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I have Ubuntu 10.10 that works perfect for me and my family. Now I would like to install a fresh 12.10 release. I have a separated /home partition.

After installing a new version, I need to configure users on the system. How to add new users that will use the existing /home partition?

If I have user "user1" and there is /home/users1 folder, would adding a new user "user1" delete the existing /home/user1 folder and create a new one or it will use the existing /home/user1 folder?

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1 Answer 1

Adding a new user will not overwrite the existing /home/username. You will however, want to look at your current /etc/passwd file and make sure that the UID's for each user on the newly installed system match the existing one. For example, User 1's UID = 1000; User 2's UID = 1001; etc.

The way to check this is to open a terminal and run cat /etc/passwd

The following is an example of an /etc/passwd file:

root:!:0:0::/:/usr/bin/ksh
daemon:!:1:1::/etc:
bin:!:2:2::/bin:
sys:!:3:3::/usr/sys: 
adm:!:4:4::/var/adm:
uucp:!:5:5::/usr/lib/uucp: 
guest:!:100:100::/home/guest:
nobody:!:4294967294:4294967294::/:
lpd:!:9:4294967294::/:
lp:*:11:11::/var/spool/lp:/bin/false 
invscout:*:200:1::/var/adm/invscout:/usr/bin/ksh
nuucp:*:6:5:uucp login user:/var/spool/uucppublic:/usr/sbin/uucp/uucico
paul:!:1000:1000::/home/paul:/usr/bin/bash
jdoe:*:1001:1001:John Doe:/home/jdoe:/usr/bin/bash  

So when you make new users be sure that Paul is user 1000 and John Doe is user 1001; etc. That way the files that belonged to these users will still belong to them. Linux identifies the file/directory ownership by UID's and GID's. So you'll want them to match.

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The user created during installation will be 1000 and will be an administrator, so presumably you want that to be you. User id's are created with the next available number, so once you have the list of current user ids, create whoever has 1001 next, and so on. You may also want to consider backing up current user docs, photos, etc and using newly created home folders. 10.10 to 12.10 is a big jump and you might run into problems with the hidden configuration files not being right. –  chaskes Jun 14 '13 at 22:37

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