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Re: vim -- adduser vs useradd/usermod

usermod makes changes to user.
useradd is not interactive, so makes an automated script for adding many users more possible to write.  including setting nonstandard home directory or extra groups.
adduser is interactive but does not let you put a user in multiple groups, i don't think.

Wolf Halton
Apache developer:

On Nov 24, 2012 8:16 AM, "Osamu Aoki" <osamu@debian.org> wrote:

On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 07:56:24AM -0600, Nate Bargmann wrote:
> * On 2012 23 Nov 06:14 -0600, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> > On Vi, 16 nov 12, 16:33:17, Nate Bargmann wrote:
> > > * On 2012 16 Nov 14:02 -0600, james gray wrote:
> > > > i am using vim to add the one and only name in a usr account to the groups
> > > > file for printing.
> > >
> > > I would use, as super user:
> > >
> > > # usermod -Ga lp <username>
> >
> > On Debian the 'adduser' tool should be used.

Maybe this is a bit strong statement.  I would just say the use of
adduser on Debian system makes life easy on Debian.

> Unfortunately, the name alone doesn't lend itself to knowing that it
> will modify a user account although the man page says:
>    Add an existing user to an existing group
>           If called with two non-option arguments, adduser will add  an
>         existing user to an existing group.
> The page is silent as to whether existing group membership is preserved
> as with the command example I offered.  To know it would be required for
> each adminstrator to test this command due to this documentation bug.

I think there is a reason why adduser is not called changeuser (or
updateuser) (just joking though). I am very certain this only "ADD"
things.  If it REMOVES something, this is a serious documentation bug
not to mention it.  But it just works as expected...  I think.

> In this case, 'usermod' provides the adminstrator *exactly* the options

Although adduser for this is the popular utility to use here and the one I
probably use, usermod seems to be as legitimate utility and it comes as a part
of shadow-utils i.e. the passwd package.

Both should work.  Otherwise, file a bug report :-)

> needed to modify a user account.  A single or multiple groups may be
> easily added, or the group list may be passed in such a way as to easily
> remove an account from several groups at once while preserving or adding
> membership in those passed.

If adduser should do such things, there should be a lot of unhappy people
filing bug report ...

> I don't see that capability in 'adduser'
> although there is the complementary 'deluser' which removes a sepcific
> user from a specific group.  To remove an account from multiple groups
> would require multiple invocations.
> Power or simplicity?  The choice is yours.

Power -- certainly.  If you read /usr/share/doc/adduser/examples/README,
there are good power tools described.

For not so much involved like me, adduser is a friendlier interactive
frontend to useradd. At least, this is my impression and that is why I
used it for Debian Reference.

I google and find interesting old post here.

> Subject: Re: adduser, useradd: are there any differences
> From: "Peter J. Holzer" <hjp-debian@hjp.at>
> Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 20:55:39 +0200
> On 2004-09-12 18:12:02 +0200, Roland Wegmann wrote:
> useradd and groupadd are the posix or SUS-standardized tools to create
> users and groups. You can expect them to work (almost) identically on all Linux
> distributions as well as on HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, ...
> adduser and groupadd are distribution specific wrappers which make it
> simpler to create users which conform to some (distribution-specific or
> local) policy. The options vary wildly between different distributions
> and other UNIXes may not have these commands at all.

(As I checked web, FEDORA/CENTOS/GENTOO, adduser seems to be the symlink
to useradd.)


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