Visit Our UNIX and Linux User Community

remove a user without removing its home dir

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Operating Systems Solaris remove a user without removing its home dir
# 1  
Old 01-01-2012
Question remove a user without removing its home dir

HI all,

I have wrongly given a wrong home directory to a user. This dir is very critical for my production environment(Can;t afford to lose it for a single minute)
Now i want to delete that user,
Whenever i try to delete user it tries to delete its home dir.
Commnd i use:

Whenever i try to modify its home, it tries to move data of current home to new home.
Command i use:

Is there any way to delete the user without deleting its home dir?
Or any other way of coming out of this mess?
# 2  
Old 01-01-2012
Can you not simply lock the account? The use cannot login anymore, ever.
Or does the user need to be accessed via su or sudo?
# 3  
Old 01-02-2012
The userdel command won't delete the home directory unless you use the -r option. However, if the data is that critical and you could always tar it somewhere before you delete the account just to make absolutely sure. For a production environment I would assume there are tape backups of the server run nightly somewhere as well.
This User Gave Thanks to christr For This Post:
# 4  
Old 01-02-2012
go to /etc/passwd and put a # symbol in front of this user.

Or take a backup of home , remove the user and restore it.

# 5  
Old 01-02-2012
I don't know if putting a # in front of the entry in the /etc/passwd file is a good idea or not. That's of course normal practice to comment out entries in other config files, but /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow can be very sensitive and they're obviously some of the most critical files on the system. Be sure to keep /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow in sync if you do that. If you do edit it manually be sure to run pwconv. Really, I could be wrong on the # on the /etc/passwd file, but in my years of administration I've never seen anyone do that.

Really, I use userdel all the time for deleting users. The userdel command with no options doesn't delete the user's data. Everywhere I've ever worked our standard practice has been to never use the -r option just in case there is anything in that user's home directory that might be needed at a later date. If their home directory was large I will sometimes just tar and gzip it to save space and/or look in there for anything that obviously can be deleted.

And of course all the obvious stuff, make a quick backup of your passwd and shadow files before every modifying them manually. Read the man pages.
# 6  
Old 01-02-2012
2 options i can think of ...

1. rename the home directory temporarily, run userdel on the user, and rename the home directory back to the original name

2. make new home directory and then edit /etc/passwd directly to fix incorrect home directory entry for user
This User Gave Thanks to Just Ice For This Post:
# 7  
Old 01-03-2012
I would take option 2 of post #6. Create a new home directory with the correct permissions for the owners uid. Copy passwd and shadow files just in case. Then use "vipw" (not just "vi") to edit the home directory for that user in the passwd file. Run "pwck" (password file checker) afterwards.
This User Gave Thanks to methyl For This Post:

Previous Thread | Next Thread

10 More Discussions You Might Find Interesting

1. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers

Switching from root to normal user takes me to user's home dir

Whenever i switch from root to another user, by doing su - user, it takes me to home directory of user. This is very annoying as i want to be in same dir to run different commands as root sometimes and sometimes as normal user. How to fix this? (1 Reply)
Discussion started by: syncmaster
1 Replies

2. Solaris

how to change /export/home/user dir to /home /user in solaris

Hi all i am using solaris 10, i am creating user with useradd -d/home/user -m -s /bin/sh user user is created with in the following path /export/home/user (auto mount) i need the user to be created like this (/home as default home directory ) useradd -d /home/user -m -s /bin/sh... (2 Replies)
Discussion started by: kalyankalyan
2 Replies

3. Linux

SFTP user access restriction to his home dir

Hi Friends, I have installed a FTP Server on my Linux machine (Fedora 11). I want the ftp users to be restricted to their own home dir using sftp. But the said condition is met when the user logs in using ftp over port 21 and when the user logs in using sftp i.e. protocol 22, he/she has... (4 Replies)
Discussion started by: pashy
4 Replies

4. AIX

Not able to mount user home dir from with automount

Hello there Have anyone configured an AIX 5L machine as NIS client? with homedirectories automounted form an NFS share? The NIS server is running Solaris. I am able to configure the AIX machine as client and user is able to login but I have configured the client to use the automountd... (0 Replies)
Discussion started by: balaji_prk
0 Replies

5. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers

unable to set user home dir

I created a new user and changed their home directory to /export/home/mydir/ I verified in the passwd file that the home directory is set to the above and that owner of that directory is the new user and yet when I log in as that user I get the following message: No directory! Logging in with... (14 Replies)
Discussion started by: some_one
14 Replies

6. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers

Restrict user access to their home dir

Hi! i'm using FreeBSD 6.2 and hosting my pc to frens in particular of sensitive information being saved to the PC, i would like to know is it possible for me to restrict user access to their /home dir. only? and also, i wanted to restrict them listing files under /etc thanks all! (10 Replies)
Discussion started by: rdns
10 Replies

7. Solaris

need to restrict user to his home dir

Hello, i need to create a user who's access is restricted only to his home directory and below, i restricted his pty access by adding 'no-pty' to the options of the ssh key in authorized_keys file. However, sftp access still allows this user access to all my file system thanks (5 Replies)
Discussion started by: lidram
5 Replies

8. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers

listing home dir of anothe user

Hi I am trying to display the home directory of another user. I dont have the permissions to change into their directory and wonder is it possible to display their directory eg I cant change directory to john but I am trying to display something like /home/John. If anyone can help I would... (3 Replies)
Discussion started by: mmg2711
3 Replies

9. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers

Modify user home dir

I created a new user and assigned a certain home dir to tis user. I've noticed that this home dir (/export/home/test) is already assigned to other users. I really want to create a dedicated home dir for the new user. Can anyone tell me how I can modify this user with a new homedir? Thx for... (4 Replies)
Discussion started by: kris_devis
4 Replies

10. UNIX for Advanced & Expert Users

removing a dir named: $HOME

How do I remove a directory named: $HOME $ rm "$HOME" rm: $HOME is a directory $ rmdir "$HOME" rmdir: directory "/home/bob": Directory is a mount point or in use (4 Replies)
Discussion started by: natter
4 Replies

Featured Tech Videos