How do you add a new user to a machine running the Ubuntu operating system?
In this article, we'll go over how to create a new user on Ubuntu, along with some additional actions like adding your user to the
sudo group and deleting a user.
Let's jump right into it!
Create New User
To create a new user, you can use the
adduser command provided natively by Ubuntu. This command will add a user to your machine according to the command line options and configuration information in the
Here's how the command looks (replace
bob with your user's name):
sudo adduser bob
You'll be prompted to set the password for your new user and also confirm it by retyping the value:
Enter new UNIX password: Retype new UNIX password: passwd: password updated successfully
Next, you'll be prompted to set some information for your new user. You can fill them out or just press ENTER repeatedly to skip each one.
Changing the user information for bob 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]
Once that command finishes, your new user will be created!
If you want to switch over and use your new user, use the
su - command:
su - bob
You'll be asked to enter the password for your new user before you're given access.
Add User to the Sudo Group
Now that you have a new user, you can add it to the
sudo group and, therefore, give it
Use this command to add your user to the
sudo usermod -aG sudo bob
Your user is now part of the
To run a command with
root permissions, all you need to do is prepend the command with
Delete New User
In the scenario that you ever need to delete your user, you can use the
userdel command native to Ubuntu.
userdel is a low level utility for removing users that modifies the system account files, deleting any entry that refers to a given user name.
To delete a user, use this command (replace
bob with your user's name):
sudo userdel bob
If the username supplied doesn't exist, the command will fail.
Then, you may also want to delete the
/home directory associated with the deleted user account:
sudo rm -r /home/username
You can also achieve this by adding the
--remove flag to the
userdel command. This will remove the user's home directory along with the home directory itself.
The command with the
--remove flag attached would look like this:
sudo userdel --remove bob
One caveat is that the
userdel command will not allow you to delete a user if there are running processes that belong to that user. The
--force option can force the deletion of this account.
The command would look like this:
sudo userdel --force bob
After using the
userdel command, you should also manually go through your system files and verify that no files owned by the user remain.
Thanks for reading and happy coding!