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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/


From Tethys on 10 May 1998

>> I've switch from Slackware to Redhat Linux. The former has an "adduser" command and interactive (sort of). With the latter, I have to manually create the subdirectory (e.g. /home/<group>/<username>) of each user and fix the entry in /etc/passwd. Does anybody know a good utility for this?
Yep. It's called adduser :-)

It's present in all versions of RedHat I've used. It's not very configurable (although you can change defaults by editing the script itself), but it gets the job done.

It's in /usr/sbin, which may not be in your default path, although for root it really should be.


(!) The shadow suite comes with a much more powerful set of commands including: useradd, userdel, groupadd, groupmod, and groupdel. These contain switches to specify full name, home directory, shell, primary group, a list of other groups, and other information (you can even specify which UID should be used as the "base" or force it to "overlay" the new account's UID with an existing one --- if you absolutely must have multiple accounts share the same ID).

It appears (from my experience with Sun/Solaris systems) to be completely compatible with the equivalently named commands on those systems --- so creating scripts and even CGI forms to process new accounts en masse is pretty easy.

It does seem to require that you use "shadow" passwords --- but basically any system should do that in any event (and it should be the default for all distributions --- blast it!).

(Unfortunately that still isn't the case. Grrr!)

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 29 June 1998

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