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how to copy old user account to new user account?

I have installed Ubuntu, with username andy, let's say I want to create accounts for Ben, Chris, Dave and Ethan, all of whom I want to have non-admin rights and precisely the same (initial) settings... except their home folder.

Suppose I set up Ben's account, as I want it, for example: Libre Office writer saves as .doc, weather-indicator is set to computer's address, launcher icons are where I choose, desktop background etc.

Is there a way I can then set up Chris's, Dave's and Ethan's to (initially) behave in exactly the same way (with the exception of different home folders)?

At the moment, I am going through the motions four times!

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marked as duplicate by fossfreedom, James Feb 27 '12 at 23:00

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

When you create a new user, files are copied from /etc/skel onto their new home directory. If you want files to appear there by default, just add them to /etc/skel. That goes for default configurations as well, so you can make a prototype user and copy that users home directory onto /etc/skel. Automatic setup of email accounts, etc, will require some scripting, but doesn't necessarily need to be very complicated. If you wanted to provide default web feeds for Liferea, you'd add the feeds to the prototype user and then simply copy the ~/.liferea_1.6 folder to /etc/skel/.liferea_1.6 and it would just work.

Some applications doesn't work like this. You can't do that with Evolution, for instance, but most applications can be configured that way.

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