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I want to create a new user to run a service on the system but don't want to have /home and other configuration files for it. Like there is a user for postgres but it doesn't have any /home directory.

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5 Answers 5

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By default the command useradd doesn't create home directories, but for a daemon I recommend you to use the system option and change the shell to a non-existent one so no one can login with said account (in ssh for example):

sudo useradd -r -s /bin/false USERNAME

You can see all the options with man useradd and man groupadd if you want to create a group for the user too.

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  • 6
    useradd -r creates a system user, not only a user with no homedir.
    – fromnaboo
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 15:23
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    notice, useradd -r also creates corresponding groups.
    – user25389
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 11:00
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    I believe the best practice is using /sbin/nologin as the login shell, although, using /bin/false wouldn't make any differences.
    – Meow
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 14:49
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Try adduser --system --no-create-home USERNAME or simply have a look at the man adduser which claims to be a "friendlier front end to the low level tools like useradd...".

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    I actually didn't notice that this is adduser vs. useradd, and running the command useradd with these options did not produce any error, but created the account with shell /bin/bash. "Buyer Beware".
    – isapir
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 20:01
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    in centos7, group is not created by defaulty. ref: [root@srvr0 ava]# adduser --system --no-create-home --group bigdata adduser: group 'bigdata' does not exist
    – AVA
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 8:00
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I needed something similar - a new user without login privileges and tied to a system service. However, the answer by Clausi creates a user with the primary group as 'nogroup', which wasn't really desirable.

adduser --system --no-create-home --group USERNAME creates a system group with the same name as the user and associates it with the user as the primary group. This can then be verified by using the groups USERNAME or the id USERNAME command.

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  • in centos7, group is not created by defaulty. ref: [root@srvr0 ava]# adduser --system --no-create-home --group bigdata adduser: group 'bigdata' does not exist
    – AVA
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 7:59
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To add user without home directory the commands are,

useradd -M username

or

useradd --no-create-home username

or

adduser -M username

or

adduser --no-create-home username
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Creating a User without Password with Home directory:


User & Group

Create the desired Group and User with Home-Dir.

mkdir <HOME-DIR>
sudo adduser --disabled-password --home <HOME-DIR> --group <GROUP-NAME>
sudo useradd -s /bin/bash -d <HOME-DIR> -g <GROUP-NAME> <USER-NAME>

Permissions

sudo chown <USER>:<USER> -R <HOME-DIR>    # Owner permissions
sudo chmod 775 -R <HOME-PATH>             # Optional

Add your primary user to the new group (Optional)

sudo usermod -a -G <GROUP-NAME> <PRIMARY-USER-NAME>

To see all the groups, use: $ id, $ groups. login to a user: $ sudo su - <USER>. Re-login or Reset-PC is required.

Remove User and Group

sudo deluser --remove-home <USER-NAME>

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