USERMOD(8) System Management Commands USERMOD(8)
usermod - modify a user account
usermod [options] LOGIN
The usermod command modifies the system account files to reflect the changes that are specified on the command line.
The options which apply to the usermod command are: -a, --append Add the user to the supplementary group(s). Use only with the -G option. -b, --badnames Allow names that do not conform to standards. -c, --comment COMMENT The new value of the user's password file comment field. It is normally modified using the chfn(1) utility. -d, --home HOME_DIR The user's new login directory. If the -m option is given, the contents of the current home directory will be moved to the new home directory, which is created if it does not already exist. If the current home directory does not exist the new home directory will not be created. -e, --expiredate EXPIRE_DATE The date on which the user account will be disabled. The date is specified in the format YYYY-MM-DD. An empty EXPIRE_DATE argument will disable the expiration of the account. This option requires a /etc/shadow file. A /etc/shadow entry will be created if there were none. -f, --inactive INACTIVE The number of days after a password expires until the account is permanently disabled. A value of 0 disables the account as soon as the password has expired, and a value of -1 disables the feature. This option requires a /etc/shadow file. A /etc/shadow entry will be created if there were none. -g, --gid GROUP The group name or number of the user's new initial login group. The group must exist. Any file from the user's home directory owned by the previous primary group of the user will be owned by this new group. The group ownership of files outside of the user's home directory must be fixed manually. The change of the group ownership of files inside of the user's home directory is also not done if the home dir owner uid is different from the current or new user id. This is a safety measure for special home directories such as /. -G, --groups GROUP1[,GROUP2,...[,GROUPN]]] A list of supplementary groups which the user is also a member of. Each group is separated from the next by a comma, with no intervening whitespace. The groups are subject to the same restrictions as the group given with the -g option. If the user is currently a member of a group which is not listed, the user will be removed from the group. This behaviour can be changed via the -a option, which appends the user to the current supplementary group list. -l, --login NEW_LOGIN The name of the user will be changed from LOGIN to NEW_LOGIN. Nothing else is changed. In particular, the user's home directory or mail spool should probably be renamed manually to reflect the new login name. -L, --lock Lock a user's password. This puts a '!' in front of the encrypted password, effectively disabling the password. You can't use this option with -p or -U. Note: if you wish to lock the account (not only access with a password), you should also set the EXPIRE_DATE to 1. -m, --move-home Move the content of the user's home directory to the new location. If the current home directory does not exist the new home directory will not be created. This option is only valid in combination with the -d (or --home) option. usermod will try to adapt the ownership of the files and to copy the modes, ACL and extended attributes, but manual changes might be needed afterwards. -o, --non-unique When used with the -u option, this option allows to change the user ID to a non-unique value. -p, --password PASSWORD The encrypted password, as returned by crypt(3). Note: This option is not recommended because the password (or encrypted password) will be visible by users listing the processes. The password will be written in the local /etc/passwd or /etc/shadow file. This might differ from the password database configured in your PAM configuration. You should make sure the password respects the system's password policy. -R, --root CHROOT_DIR Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory. -P, --prefix PREFIX_DIR Apply changes in the PREFIX_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the PREFIX_DIR directory. This option does not chroot and is intended for preparing a cross-compilation target. Some limitations: NIS and LDAP users/groups are not verified. PAM authentication is using the host files. No SELINUX support. -s, --shell SHELL The path of the user's new login shell. Setting this field to blank causes the system to select the default login shell. -u, --uid UID The new numerical value of the user's ID. This value must be unique, unless the -o option is used. The value must be non-negative. The user's mailbox, and any files which the user owns and which are located in the user's home directory will have the file user ID changed automatically. The ownership of files outside of the user's home directory must be fixed manually. The change of the user ownership of files inside of the user's home directory is also not done if the home dir owner uid is different from the current or new user id. This is a safety measure for special home directories such as /. No checks will be performed with regard to the UID_MIN, UID_MAX, SYS_UID_MIN, or SYS_UID_MAX from /etc/login.defs. -U, --unlock Unlock a user's password. This removes the '!' in front of the encrypted password. You can't use this option with -p or -L. Note: if you wish to unlock the account (not only access with a password), you should also set the EXPIRE_DATE (for example to 99999, or to the EXPIRE value from /etc/default/useradd). -v, --add-subuids FIRST-LAST Add a range of subordinate uids to the user's account. This option may be specified multiple times to add multiple ranges to a users account. No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, or SUB_UID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs. -V, --del-subuids FIRST-LAST Remove a range of subordinate uids from the user's account. This option may be specified multiple times to remove multiple ranges to a users account. When both --del-subuids and --add-subuids are specified, the removal of all subordinate uid ranges happens before any subordinate uid range is added. No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, or SUB_UID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs. -w, --add-subgids FIRST-LAST Add a range of subordinate gids to the user's account. This option may be specified multiple times to add multiple ranges to a users account. No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, or SUB_GID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs. -W, --del-subgids FIRST-LAST Remove a range of subordinate gids from the user's account. This option may be specified multiple times to remove multiple ranges to a users account. When both --del-subgids and --add-subgids are specified, the removal of all subordinate gid ranges happens before any subordinate gid range is added. No checks will be performed with regard to SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, or SUB_GID_COUNT from /etc/login.defs. -Z, --selinux-user SEUSER The new SELinux user for the user's login. A blank SEUSER will remove the SELinux user mapping for user LOGIN (if any).
