usermod - modify a user account


usermod [-D binddn] [-P path] [-g gid [-o]] [-p password]
 [--service service] [--help] [--usage] [-v] account


usermod modifies an user account using the values specified on the command line.


-c, --comment comment
 This option specifies the new users finger information. It is normally modified using the chfn(1) utility.
-d, --home homedir
 This option specifies the new home directory of the user.
-e, --expire expire
 With this option the date when the account will be expired can be changed. expiredate has to be specified as number of days since January 1st, 1970. The date may also be expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD.
-f, --inactive inactive
 This option is used to set the number of days of inactivity after a password has expired before the account is locked. A user whose account is locked must contact the system administrator before being able to use the account again. A value of -1 disables this feature.
-G, --groups group,...
 With this option a list of supplementary groups can be specified, which the user should become a member of. Each group is separated from the next one only by a comma, without whitespace. The user is removed from all other groups not specified.
-g, --gid gid
 The group name or number of the user’s new primary group. The group name must exist and a group number must refer to an already existing group.
-l, --login name
 Specify the new account name for the user. The account name must begin with an alphabetic character and the rest of the string should be from the POSIX portable character class. Nothing else is changed.
-m, --move_home
 Move the user’s home directory to the new directory specified with the -d option. If the old directory does not exist, nothing is done. If the new directory already exists, the program aborts with an error.
-o, --non-unique
 Allow duplicate (non-unique) User IDs.
-p, --password password
 Encrypted password as returned by crypt(3) as the new password.
-s, --shell shell
 Specify user’s new login shell. The value of shell must be a valid executable file. It is normally modified using the chsh(1) utility.
-u, --uid uid
 Change the userid to be the given number. This value must be positive and unique (unless the -o option is used). Any file with the old UID of the user and which is located in the directory tree rooted at the user’s home directory will be changed to be owned by the new UID automatically.
-D, --binddn binddn
 Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP directory. The user will be prompted for a password for simple authentication.
-L, --lock A system administrator can lock the account of the specified user.
-U, --unlock
 A system administrator can unlock the specified account, if the account is not passwordless afterwards (it will not unlock an account that has only "!" as a password).
-P, --path path
 The passwd and shadow files are located below the specified directory path. usermod will use this files, not /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow.
--service service
 Modify the account from a special directory. The default is files, but ldap is also valid.
--help Print a list of valid options with a short description.
--usage Print a short list of valid options.
-v, --version
 Print the version number and exit.


usermod will not allow you to change the name, User ID or home directory of a user, which is logged in. usermod will not change the User ID of running processes and not the ownership of crontab and at jobs.


/etc/group - group information
/etc/passwd - user account information
/etc/shadow - shadow user account information


passwd(1), login.defs(5), group(5), passwd(5), shadow(5), useradd(8), userdel(8)


Thorsten Kukuk <>

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