usermod man page

usermod — modify a user account

TL;DR

usermod -l {{newname}} {{user}}

usermod -a -G {{group1,group2}} {{user}}

usermod -m -d {{/path/to/home}} {{user}}

Synopsis

usermod [options] LOGIN

Description

The usermod command modifies the system account files to reflect the changes that are specified on the command line.

Options

The options which apply to the usermod command are:

-a, --append
Add the user to the supplementary group(s). Use only with the -G option.
-c, --comment COMMENT
The new value of the user's password file comment field. It is normally modified using the chfn(1) utility.
-d, --home HOME_DIR
The user's new login directory.

If the -m option is given, the contents of the current home directory will be moved to the new home directory, which is created if it does not already exist. If the current home directory does not exist the new home directory will not be created.
-e, --expiredate EXPIRE_DATE
The date on which the user account will be disabled. The date is specified in the format YYYY-MM-DD.

An empty EXPIRE_DATE argument will disable the expiration of the account.

This option requires a /etc/shadow file. A /etc/shadow entry will be created if there were none.
-f, --inactive INACTIVE
The number of days after a password expires until the account is permanently disabled.

A value of 0 disables the account as soon as the password has expired, and a value of -1 disables the feature.

This option requires a /etc/shadow file. A /etc/shadow entry will be created if there were none.
-g, --gid GROUP
The group name or number of the user's new initial login group. The group must exist.

Any file from the user's home directory owned by the previous primary group of the user will be owned by this new group.

The group ownership of files outside of the user's home directory must be fixed manually.
-G, --groups GROUP1[,GROUP2,...[,GROUPN]]]
A list of supplementary groups which the user is also a member of. Each group is separated from the next by a comma, with no intervening whitespace. The groups are subject to the same restrictions as the group given with the -g option.

If the user is currently a member of a group which is not listed, the user will be removed from the group. This behaviour can be changed via the -a option, which appends the user to the current supplementary group list.
-l, --login NEW_LOGIN
The name of the user will be changed from LOGIN to NEW_LOGIN. Nothing else is changed. In particular, the user's home directory or mail spool should probably be renamed manually to reflect the new login name.
-L, --lock
Lock a user's password. This puts a '!' in front of the encrypted password, effectively disabling the password. You can't use this option with -p or -U.

Note: if you wish to lock the account (not only access with a password), you should also set the EXPIRE_DATE to 1.
-m, --move-home
Move the content of the user's home directory to the new location. If the current home directory does not exist the new home directory will not be created.

This option is only valid in combination with the -d (or --home) option.

usermod will try to adapt the ownership of the files and to copy the modes, ACL and extended attributes, but manual changes might be needed afterwards.
-o, --non-unique
When used with the -u option, this option allows to change the user ID to a non-unique value.
-p, --password PASSWORD
The encrypted password, as returned by crypt(3).

Note: This option is not recommended because the password (or encrypted password) will be visible by users listing the processes.

You should make sure the password respects the system's password policy.
-R, --root CHROOT_DIR
Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory.
-s, --shell SHELL
The name of the user's new login shell. Setting this field to blank causes the system to select the default login shell.
-u, --uid UID
The new numerical value of the user's ID.

This value must be unique, unless the -o option is used. The value must be non-negative.

The user's mailbox, and any files which the user owns and which are located in the user's home directory will have the file user ID changed automatically.

The ownership of files outside of the user's home directory must be fixed manually.

No checks will be performed with regard to the UID_MIN, UID_MAX, SYS_UID_MIN, or SYS_UID_MAX from /etc/login.defs.
-U, --unlock
Unlock a user's password. This removes the '!' in front of the encrypted password. You can't use this option with -p or -L.

Note: if you wish to unlock the account (not only access with a password), you should also set the EXPIRE_DATE (for example to 99999, or to the EXPIRE value from /etc/default/useradd).
-v, --add-sub-uids FIRST-LAST
Add a range of subordinate uids to the user's account.

