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What is the difference between the commands adduser and useradd?

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Same question on Super User and on Server Fault –  ændrük Sep 15 '13 at 20:37

4 Answers 4

up vote 68 down vote accepted

useradd is native binary compiled with the system. But, adduser is a perl script which uses useradd binary in back-end.

adduser is more user friendly and interactive than its back-end useradd. There's no difference in features provided.

Source: What's the difference between “adduser” and “useradd”?

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add useradd command wont create '/home/username' directory but adduser command will –  Jax-L Apr 30 '14 at 16:12
useradd with the -m option will create the home directory. –  richsinn Aug 8 '14 at 0:02
The implimentation isn't that interesting, the semantics are. Like adduser(8) is more userfriendly and creates and set up a user by default the way you expect. And useradd(8) only do what you ask, so do you want a home directory created, you have to tell it to create it for you. –  Anders Sep 22 '14 at 14:14
-1: Does not tell the fundamental difference between the commands: they have different roles, one being a low-level tool. The fact that one is a perl script and the other is a binary is irrelevant. Also, there are differences in features. –  MestreLion Jan 10 at 8:20

Always use adduser (and deluser when deleting users).

The useradd, userdel and usermod commands are lowlevel utilities which are there for historical reasons, while adduser/deluser Do The Right Thing™. (I remember which to use by thinking that user* comes after adduser/deluser in the alphabet, and therefore is "worse".)

According to the respective manpages (on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, i.e. a Debian derivative system).

Manpage for adduser says:

(Emphasis added.)

adduser and addgroup add users and groups to the system according to command line options and configuration information in /etc/adduser.conf. They are friendlier front ends to the low level tools like useradd, groupadd and usermod programs, by default choosing Debian policy conformant UID and GID values, creating a home directory with skeletal configuration, running a custom script, and other features. adduser and addgroup can be run in one of five modes:

Manpage for useradd says:

useradd is a low level utility for adding users. On Debian, administrators should usually use adduser(8) instead.

See also: What's the difference between “adduser” and “useradd”? (on SuperUser)

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I never can remember which one, so this is my stupid mnemonic if it helps anyone :) "user" rhymes with "loser", and "loser" comes last. Thus: adduser, deluser. –  Mads Skjern Mar 13 at 12:27

adduser is friendlier in that it sets up the account's home folders and other settings (e.g. automatically loading system stats and notifications on login), whereas useradd just creates the user.

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adduser : add user with full profile and info (pass,quota,permission....etc)

useradd : add user with his name only (if you want to add a temp user with only a name,other info not required )

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+1 and Welcome! I up voted the person who was incapable of explaining their previous down vote. Keep it up! Good programmers always rise to the top - (and don't down vote without an explanation). :) –  Ricalsin Aug 9 '14 at 2:38

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