add user without using useradd command in Linux Ultimate Trick

Creating / add user without using useradd command not an good suggestion but still required in few cases. In this article we are going to discuss how to add user without using useradd command.

First we have to know background process of useradd command, when we type useradd <user name> what happens..?

Add user without using useradd command in Linux Ultimate Trick

  • Adds an entry to /etc/passwd file
  • Creates an group with same user name
  • passwd <user name> generate password and add to /etc/shadow file
  • If you add user to groups and create group password then it add an entry in /etc/gshadow file
  • Very important one is all the files from /etc/skel directory copied to user’s home directory

We are going to do same process manually. 

Note: You must be logged in as root / super user.

1Step: Add entry in /etc/passwd file

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# cat /etc/passwd |grep ravi
ravi:x:1001:1001:RHEL7 User:/home/ravi:/bin/bash

2Step: Create group as like user name by adding entry in /etc/group file

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# cat /etc/group |grep ravi

3Step: Generate Encrypted password using openssl

Generate encrypted password using openssl command, if you see command is not found then try to install using yum install openssl* after that add encrypted password to /etc/shadow file.

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# openssl passwd -1 -salt xyz Password

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# cat /etc/shadow |grep ravi

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# cat /etc/gshadow |grep ravi

4Step: Make User home directory manually

User profile and his home directory path to be created manually using below commands.

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# mkdir -p /home/ravi
[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# chown ravi:ravi /home/ravi

5Step: Copy Required profile files from /etc/skel to user home path

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# cd /etc/skel/

[root@Arkit-Serv skel]# cp -v .* /home/ravi/

‘.bash_logout’ -> ‘/home/ravi/.bash_logout’
‘.bash_profile’ -> ‘/home/ravi/.bash_profile’
‘.bashrc’ -> ‘/home/ravi/.bashrc’

That’s it user created successfully. Login to user and enjoy.

[root@Arkit-Serv ~]# su - ravi

[ravi@Arkit-Serv ~]$ who am i
root     pts/0        2016-12-29 02:03 (
[ravi@Arkit-Serv ~]$

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Thanks for your wonderful Support and Encouragement

Ravi Kumar Ankam

My Name is ARK. Expert in grasping any new technology, Interested in Sharing the knowledge. Learn more & Earn More

4 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    Why in the world someone will want to add user with this method. Do you have any practical situation where you had to do this?

  2. blank GreenTeaTech says:

    The title is misleading. Your tutorial is what a Sys Admin would do to troubleshoot a user account. However, no one would use this method to add a user.

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