosing Debian policy conformant UID and GID values, creating a home directory with skeletal configuration, running a custom script, and other features.
useradd is a low level utility for adding users. On Debian, administrators should usually use adduser(8) instead.
Further investigation of
reveals that it is a perl script providing a high level interface to, and thus offering some of the functionality of, the following commands:
– used to add/change users passwords.
– used to add/change group passwords.
– used to change various user associated parameters.
– used to add/change additional information held on a user.
– used to change password expiry information.
– used to change disk usage quotas.
A basic run of the
command is as follows:
This simple command will do a number of things:
- Create the user named
- Create the user’s home directory (default is
and copy the files from/etc/skel
- Create a group with the same name as the user and place the user in it.
- Prompt for a password for the user.
- Prompt for additional information on the user.
program can most of accomplish most of this, however it does not do so by default and needs additional options. Some of the information requires more commands:
useradd -m -U username
ensures that created UIDs and GIDs conform with the Debian policy. Creating normal users with
seems to be ok, provided
matches the Debian policy. What is a problem though is that Debian specifies a particular range for system user UIDs which only seems to be supported in
, so naively adding a system user with
and not specifying a UID/GUID in the correct range leaves the potential for serious problems.
Another common use for
is to simplify the process of adding a user to a group. Here, the following command:
adduser username newgroup
replaces a more complex
command that requires the groups which the user is already a member of (and that you would like the user to remain a member) to be specified:
usermod -G all,other,groups,user,is,in,newgroup
One downside to using
here though is that you can only specify one group at a time.