Guides and tutorials

Hundreds of tutorials and step by step guides carefully written by our support team.

How to create new users on linux from the command line

Below you will find the steps to create new users on linux from the command line.

How to create a new user in GNU/Linux operating systems

In the first place, it will be an indispensable requirement to have SSH/terminal access to an account with superuser permissions. For example, the root user account.

Next, we will use the command useradd to create the user. The syntax is the following:

useradd -options username

For the purposes of this manual, we will only consider the -m option that allows us to specify whether or not we want to create a Home directory with the same name as the user we created.


Create a user with home directory:

useradd -m newuser

Create a user without home directory:

useradd newuser

How to assign a password to the new user

Changing the password of the new user (or any other user of the system) is as easy as executing the following command as superuser.

passwd username

Next we will be asked to enter the password and confirm with the ENTER key. Then we will be asked to repeat it for security reasons.

info During the process of password assignment, the keyboard will not seem to work, however what happens is that the characters entered are invisible. You should type the password normally, being aware that you simply cannot see what is being written.

How to assign or change a home directory to the new user

If during the process of creating the new user we have not specified a home directory (or if we want to modify the directory of an existing user), we can use the command usermod.

The syntax is the following:

usermod -m -d /home/destinationdirectory/ username

The -d option allows you to specify the path of a non-existent directory. It is important that this directory does not exist previously.

The option -m allows to indicate that all the content must be moved to the new directory. Useful in the case of an existing user.

How ​​to delete a user

If we want to delete a user we will do it with an account with superuser permissions. For example, the root user account.

We will use the userdel command with the following syntax:

userdel  -options username

Most of the time, the -r option is used to delete the main directory and the user's mail queue, leaving the command as follows:

userdel  -r username

For example we are going to create a user called usertest with its own home, then we will assign a password (which will not be seen on the screen for security reasons of the operating system itself), later we will change that user and see what is the directory in the one we entered when making the change. Finally we are going to list the user's directory to see with what permissions it has been created:

enter image description here