I had 4 accounts on UBuntu 11.10. The /home folder is in a separate partition. Now, after I reinstalled Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2, I manually created the remaining 3 usernames so that it can use the existing home locations. However, after creating the users i found that the usernames have got mapped to the other home folders. For example

user A got mapped to home folder of user B User B got mapped to home folder of user C User C got mapped to home folder of user A

How do I change this so that the users get mapped to their correct account.

2 Answers 2


You mixed up the numeric userid's.

First of all check the current configuration: grep -E [0-9]{4} /etc/passwd You might want to check if the username (1st field) has the correct homedir (6th field).

If the passwd file is as expected: Check the output for id for every account and compare it with ls -ln /home.

Probably the easiest way to change it is as follows:

  • Log off from your desktop
  • Strike Alt+F1 and log in

    sudo -i cd /home chown -R userid2:userid2 userid2 chown -R userid3:userid3 userid3 ...

  • Strike Alt+F2

  • Check if you can log in without errors

  • Strike Alt+F7

  • Check if you can log in to your desktop without problems

You might want to wait with your first user (the one with admin privileges), to make sure if the procedure works as expected. Prevent locking yourself out.

  • Thanks. I managed to fix it. however, 1 of the 4 does not log in to the desktop. It comes back to the LightDM login screen. Others login fine. Also, I can login to all the users properly using the terminal.
    – Ubuntuser
    Apr 14, 2012 at 12:23
  • Try login with the problem user from a text console Alt+F1 en see what error you get. You probably made a mistake with numeric uid's. You should also be able to check ls -l /home which should show no numeric UID's.
    – jippie
    Apr 14, 2012 at 12:28

unix/linux systems identify users by user ID. You can 'sudo vipw' to switch the uid in password file so they match properly with the user names

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