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User and Group Management

On most systems, it will be desirable to create users besides the root user for every day tasks. Additionally, it is often disable to create additional groups for categorizing users and handling permissions. This section provides a basic overview of Cucumber Linux specific user management. For more general information on user management, there is a great article on the Arch Linux Wiki at

User Management Utilities

For user management, Cucumber Linux supplies the commonly used useradd, usermod and userdel programs. These programs should be run as root. More information can about them can be found in their man pages (these can be accessed by running man useradd, man usermod and man userdel).

These utilities are provided by the shadow package, and therefore have out of the box support for encrypted passwords and other security features provided by shadow.

Adding a User the Easy Way

For adding users, Cucumber Linux also provides an interactive, more user friendly utility: adduser. This is the easiest way to create new users; to start simply run adduser as root.

First, you will be asked to enter a name for the user account. User account names may contain lowercase letters, numbers and dashes.

Next you will be asked to choose a User ID. Just press enter and one will automatically be selected.

Then you will be asked what you would like the user’s primary group to be. The default option is users, which every human user account on the system is usually a member of. You are of course free to change this, but the group you enter must already exist.

Then enter any additional groups you want the user to belong to. For this step, the adduser program will provide the details of how this works. If you are unsure what to enter, the following is recommended: if this user is going to be logging in as a desktop user, press up and then enter; otherwise, just press enter.

Enter the user’s desired home directory. Usually this doesn’t need to be changed: press enter to accept the default.

Enter the user’s desired shell. This also doesn’t usually need to be changed and you can press enter to accept the default. The only shell that is natively supported on Cucumber Linux is the Bash shell, so there isn’t much of a choice to be made here unless you manually install a third party shell.

Enter the expiration date for this user account. If you enter a date here, the account will be disabled on that date and the user won’t be able to log in after that. You will usually want to leave this blank. Press enter to actually create the user account.

Next you will be asked to enter the user’s name and some other information. Changing this information is not necessary and it has no impact on the account’s functionality. This part is really just a throwback to when Unix was used internally at AT&T and it was useful to be able to figure out a user’s office information; it is seldom used on modern systems.

Finally, enter a password for the user. While the password selection for an unprivileged user is slightly less important than the password selection for the root user, you should still use a strong password here; failure to do so will still significantly lessen the security of your system.

The account setup will now be complete and the new account will be ready for use.

Group Management Utilities

For group management, Cucumber Linux supplies the commonly used counterparts to the user management utilities: groupadd, groupmod and groupdel, all of which should also be run as root. These programs are also provided for by the shadow package and therefore also support shadow’s enhanced security features out of the box.

sysconfig/user_management.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/30 20:04 (external edit)