How to add and delete user on debian 10 (buster)


In order to add and delete users on Debian, you need to have sudo rights, or to belong to the sudo group.

To check your sudo rights, run the following command

$ sudo -v

If no error messages appear, you are good to go, otherwise ask your system administrator to provide you with sudo rights.

Adding a user using adduser

The first way to add users on Debian 10 is to use the adduser command.

The adduser command is very similar to the useradd command. However, it provides a more interactive way to add users on a Debian host.

Generally, it is preferred to use adduser rather than useradd (as recommended by the useradd man page itself)

$ sudo adduser ricky

Adding user 'john'
Adding new group 'john' (1007)
Adding new user 'john' (1005) with group 'john'
Creating home directory '/home/john'
Copying files from '/etc/skel'

You will be asked to choose a password for the user

New password: <type your password>
Retype new password: <retype your password>
Changing the user information for john

Then you will be asked to specify some specific information about your new user.

You can leave some values blank if you want by pressing Enter.

Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
   Full Name []:
   Room Number []:
   Work Phone []:
   Home Phone []:
   Other []:   

Finally, you will be asked if the information provided is correct. Simply press “Y” to add your new user.

Is the information correct? [Y/n] Y

Now that your user was created. you can add it to the sudo group.

Adding a user using useradd

$ sudo useradd <username>

To assign a password to the user, you can use the -p flag but it is not recommended as other users will be able to see the password.

To assign a password to a user, use the passwd command

$ sudo passwd <username>

New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Deleting a user using deluser

In order to delete a user on Debian 10, you have to use the deluser command

$ sudo deluser <username>

To remove a user with its home directory, run the deluser command with the –remove-home parameter.

$ sudo deluser --remove-home <username>

Looking for files to backup/remove
Removing user 'user'
Warning: group 'user' has no more members.

To delete all the files associated with a user, use the –remove-all-files parameter.

$ sudo deluser --remove-all-files <username>


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