LINUX USERS: making and breaking them

When logged in as root (system admin) you can create users using the useradd command along with the desired username like this:

# useradd alex007

A prompt would ask for the password of the root or admin user to ensure that its a privileged person that is trying to create a new user. After creating the user, you must also create the users initial password:

#passwd alex007

Then a prompt follow where you enter the password you want twice. If the password is not created for a new user the user would be unable to log into the system.


When a new user is created, an entry in the /etc/passwd for the user is created by Linux automatically. Check this by using;

# cat /etc/passwd

The system also creates a directory, labelled with the users username in the /home directory. Like in the case above when alex077 is created, the users home directory is /home/alex007 or check with this command;

# ls /home


Deleting users:

The command to delete users from the system is the userdel command.

# userdel alex007

This removes the users entry in the systems /etc/passwd file.

You could also use;

# userdel –r alex007

Using the r option removes all the users files and directories automatically or you have to manually delete the files yourself.


Happy Linux’NG!




Chief Editor/Founder at FossNaija
A Linux enthusiast with a focus on enriching the Nigeria Linux experience and keeping a keen eye on Ubuntu and other Foss related developments.
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