FreeBSD 4.6.2 manual page repository

FreeBSD is a free computer operating system based on BSD UNIX originally. Many IT companies, like DeployIS is using it to provide an up-to-date, stable operating system.

adduser - command for adding new users



      adduser - command for adding new users


      adduser [-check_only] [-class login_class] [-config_create]
              [-dotdir dotdir] [-group login_group] [-h | -help] [-home home]
              [-message message_file] [-noconfig] [-shell shell]
              [-s | -silent | -q | -quiet] [-uid uid_start] [-v | -verbose]


      Adduser is a simple program for adding new users.  Adduser checks the
      passwd, group and shell databases.  It creates passwd/group entries, HOME
      directory, dotfiles and sends the new user a welcome message.


              Login name.  May contain only lowercase characters or digits.
              Maximum length is 16 characters (see setlogin(2) BUGS section).
              The reasons for this limit are "Historical".  Given that people
              have traditionally wanted to break this limit for aesthetic rea‐
              sons, it’s never been of great importance to break such a basic
              fundamental parameter in UNIX.  You can change UT_NAMESIZE in
              /usr/include/utmp.h and recompile the world; people have done
              this and it works, but you will have problems with any precom‐
              piled programs, or source that assumes the 8-character name limit
              and NIS.  The NIS protocol mandates an 8-character username.  If
              you need a longer login name for e-mail addresses, you can define
              an alias in /etc/mail/aliases.
              Firstname and surname.  The ‘:’ character is not allowed.
      shell   Only valid shells from the shell database or sliplogin and pppd
      uid     Automatically generated or your choice, must be less than 32000.
      gid/login group
              Your choice or automatically generated.
              If not empty, password is encoded with crypt(3).
      Perhaps you’re missing what can be done with this scheme that falls apart
      with most other schemes.  With each user in his/her own group the user
      can safely run with a umask of 002 and have files created in their home
      directory and not worry about others being able to read them.
      For a shared area you create a separate uid/gid (like cvs or ncvs on
      freefall), you place each person that should be able to access this area
      into that new group.
      This model of uid/gid administration allows far greater flexibility than
      lumping users into groups and having to muck with the umask when working
      in a shared area.
      I have been using this model for almost 10 years and found that it works
      for most situations, and has never gotten in the way.  (Rod Grimes)


      1.   Read internal variables.
      2.   Read configuration file (/etc/adduser.conf).
      3.   Parse command line options.


              Check /etc/passwd, /etc/group, /etc/shells and exit.
      -class login_class
              Set default login class.
              Create new configuration and message file and exit.
      -dotdir directory
              Copy files from directory into the HOME directory of new users,
              ‘’ will be renamed to ‘.foo’.  Don’t copy files if
              directory specified is equal to no.  For security make all files
              writable and readable for owner, don’t allow group or world to
              write files and allow only owner to read/execute/write .rhost,
              .Xauthority, .kermrc, .netrc, Mail, prv, iscreen, term.
      -group login_group
              Login group.  USER means that the username is to be used as login
      -help, -h, -?
              Print a summary of options and exit.
      -home partition
              Default home partition where all users located.
      -message file
              Send new users a welcome message from file.  Specifying a value
              of no for file causes no message to be sent to new users.
              Do not read the default configuration file.
      -shell shell
              Default shell for new users.
      -silent, -s, -quiet, -q
              Few warnings, questions, bug reports.
      -uid uid
              Use uid’s from uid on up.
      -verbose, -v
              Many warnings, questions.  Recommended for novice users.


      ‘#’ is a comment.
      configuration file
              Adduser reads and writes this file.  See /etc/adduser.conf for
              more details.
      message file
              Eval variables in this file.  See /etc/adduser.message for more


      /etc/master.passwd    user database
      /etc/group            group database
      /etc/shells           shell database
      /etc/login.conf       login classes database
      /etc/adduser.conf     configuration file for adduser
      /etc/adduser.message  message file for adduser
      /usr/share/skel       skeletal login directory
      /var/log/adduser      logfile for adduser
      chpass(1), finger(1), passwd(1), setlogin(2), aliases(5), group(5),
      login.conf(5), passwd(5), shells(5), pw(8), pwd_mkdb(8), rmuser(8),
      vipw(8), yp(8)


      The adduser command appeared in FreeBSD 2.1.


Based on BSD UNIX
FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium and Athlon), amd64 compatible (including Opteron, Athlon64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.

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