Managing Linux User Accounts


Article from Issue 56/2005

The steps for setting up new accounts in Linux are automated and often use GUI-based tools. Under the hood, a number of mechanisms give the new user an environment to match his or her needs. In this month’s Admin Workshop we discuss techniques for setting up accounts.

With a modern Linux distribution, you just need a few clicks to create a new user account. Figure 1 shows you an example from Suse. GUI-based front-ends of this kind rely on command line programs such as adduser or useradd to do the heavy lifting. It is extremely important for administrators to know exactly what goes on when they create a user account. Automated features can be tailored to meet the requirements in your environment. When you create an account, a number of databases need the new user’s details. Users will typically need a home directory and write privileges to match. Administrators don’t just throw their users in at the deep end when it comes to program settings; instead, many settings are pre-configured. Of course, it is impossible to take every setting into account when creating new users, especially if the user will not be logging in until some time in the distant future.

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