NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | CONFIGURATION | FILES | EXIT VALUES | CAVEATS | SEE ALSO | COLOPHON

USERDEL(8)               System Management Commands               USERDEL(8)

NAME         top

       userdel - delete a user account and related files

SYNOPSIS         top

       userdel [options] LOGIN

DESCRIPTION         top

       The userdel command modifies the system account files, deleting all
       entries that refer to the user name LOGIN. The named user must exist.

OPTIONS         top

       The options which apply to the userdel command are:

       -f, --force
           This option forces the removal of the user account, even if the
           user is still logged in. It also forces userdel to remove the
           user's home directory and mail spool, even if another user uses
           the same home directory or if the mail spool is not owned by the
           specified user. If USERGROUPS_ENAB is defined to yes in
           /etc/login.defs and if a group exists with the same name as the
           deleted user, then this group will be removed, even if it is
           still the primary group of another user.

           Note: This option is dangerous and may leave your system in an
           inconsistent state.

       -h, --help
           Display help message and exit.

       -r, --remove
           Files in the user's home directory will be removed along with the
           home directory itself and the user's mail spool. Files located in
           other file systems will have to be searched for and deleted
           manually.

           The mail spool is defined by the MAIL_DIR variable in the
           login.defs file.

       -R, --root CHROOT_DIR
           Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the
           configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory.

       -Z, --selinux-user
           Remove any SELinux user mapping for the user's login.

CONFIGURATION         top

       The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the
       behavior of this tool:

       MAIL_DIR (string)
           The mail spool directory. This is needed to manipulate the
           mailbox when its corresponding user account is modified or
           deleted. If not specified, a compile-time default is used.

       MAIL_FILE (string)
           Defines the location of the users mail spool files relatively to
           their home directory.

       The MAIL_DIR and MAIL_FILE variables are used by useradd, usermod,
       and userdel to create, move, or delete the user's mail spool.

       MAX_MEMBERS_PER_GROUP (number)
           Maximum members per group entry. When the maximum is reached, a
           new group entry (line) is started in /etc/group (with the same
           name, same password, and same GID).

           The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the
           number of members in a group.

           This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines
           in the group file. This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS
           groups are not larger than 1024 characters.

           If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25.

           Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the
           Shadow toolsuite). You should not use this variable unless you
           really need it.

       USERDEL_CMD (string)
           If defined, this command is run when removing a user. It should
           remove any at/cron/print jobs etc. owned by the user to be
           removed (passed as the first argument).

           The return code of the script is not taken into account.

           Here is an example script, which removes the user's cron, at and
           print jobs:

               #! /bin/sh

               # Check for the required argument.
               if [ $# != 1 ]; then
                    echo "Usage: $0 username"
                    exit 1
               fi

               # Remove cron jobs.
               crontab -r -u $1

               # Remove at jobs.
               # Note that it will remove any jobs owned by the same UID,
               # even if it was shared by a different username.
               AT_SPOOL_DIR=/var/spool/cron/atjobs
               find $AT_SPOOL_DIR -name "[^.]*" -type f -user $1 -delete \;

               # Remove print jobs.
               lprm $1

               # All done.
               exit 0

       USERGROUPS_ENAB (boolean)
           If set to yes, userdel will remove the user's group if it
           contains no more members, and useradd will create by default a
           group with the name of the user.

FILES         top

       /etc/group
           Group account information.

       /etc/login.defs
           Shadow password suite configuration.

       /etc/passwd
           User account information.

       /etc/shadow
           Secure user account information.

       /etc/subgid
           Per user subordinate group IDs.

       /etc/subuid
           Per user subordinate user IDs.

EXIT VALUES         top

       The userdel command exits with the following values:

       0
           success

       1
           can't update password file

       2
           invalid command syntax

       6
           specified user doesn't exist

       8
           user currently logged in

       10
           can't update group file

       12
           can't remove home directory

CAVEATS         top

       userdel will not allow you to remove an account if there are running
       processes which belong to this account. In that case, you may have to
       kill those processes or lock the user's password or account and
       remove the account later. The -f option can force the deletion of
       this account.

       You should manually check all file systems to ensure that no files
       remain owned by this user.

       You may not remove any NIS attributes on a NIS client. This must be
       performed on the NIS server.

       If USERGROUPS_ENAB is defined to yes in /etc/login.defs, userdel will
       delete the group with the same name as the user. To avoid
       inconsistencies in the passwd and group databases, userdel will check
       that this group is not used as a primary group for another user, and
       will just warn without deleting the group otherwise. The -f option
       can force the deletion of this group.

SEE ALSO         top

       chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), login.defs(5), gpasswd(8), groupadd(8),
       groupdel(8), groupmod(8), subgid(5), subuid(5),useradd(8),
       usermod(8).

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the shadow-utils (utilities for managing
       accounts and shadow password files) project.  Information about the
       project can be found at ⟨http://pkg-shadow.alioth.debian.org/⟩.  If
       you have a bug report for this manual page, see 
       ⟨http://pkg-shadow.alioth.debian.org/getinvolved.php⟩.  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨git://anonscm.debian.org/git/pkg-shadow/shadow.git⟩ on 2017-03-13.
       If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the
       page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
       the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the information
       in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to man-pages@man7.org

shadow-utils 4.4                 02/18/2017                       USERDEL(8)