Linux – how to add a user using useradd

Adding a new user on Linux can be easily done on command line using useradd. These are some scenarios and handy commands to add a user on Linux. We’ll use Ubuntu for the purpose of this tutorial.

Using useradd with no arguments

This may not create home directory.

$ sudo useradd user2

useradd – specific login shell

$ sudo useradd -s /bin/bash user2

useradd – specific login shell and create home dir

This may be a typical case.

$ sudo useradd -m -s /bin/bash user2

useradd – specific group

By default useradd create group with same name as user. In case we want to use a specific group:

$ sudo useradd -g GROUPID_OR_NAME user2

useradd – with specific password

By default useradd creates user without password.

$ sudo useradd -p ENCRYPTED_PASSWORD_AS_RETURNED_BY_CRYPT user2

To generate password to be used with -p option, you can use the following command:

$ openssl passwd -1 somepassword
$1$q5tPBYXv$824B0Ve7yrRW4frZ0.In1/

Some notes on passwords:

  1. In password “$1$q5tPBYXv$824B0Ve7yrRW4frZ0.In1/” string q5tPBYXv is salt used while generating the password. It could also have been specified as an option.
  2. To be able to login using password, password based login has to be enabled on ssh server.
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