This option may be specified multiple times to add multiple ranges to a users account.

No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, or SUB_UID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs.
-V, --del-sub-uids FIRST-LAST
Remove a range of subordinate uids from the user's account.

This option may be specified multiple times to remove multiple ranges to a users account. When both --del-sub-uids and --add-sub-uids are specified, the removal of all subordinate uid ranges happens before any subordinate uid range is added.

No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, or SUB_UID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs.
-w, --add-sub-gids FIRST-LAST
Add a range of subordinate gids to the user's account.

This option may be specified multiple times to add multiple ranges to a users account.

No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, or SUB_GID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs.
-W, --del-sub-gids FIRST-LAST
Remove a range of subordinate gids from the user's account.

This option may be specified multiple times to remove multiple ranges to a users account. When both --del-sub-gids and --add-sub-gids are specified, the removal of all subordinate gid ranges happens before any subordinate gid range is added.

No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, or SUB_GID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs.
-Z, --selinux-user SEUSER
The new SELinux user for the user's login.

A blank SEUSER will remove the SELinux user mapping for user LOGIN (if any).

Caveats

You must make certain that the named user is not executing any processes when this command is being executed if the user's numerical user ID, the user's name, or the user's home directory is being changed. usermod checks this on Linux. On other platforms it only uses utmp to check if the user is logged in.

You must change the owner of any crontab files or at jobs manually.

You must make any changes involving NIS on the NIS server.

Configuration

The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the behavior of this tool:

MAIL_DIR (string)

The mail spool directory. This is needed to manipulate the mailbox when its corresponding user account is modified or deleted. If not specified, a compile-time default is used.

MAIL_FILE (string)

Defines the location of the users mail spool files relatively to their home directory.

The MAIL_DIR and MAIL_FILE variables are used by useradd, usermod, and userdel to create, move, or delete the user's mail spool.

If MAIL_CHECK_ENAB is set to yes, they are also used to define the MAIL environment variable.

MAX_MEMBERS_PER_GROUP (number)

Maximum members per group entry. When the maximum is reached, a new group entry (line) is started in /etc/group (with the same name, same password, and same GID).

The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the number of members in a group.

This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines in the group file. This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS groups are not larger than 1024 characters.

If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25.

Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the Shadow toolsuite). You should not use this variable unless you really need it.

SUB_GID_MIN (number), SUB_GID_MAX (number), SUB_GID_COUNT (number)

If /etc/subuid exists, the commands useradd and newusers (unless the user already have subordinate group IDs) allocate SUB_GID_COUNT unused group IDs from the range SUB_GID_MIN to SUB_GID_MAX for each new user.

The default values for SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, SUB_GID_COUNT are respectively 100000, 600100000 and 10000.

SUB_UID_MIN (number), SUB_UID_MAX (number), SUB_UID_COUNT (number)

If /etc/subuid exists, the commands useradd and newusers (unless the user already have subordinate user IDs) allocate SUB_UID_COUNT unused user IDs from the range SUB_UID_MIN to SUB_UID_MAX for each new user.

The default values for SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, SUB_UID_COUNT are respectively 100000, 600100000 and 10000.

Files

/etc/group

Group account information.

/etc/gshadow

Secure group account information.

/etc/login.defs

Shadow password suite configuration.

/etc/passwd

User account information.

/etc/shadow

Secure user account information.

/etc/subgid

Per user subordinate group IDs.

/etc/subuid

Per user subordinate user IDs.

See Also

chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), crypt(3), gpasswd(8), groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), login.defs(5), subgid(5), subuid(5), useradd(8), userdel(8).

Referenced By

groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmems(8), groupmod(8), newgidmap(1), newuidmap(1), pwck(8), subgid(5), subuid(5), useradd(8), userdel(8).

08/25/2016 shadow-utils 4.3.1 System Management Commands