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Manage users under Linux

Create user using CLI

Interactive mode

sudo adduser claude

Then you have to answer severals questions

Adding user `claude' ...
Adding new group `claude' (1001) ...
Adding new user `claude' (1001) with group `claude' ...
The home directory `/home/claude' already exists.  Not copying from `/etc/skel'.
adduser: Warning: The home directory `/home/claude' does not belong to the user you are currently creating.
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
Changing the user information for claude
Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
    Full Name []: Real name
    Room Number []:
    Work Phone []:
    Home Phone []:
    Other []:
Is the information correct? [Y/n] y

None interactive mode


sudo adduser --home /home/nathan/ nathan

Moving user home directory (need to be reviewed)

Let say you want to move users directories on a new partition /mnt/data/

To avoid confusion create a home folder and then usermod will handle everything (target folder should not exist).

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/data/home
sudo chmod 755 /mnt/data
sudo chmod 755 /mnt/data/home

From here you have two options:

Moving user home in /etc/passwd

# for current user
sudo usermod -m -d /mnt/data/home/${USER} ${USER}

# for a user named 'claude' (Warn user must exist)
sudo usermod -m -d /mnt/data/home/claude claude

Then if you want to be sure everything is working on the new location (if have some configured application using /home/claude for instance)

# for current user
sudo ln -s /mnt/data/home/${USER} /home/${USER}

# for a user named 'claude'
sudo ln -s /mnt/data/home/claude /home/claude

Double check you have created expected link using

ls --color -lF /home

Another option (my favorite) is to keep /etc/passwd using /home/USERDIR and create

Restoring a user home


Notice warning in log, it that situation it look like you have restore user account, so after this you need to fix rights access:

Basically you need to run chown

sudo chown -R claude:claude /home/claude/
# OR (depending of your previous choice)
sudo chown -R claude:claude /mnt/data/home/claude/
  • -R for recurse acion
  • claude:claude to set userid and groupid for all files
  • /home/claude/ or /mnt/data/home/claude/ real home folder localtion