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remove a user without removing its home dir


 
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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:
Code:
userdel

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

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.
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# 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.

Rgds
RJ
# 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
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# 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.
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