— add and delete users from the
| -encryption method]
[-h | -help | -?]
[-s | -silent | -q | -quiet]
[-v | -verbose]
program adds new users to the system.
program removes users from the system.
When not passed any arguments, both utilities operate in interactive mode and
prompt for any required information.
The options are as follows:
- Enter batch mode in which multiple users are specified on
the command line in a compact format. By default the password is assumed
to already be properly encrypted.
- Check the passwd, group, and shells databases for
consistency and problems then exit without performing any other
- Use the specified
login_class as the default user login
class. See login.conf(5)
for further details.
- Create or edit default configuration information and
message file before proceeding with the normal interactive adduser
- Copy files from directory
into the HOME directory of new users. Files named in the fashion of
“dot.foo” will be renamed to
“.foo”. By default, all files are
made writable and readable by their owner.
- Encrypt local passwords using
method of encryption as described in
method is “auto”, the
encryption type will be derived from the user's login class.
- Specify the default login group. A value of
USER means that the username is to be
used as the login group.
- Print a summary of options and exit.
- Specify the default home partition where all users' home
directories are to be located.
- Send new users a welcome message from
file. Specifying a value of
“no” for file causes no
message to be sent to new users.
- Do not read the default configuration file.
- Specify the default shell for new users.
- Causes the program to print fewer warnings, questions, and
- Use UIDs from uid up when
automatically generating UIDs.
- Do not use UIDs higher than
uid when generating UIDs.
- Causes the program to assume that the password given in
batch mode is unencrypted. The password will be encrypted before being
added to the password file. Use of this option is discouraged, as the
username and cleartext password will appear in the process list, which is
visible to users.
- Causes the program to print many warnings and questions.
This option is recommended for novice users.
first performs consistency checks on the
password, group, and shell databases. This includes finding any duplicate user
or group names, illegal shells, or shells that aren't executable. Once these
tests are passed, adduser
performs the following
operations for each new user:
- Add the appropriate entries to the password and group
files and re-generate the password database using
- Create a home directory and copy all files from the
skeletal login directory (normally /etc/skel)
to this new directory. Files named in the fashion of
“dot.foo” will be renamed to
“.foo” in the new directory.
- Mails the new user a welcome message at the discretion of
the account creator.
Similarly, when removing a user, rmuser
the following operations for the given
- Removes any
crontab(1) entries or
at(1) jobs belonging to the
- Removes the user from the password database and all groups
in the group database. If a group becomes empty and its name is the same
as the username, the group is removed (this complements
adduser's unique per-user groups).
- Recursively deletes all files in the user's home directory
and removes the directory itself (provided the directory actually belongs
to the user). rmuser prompts for confirmation
before actually doing this.
- Removes the user's incoming mail file if one exists.
politely refuses to remove
users whose UID is 0 (typically root).
- It is recommended that login names contain only lowercase
characters and digits. They may also contain uppercase characters,
non-leading hyphens, periods, underscores, and a trailing
$’. Login names may not be longer
than 31 characters. If you need a longer login name for email addresses,
you can define an alias in
- This should contain the user's first name and surname. The
:’ is not permitted.
- The specified user login class must exist in
- Only valid entries from the
shells(5) database or
entries corresponding to
pppd(8) are permitted.
- This value is the start of the range where free UID values
are searched for. This value must be less than the value of uid_end. The
default value is 1000 or as configured in the configuration file.
- This value is the end of the range where free UID values
are searched for. This value must be more than the value of uid_start. The
default value is 2147483647 or as configured in the configuration
- This value is generated automatically, but can be specified
at the discretion of the person invoking the program.
- If not empty, the password is encrypted according to
login.conf(5). If empty,
the account will be automatically disabled to prevent spurious access to
follows these steps to extract its
- Read internal variables.
- Read configuration file
- Parse command-line
format is explained within that
file and is quite straightforward.
- user database
- group database
- shell database
- lock file for the passwd database
- configuration file for
- message file for adduser
- skeletal login directory
- log file for adduser
in interactive mode:
Create user “falken” and login group “falken”. Invite
user “falken” into groups “guest”,
“staff”, and “beer”. Realname (fullname) is
“Prof. Falken”. The password has been created using
# adduser -batch falken guest,staff,beer 'Prof. Falken' \
Create user “vehlefanz” in login group “guest”. Start
the free UID search at 5000. No other groups, no realname, no password. Send a
# adduser -uid_start 5000 -group guest \
-message /etc/adduser.message -batch vehlefanz
Create user “jsmith” and place in the “jsmith” login
group. Also add to the “staff” group. No password:
# adduser -group USER -batch jsmith