What is the difference between the commands
useradd on Ubuntu?
useraddis native binary compiled with the system. But,
adduseris a perl script which uses
useraddbinary in back-end.
adduseris more user friendly and interactive than its back-end
useradd. There's no difference in features provided.
adduseris a wrapper for
deluser when deleting users) when you're creating new users from the command line. (If you're writing a script, especially if you aim for portability, you might want to use the lowlevel utilities instead – and
deluser might not be available on all distros, e.g. on SuSE.)
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).
addgroupadd 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
usermodprograms, by default choosing Debian policy conformant UID and GID values, creating a home directory with skeletal configuration, running a custom script, and other features.
addgroupcan be run in one of five modes:
useraddis a low level utility for adding users. On Debian, administrators should usually use
See also: What's the difference between “adduser” and “useradd”? (on SuperUser)
Another couple of differences, that lead to specific scenarios where useradd might be preferable.
In some newer distros, including Ubuntu 14.4, adduser will prompt for information such as password and "gecos" (data for the finger command). This means it can be less suitable for calling from a script (credit: already mentioned in a comment by Wernight).
The prompts can be suppressed by passing null arguments:
adduser --disabled-password --gecos "" USER
useraddallows you to pass multiple additional groups to add a user to by means of the
adduserseems to require that you call the command once for each group to add.
Basic difference is "adduser" will create home directory & add skeleton files to that directory where "useradd" wont create any home directory & skeleton files !
adduser try :
Adding user `try' ... Adding new group `try' (1001) ... Adding new user `try' (1001) with group `try' ... Creating home directory `/home/try' ... Copying files from `/etc/skel' ... Enter new UNIX password: Retype new UNIX password: passwd: password updated successfully Changing the user information for try Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default Full Name : Room Number : Work Phone : Home Phone : Other : Is the information correct? [Y/n] y
useradd try1 :
# ll /home/ total 20 drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Oct 26 15:52 ./ drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4096 Oct 26 15:47 ../ drwx------ 8 ashishk ashishk 4096 Oct 26 15:50 ashishk/ drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Oct 14 13:02 .ecryptfs/ drwxr-xr-x 2 try try 4096 Oct 26 15:52 try/ root@chef-workstation:/home/ashishk#
I'll also point out that
adduser does not always have the
-M option and also does not respect the
--system flag which specifically says:
Note that useradd will not create a home directory for such an user, regardless of the default setting in /etc/login.defs (CREATE_HOME). You have to specify the -m options if you want a home directory for a system account to be created.
If you're trying to create a system user without a home directory then use
useradd --system -M.