userdel(8) System Manager's Manual userdel(8)
userdel - Deletes a user login account from the system.
/usr/sbin/userdel [-r] login
/usr/sbin/userdel [-D] [-r] [-R] [-t type] [-P] [-x extended_option] login
This option is used under enhanced security to delete the user account from /etc/passwd file and the enhanced security protected passwd DB.
Removes a user's home directory from the system. This directory must exist and must be owned by the user whose login account is being
deleted. When enhanced security is enabled, retires the account without deleting entries from the databases or removing home directories.
Removes a local plus (+) or local minus (-) NIS user from the user database. The value of the type parameter can be + or -. Removes PC
accounts only, without deleting the user's existing UNIX account. The following extended_option attributes are available: Indicates
whether the account is distributed. The value of the distributed=n attribute can be 0 or 1. If set to 0, the account is deleted from the
local database. If set to 1, the account is deleted from the NIS master database on the running system. When this attribute is set, the
local attribute is set to the opposite value. Indicates whether or not the account is local. The value of the local=n attribute can be 0
or 1. If set to 1, the account is deleted from the local database. If set to 0, the account information is deleted from the NIS master
database. When this attribute is set, the distributed attribute is set to the opposite value. The value of the pc_synchronize=n attribute
can be 0 or 1. If set to 1, both PC and UNIX accounts will be affected by delete operations. If set to 0, only UNIX accounts will be
affected by delete operations and the PC account will be unaffected. Specifies an existing login account on the system.
The userdel command is part of a set of command-line interfaces (CLI) that are used to create and administer user accounts on the system.
When The Advanced Server for UNIX (ASDU) is installed and running, the userdel command can also be used to administer PC accounts. Accounts
can also be administered with the /usr/bin/X11/dxaccounts graphical user interface (GUI), although the extended options are only available
from the CLI utilities such as useradd and usermod.
Different options are available depending on how the local system is configured: In the default UNIX environment, user account management
is compliant with the IEEE POSIX Draft P13873.3 standard. If enhanced (C2) security is configured, additional options and extended options
can be used. The CLI is backwards-compatible, so all existing local scripts will function. However, you should consider testing your
account management scripts before using them.
The userdel command deletes a user's login account from the system and makes the login-related changes in the appropriate system files
determined by the current level of security. Additionally, the files and directories contained under the user's home directory can be
removed from the system.
With the -x option, the system administrator can specify whether the user login account to be deleted is local or whether it resides in the
NIS master database. If the -x option is not specified, the user login account is deleted from the appropriate database as specified by the
The default behavior on the system for the userdel command is distributed=0 and local=1. With these values, the system deletes the group
from the local database by default. Setting the distributed= and local= attributes to the same value (for example, distributed=0 and
local=0) produces an error.
Note the following restriction that applies to this release:
You must have superuser privilege to execute this command
The userdel command exits with one of the following values: Success. Failure. Warning.
The following example removes the local plus (+) user, newuser1: % userdel -t + newuser1 The following example removes the NIS user,
newuser4, from the NIS master database: % userdel -x distributed=1 newuser4 The following example deletes the user, xyz, and removes the
user's home directory: % userdel -r xyz The following example deletes the UNIX account for studentB, removing the home directory and its
corresponding PC account. % userdel -r -x pc_synchronize=1 studentB
The userdel command operates on files for the specific level of system security.
Commands: groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), useradd(8), usermod(8), passwd(1),
Manuals: System Administration, Security, Advanced Server for UNIX Installation and Administration