You must make certain that the named user is not executing any processes when this command is being executed if the user's numerical user ID, the user's name, or the user's home directory is being changed. usermod checks this on Linux. On other platforms it only uses utmp to check if the user is logged in. You must change the owner of any crontab files or at jobs manually. You must make any changes involving NIS on the NIS server.
The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the behavior of this tool: LASTLOG_UID_MAX (number) Highest user ID number for which the lastlog entries should be updated. As higher user IDs are usually tracked by remote user identity and authentication services there is no need to create a huge sparse lastlog file for them. No LASTLOG_UID_MAX option present in the configuration means that there is no user ID limit for writing lastlog entries. MAIL_DIR (string) The mail spool directory. This is needed to manipulate the mailbox when its corresponding user account is modified or deleted. If not specified, a compile-time default is used. MAIL_FILE (string) Defines the location of the users mail spool files relatively to their home directory. The MAIL_DIR and MAIL_FILE variables are used by useradd, usermod, and userdel to create, move, or delete the user's mail spool. MAX_MEMBERS_PER_GROUP (number) Maximum members per group entry. When the maximum is reached, a new group entry (line) is started in /etc/group (with the same name, same password, and same GID). The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the number of members in a group. This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines in the group file. This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS groups are not larger than 1024 characters. If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25. Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the Shadow toolsuite). You should not use this variable unless you really need it. SUB_GID_MIN (number), SUB_GID_MAX (number), SUB_GID_COUNT (number) If /etc/subuid exists, the commands useradd and newusers (unless the user already have subordinate group IDs) allocate SUB_GID_COUNT unused group IDs from the range SUB_GID_MIN to SUB_GID_MAX for each new user. The default values for SUB_GID_MIN, SUB_GID_MAX, SUB_GID_COUNT are respectively 100000, 600100000 and 65536. SUB_UID_MIN (number), SUB_UID_MAX (number), SUB_UID_COUNT (number) If /etc/subuid exists, the commands useradd and newusers (unless the user already have subordinate user IDs) allocate SUB_UID_COUNT unused user IDs from the range SUB_UID_MIN to SUB_UID_MAX for each new user. The default values for SUB_UID_MIN, SUB_UID_MAX, SUB_UID_COUNT are respectively 100000, 600100000 and 65536.
/etc/group Group account information. /etc/gshadow Secure group account information. /etc/login.defs Shadow password suite configuration. /etc/passwd User account information. /etc/shadow Secure user account information. /etc/subgid Per user subordinate group IDs. /etc/subuid Per user subordinate user IDs.
chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), crypt(3), gpasswd(8), groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), login.defs(5), subgid(5), subuid(5), useradd(8), userdel(8).
This page is part of the shadow-utils (utilities for managing accounts and shadow password files) project. Information about the project can be found at ⟨https://github.com/shadow-maint/shadow⟩. If you have a bug report for this manual page, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository ⟨https://github.com/shadow-maint/shadow⟩ on 2021-08-27. (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repository was 2021-08-14.) If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to email@example.com shadow-utils 4.8.1 08/27/2021 USERMOD(8)
Pages that refer to this page: newgidmap(1), newuidmap(1), passwd(1), pcap(3pcap), subgid(5), subuid(5), groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmems(8), groupmod(8), pwck(8), useradd(8), userdel(8)