Create and Manage Linux Users

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I’ve had to create a user on my linux server a number of times in the last few months and every time I have to look up how to do it.

To create a user for your linux server…

 $ useradd <username>

… without alias, on mine anyway…

 $ /usr/sbin/useradd

You will probably need to use sudo or to switch to root user $ su, unless you’re ssh’ing in under root. Word to the wise: “Don’t!” Really for security you should disable root access via ssh and allow switch user or su.

Add/Change password:

 $ passwd <username>

Specify a home directory for user:

 $ usermod -d <path/to/directory> <username>

Or you can add the home directory when creating the user:

 $ useradd <username> -d <path/to/directory>

Nice note: this will create the directory if it isn’t already created.

Allow ssh access under this user; edit your sshd_config file. For me this file is here: /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Search for ‘AllowUsers’ in this file.

Note: In Nano ctrl + w is to search and in VIM ‘/’ and your string while not in ‘insert’ mode will allow you to search.

Add your new user to this line. Users are separated by only a space, no comas dashes or anything; example:

AllowUsers sparkmasterflex bob fred

… will allow three users ssh access (sparkmasterflex, bob and fred)

Then you need to reload the sshd:

$ /etc/init.d/sshd/ restart
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