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.


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.

  • 3
    useradd -r creates a system user, not only a user with no homedir. – fromnaboo Aug 12 '12 at 15:23
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    notice, useradd -r also creates corresponding groups. – user25389 Mar 31 '14 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 Oct 12 '15 at 14:49

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 Oct 23 '16 at 20:01

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.


try this command:

sudo useradd vivek

This will create a user without creating your home folder at /home/vivek

  • 1
    No, as long as you are logged in with this account, the /home/vivek will be automatically created. – Meow Oct 12 '15 at 14:41

To add user without home directory the commands are,

useradd -M username


useradd --no-create-home username


adduser -M username


adduser --no-create-home username

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