How to a Add and Remove User Account on RHEL 6/7, CentOS 6/7, Oracle Linux 6/7

This article will explain and share how to add and remove user account with useradd(add) and userdel (remove) from the command-line on linux RHEL 6/7, CentOS 6/7, Oracle Linux 6/7 server.

1. Adding a New User to an Linux System.

a) Get the useradd manual :

# man useradd
useradd - create a new user or update default new user information

b) To creates the new account and the /home/john home directory :

# useradd --home /home/ehowstuff ehowstuff

c) useraddd command does not set any valid password by default, and user cannot log in until a password is set.To set the password user the following command :

# passwd ehowstuff
Changing password for user ehowstuff.
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

d) Verify the values in /etc/password :

# cat /etc/passwd | grep ehowstuff

e) Verify the values in /etc/group :

# cat /etc/group | grep ehowstuff

f) Verify email user created for id ehowstuff :

# ls /var/spool/mail | grep ehowstuff

More useradd options :

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-c, –comment COMMENT
Add a value, such as a full name, to the GECOS field.

-g, –gid GROUP
Specify the primary group for the user account.

-G, –groups GROUPS
Specify a list if supplementary groups for the user account.

-a, –append
Used with the -G option to append the user to the supplemental groups mentioned without removing the user from other groups.

-d, –home HOME_DIR
Specify a new home directory to a new location. Must be used with the -d option.

-m, –move-home
Move a user home directory to a new location. Must be used with the -d option.

-s, –shell SHELL
Specify a new login shell for the user account.

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-L, –lock
Lock a user account.

-U, –unlock
Unlock a user account.

2. Deleting a User from an Linux System.

a) Get userdel manual :

# man userdel
userdel - delete a user account and related files

b) userdel username removes the user from /etc/passwd, but leaves the home directory intact by default. Proper command to remove the user’s account, user’s home directory and mail spool as part of the deletion process :

# userdel --remove ehowstuff


# userdel -r ehowstuff

Warning :
When a user is removed with userdel without the -r option specified, the system will have files that are owned by an unassigned user ID number. This can also happen when files created by a deleted user exist outside their home directory. This situation can lead to information leakage and other security issues.

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