ADDUSER(8)                  System Manager's Manual                 ADDUSER(8)


     adduser, rmuser - add and delete users from the system


     adduser [-batch username [group[,group] ...] [fullname] [password]]
             [-check_only] [-class login_class] [-config_create]
             [-dotdir directory] [-e method | -encryption method]
             [-group login_group] [-h | -help | -?] [-home partition]
             [-message file] [-noconfig] [-shell shell]
             [-s | -silent | -q | -quiet] [-uid_start uid] [-uid_end uid]
             [-v | -verbose] [-unencrypted]

     rmuser [username]


     The adduser program adds new users to the system.  The rmuser program
     removes users from the system.  When not passed any arguments, both
     utilities operate in interactive mode and prompt for any required

     The options are as follows:

     -batch username [group[,group] ...] [fullname] [password]
             Enter batch mode in which multiple users are specified on the
             command line in a compact format.  By default the password is
             assumed to already be properly encrypted.

             Check the passwd, group, and shells databases for consistency and
             problems then exit without performing any other operation.

     -class login_class
             Use the specified login_class as the default user login class.
             See login.conf(5) for further details.

             Create or edit default configuration information and message file
             before proceeding with the normal interactive adduser procedure.

     -dotdir directory
             Copy files from directory into the HOME directory of new users.
             Files named in the fashion of ``'' will be renamed to
             ``.foo''.  By default, all files are made writable and readable
             by their owner.

     -encryption, -e method
             Encrypt local passwords using method of encryption as described
             in login.conf(5).  If method is ``auto'', the encryption type
             will be derived from the user's login class.

     -group login_group
             Specify the default login group.  A value of USER means that the
             username is to be used as the login group.

     -help, -h, -?
             Print a summary of options and exit.

     -home partition
             Specify the default home partition where all users' home
             directories are to be located.

     -message file
             Send new users a welcome message from file.  Specifying a value
             of ``no'' for file causes no message to be sent to new users.

             Do not read the default configuration file.

     -shell shell
             Specify the default shell for new users.

     -silent, -s, -quiet, -q
             Causes the program to print fewer warnings, questions, and bug

     -uid_start uid
             Use UIDs from uid up when automatically generating UIDs.

     -uid_end uid
             Do not use UIDs higher than uid when generating UIDs.

             Causes the program to assume that the password given in batch
             mode is unencrypted.  The password will be encrypted before being
             added to the password file.  Use of this option is discouraged,
             as the username and cleartext password will appear in the process
             list, which is visible to users.

     -verbose, -v
             Causes the program to print many warnings and questions.  This
             option is recommended for novice users.

     adduser first performs consistency checks on the password, group, and
     shell databases.  This includes finding any duplicate user or group
     names, illegal shells, or shells that aren't executable.  Once these
     tests are passed, adduser performs the following operations for each new

           1.   Add the appropriate entries to the password and group files
                and re-generate the password database using pwd_mkdb(8).

           2.   Create a home directory and copy all files from the skeletal
                login directory (normally /etc/skel) to this new directory.
                Files named in the fashion of ``'' will be renamed to
                ``.foo'' in the new directory.

           3.   Mails the new user a welcome message at the discretion of the
                account creator.

     Similarly, when removing a user, rmuser performs the following operations
     for the given username:

           1.   Removes any crontab(1) entries or at(1) jobs belonging to the

           2.   Removes the user from the password database and all groups in
                the group database.  If a group becomes empty and its name is
                the same as the username, the group is removed (this
                complements adduser's unique per-user groups).

           3.   Recursively deletes all files in the user's home directory and
                removes the directory itself (provided the directory actually
                belongs to the user).  rmuser prompts for confirmation before
                actually doing this.

           4.   Removes the user's incoming mail file if one exists.

     Understandably, rmuser politely refuses to remove users whose UID is 0
     (typically root).


             It is recommended that login names contain only lowercase
             characters and digits.  They may also contain uppercase
             characters, non-leading hyphens, periods, underscores, and a
             trailing `$'.  Login names may not be longer than 31 characters.
             If you need a longer login name for email addresses, you can
             define an alias in /etc/mail/aliases.

             This should contain the user's first name and surname.  The `:'
             is not permitted.

             The specified user login class must exist in /etc/login.conf.

     shell   Only valid entries from the shells(5) database or entries
             corresponding to pppd(8) are permitted.

             This value is the start of the range where free UID values are
             searched for.  This value must be less than the value of uid_end.
             The default value is 1000 or as configured in the configuration

             This value is the end of the range where free UID values are
             searched for.  This value must be more than the value of
             uid_start.  The default value is 2147483647 or as configured in
             the configuration file.

     gid/login group
             This value is generated automatically, but can be specified at
             the discretion of the person invoking the program.

             If not empty, the password is encrypted according to
             login.conf(5).  If empty, the account will be automatically
             disabled to prevent spurious access to it.


     adduser follows these steps to extract its configuration information:

           1.   Read internal variables.
           2.   Read configuration file (/etc/adduser.conf).
           3.   Parse command-line options.

     The adduser.conf format is explained within that file and is quite


     /etc/master.passwd     user database
     /etc/group             group database
     /etc/shells            shell database
     /etc/ptmp              lock file for the passwd database
     /etc/adduser.conf      configuration file for adduser
     /etc/adduser.message   message file for adduser
     /etc/skel              skeletal login directory
     /var/log/adduser       log file for adduser


     Start adduser in interactive mode:

           # adduser

     Create user ``falken'' and login group ``falken''.  Invite user
     ``falken'' into groups ``guest'', ``staff'', and ``beer''.  Realname
     (fullname) is ``Prof. Falken''.  The password has been created using

           # adduser -batch falken guest,staff,beer 'Prof. Falken' \

     Create user ``vehlefanz'' in login group ``guest''.  Start the free UID
     search at 5000.  No other groups, no realname, no password.  Send a
     welcome message:

           # adduser -uid_start 5000 -group guest \
               -message /etc/adduser.message -batch vehlefanz

     Create user ``jsmith'' and place in the ``jsmith'' login group.  Also add
     to the ``staff'' group.  No password:

           # adduser -group USER -batch jsmith staff


     chpass(1), finger(1), passwd(1), setlogin(2), aliases(5), group(5),
     login.conf(5), passwd(5), shells(5), nologin(8), pwd_mkdb(8), vipw(8),

OpenBSD 5.9                    December 24, 2015                   OpenBSD 5.9

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