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User and Group Commands

Date: Wed Sep 26 13:10:54 EDT 2018

List of user and user environment commands:

  • logname : print user's login name
  • whoami : print effective userid
  • id : print real and effective user and group IDs
  • w : show who is logged on and what they are doing
  • who : show who is logged on
  • users : print the user names of users currently logged in to the current host
  • last : show a listing of last logged in users
  • printenv : print all or part of environment
  • finger : user information lookup program (see chfn below)
  • pinky : lightweight finger (see chfn below)

Create, change, or modify user accounts:

  • useradd : create a new user or update default new user information
  • userdel : delete a user account and related files
  • usermod : modify a user account
  • passwd : change user password
  • chpasswd : update passwords in batch mode
  • chfn : change real user name and information
  • chsh : change login shell

Create, change, or modify group accounts:

  • groups : print the groups a user is in
  • groupadd : create a new group
  • groupdel : delete a group
  • groupmod : modify a group definition on the system

Note: some of the above commands have "friendlier" versions on some systems. These include the following. However, it's always seemed that the useradd etc versions are more easily scriptable. In any case, see the man pages:

  • adduser : add a user to the system
  • addgroup : add a group to the system


A few of commands were added, but most of the above commands were neatly organized for reference in:

Barrett, Daniel J. (2004). Linux: Pocket guide. Sebastopol: O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Descriptions of the above commands come from the NAME field in the respective man pages. I.e., by using:

man -k <command>
linux/managing-users-and-groups-part-2.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/21 11:15 by seanburns