How to Add and Delete Users on Debian 9
3 min read
Debian, as well as all other Linux distributions is a multi-user operating system. Each user can have different permission level and specific settings for various command line and GUI application.
Knowing how to add and remove users is one of the basic skills a Linux user should know.
This tutorial explains how to add and remove users on Debian 9.
You’ll need to be logged in as root or user with sudo access to be able to add and delete users on your Debian system.
How To Add User in Debian
In Debian, there are two command-line tools that you can use to create a new user account:
useradd is a low-level utility for adding users while the
adduser a friendly interactive frontend to
useradd written in Perl.
To create a new user account named
username using the
adduser command you would run:
sudo adduser username
Adding user `username' ... Adding new group `username' (1001) ... Adding new user `username' (1001) with group `username' ... Creating home directory `/home/username' ... Copying files from `/etc/skel' ...
You will be asked a series of questions. The password is required and all other fields are optional.
Enter new UNIX password: Retype new UNIX password: passwd: password updated successfully Changing the user information for username Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default Full Name : Room Number : Work Phone : Home Phone : Other : Is the information correct? [Y/n]
On the last prompt you'll need to confirm that the information is correct by entering
The command will create the new user’s home directory, and copy files from
/etc/skel directory to the user’s home directory. Within the home directory, the user can write, edit, and delete files and directories.
By default on Debian, members of the group sudo are granted with sudo access.
If you want the newly created user to have administrative rights, add the user to the sudo group:
sudo usermod -aG sudo username
How To Delete a User in Debian
If the user account is no longer needed, you can delete it either with
deluser. On Debian, you should usually use the
deluser command as it is more friendly than the low-level
To delete the user, without deleting the user files, run:
sudo deluser username
If you want to delete and the user's home directory and mail spool use the
--remove-home flag: \
sudo deluser --remove-home username
In this tutorial, you learned how to add and remove users in Debian. The same commands apply for any Debian-based distribution.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.