The “adduser” Command in Linux [12 Practical Examples]

The adduser is a command in Linux that is used to create a new user or group on the system. It’s a user-friendly front-end command that simplifies the process of adding a new user by handling various configurations and defaults. It creates a new user with a home directory (/home/username by default), sets up initial configuration files, and copies files from /etc/skel to the user’s home directory to provide a basic environment for the new user.

In this article, I will describe all the features and uses of the “adduser” command in Linux.

Syntax of “adduser” Command

The general syntax for using adduser commands is:

adduser [OPTION] username

In the above syntax, the [OPTION] is not mandatory. It takes “username” as a parameter and creates a new home directory for the “username”.

Options of “adduser” Command

There are some options for the “adduser” command to modify its execution. You can check them with the man (manual) command.

man adduser
Options Description
–disabled-login Does not ask to set a password for a new user. The user won’t be able to use the account until the password is set.
–disabled-password Like –disabled-login, but logins are still possible (for example using SSH RSA keys) but not using password authentication.
–group Creates a group.
-h or –help Display brief instructions.
–home Add a User with a Different Home Directory.
–firstuid Override the first uid in the range that the uid is chosen from (overrides FIRST_UID specified in the configuration file.
–lastuid Override the last uid in the range that the uid is chosen from  LAST_UID.
–shell Add a User with a Different Shell.
–system Create a system user or group.
-u or –uid Force the new user ID to be the given number. adduser will fail if the ID is already taken.
–version
Display version and copyright information.

Note: All options are case-sensitive.

Practical Examples of the “adduser” Command in Linux

The adduser command in Linux helps to manage the system’s users and groups by adding and deleting users and designating them into various groups. A few real-life examples of the command are given below.

1. Add a New User Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To add a new user, use the adduser command, and provide the username after the command as below:

sudo adduser tyan

Here, “tyan” is the username. After running the above command, you can see a new user named “tyan” is created.adduser command in linux has created a user named tyan.


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2. Add a User With a Specific Shell Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

Sometimes, creating a new user account with a different shell is necessary. The default shell is /bin/bash for new users in Ubuntu. Here, I will create a new user account with the /bin/sh shell, skipping the other details. Here’s an example to do so:

  1. At first, open the Ubuntu Terminal.
  2. Type the following command in the command prompt:
    sudo adduser rick --shell /bin/sh
  3. Now, press the ENTER button.
  4. After that, Type the following command to check the shell:
    grep rick /etc/passwd
  5. Now, press the ENTER button.

Then, you can see a new user named rick is created with a different shell.adduser command in linux has created a user named rick in a specific shell.

3. Add a User With a Different Home Directory

You can create a user with a different home directory. For example, to add a user “arsenal” with a different home directory (/home/football), run the following command in the command prompt:

sudo adduser arsenal --home /home/football

In the following image, you can see “arsenal” user account is created with the /home/football home directory.adduser command in linux has created a user named arsenal within home directory named football

4. Create a User Without Home Directory

To create a user account without creating a home directory, use the adduser command with the --no-create-home option. Here’s how:

sudo adduser --no-create-home lee

The above command creates a user account named “lee” without creating a home directory.adduser command has created a user named lee with the help of the --no-create-home option, home directory for the new user lee has not been created.

5.  Add New User With a Specified User ID Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To create a new user account specifying an individual user ID, you can use the adduser command with option -u. Here is an example:

sudo adduser -u 16101 bean

It will create a new user account named “bean” specifying a user ID 16101.

Now, the below command will confirm whether the user contains the specific user ID.

id bean

adduser command in linux has created a user named bean with a specific user ID

6. Add New User With a Specific Group ID Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To create a new user account specifying an individual group ID, use the adduser command along with option --gid. Here is an example:

sudo adduser --gid 1007 morty

It will create a user named “morty” and add it to a group of specific group ID: 1007.

Now, to check the group ID of morty, type the following command in the command prompt.

id morty 

adduser command in linux has created a user named morty assigning it to a specific group ID which is 1007In the above image, you can see the “morty” user account is created and added to a group named mortygroup of specific group ID: 1007.

7. Add a New System User Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To create a new system user, you can use the adduser command and the --system option. Here is an example:

sudo adduser -- system thiago

It will create a system user named “thiago”adduser command has created a user named thiago as system user.In the above image, you can see “thiago” user account has been created as a system user. Here you can see its UID is 130 (in my case) which means that it is a system user account.

8. Create a User With Disabled Login Set-up

To create a user account by skipping setting the password initially, you have to use the adduser command with --disabled-login option. Follow the example command:

sudo adduser --disabled-login tik

It will create a user account named “tik” without setting a password initially.adduser command has created a user named tik with the option disabled loginIn the above image, you can see by using the --disabled-login option, the command prompt does not ask to set a password for the new user. However, The user won’t be able to use the account until the password is set.

9. Create a User Without a Password Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To create a user account by skipping setting the password initially, use the adduser command with --disabled-passwordoption. Follow the example command:

sudo adduser --disabled-password peter

adduser command has created a user named peter with the option disabled passwordIn the above image, you can see by using the --disabled-password option, the command prompt does not ask to set a password for the new user.

10. Creating a Group Using the “adduser” Command in Linux

To create a group, you can use the adduser command with --group option followed by the group name. For example, if you want to creat a group named “xyz”, use:

sudo adduser --group xyz

adduser command has created a group named xyzIn the above image, you can see “xyz” group has been created.

11. Display the Help Section of the “adduser” Command

For details about the adduser command in Linux, you can go to the help section using the command:

adduser -h

help section of adduser command is shown with the help of -h optionIn the above image, the help section of the adduser command is displayed.

12. Get the Version of the adduser Command

To get the version of the adduser command, use --version options after the adduser command.

adduser --version

version of adduser command is shown with the help of --version optionThe following image shows the version details of the adduser command.

Conclusion

In this article, I have tried to demonstrate the applications and effectiveness of the adduser command in Linux. I hope you’ll be competent enough to explore more things with the help of these practical examples.

People Also Ask

Should I use adduser or useradd?

If you want to create a new user account with customized parameters, useradd is the better option. If you want to create a new user account with default settings and options, adduser is the way to go. Both commands are used to create new users or groups in Linux. However, adduser is a high-level interface for useradd and features interactive prompts when creating new accounts.

How to add UID in Linux?

To add a new user with a specific UID in Linux, you can use the useradd command with the -u option. For example, to create a new user named “newuser” with a UID of 1001, you can run the following command:

sudo adduser -u 1001 newuser

How to add a user in Ubuntu?

To add a new user in Ubuntu, you can use the adduser command in the syntax sudo adduser usernamereplacing the username with the desired username. If you want to create a new user with a specific UID, you can use the -u option with the adduser command in the syntax sudo adduser -u UID username. Replace UID and username with the desired ID and username.

What does adduser command do in Linux?

The adduser command in Linux is used to create a new user or group. The basic syntax for the command is:

sudo adduser <options> <username>

By default, the command adds a user based on the preconfigured options in the /etc/adduser.conf file.


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Susmit Das Gupta

Hello everyone. I am Susmit Das Gupta, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I am a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Besides my routine works, I find interest in going through new things, exploring new places, and capturing landscapes. Read Full Bio

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