How do I add and delete users on Alpine Linux?

Alpine Linux is a multitasking and multi-user lightweight operating system. Typically famous as a standalone OS or for Linux container systems such as Docker, LXD, and others. We can create a user for different tasks. For example, www user for static web pages and another user for managing system. Either way, adding and removing users is an essential task for developers and sysadmins. This page explains how to add and remove users on Alpine Linux.


How to add user in Alpine Linux

To create a new user account in Alpine, use the adduser command. The syntax is as follows to add a user in Alpine:

adduser {user-name}

adduser [options] {user-name}

Let us create a new user account named wendy using the adduser command, enter:

#`` adduser wendy

## ``if sudo admin configured use it`` ##

$`` sudo adduser wendy

Sample output
Changing password for wendy
New password: 
Retype password: 
passwd: password for wendy changed by root

The adduser command would make /home/wendy/as the home directory for wendy user. Use the ls command to verify it:

#`` ls -ld /home/

#`` ls -ld /wendy/

Sample outputs:

drwxr-sr-x    2 wendy    wendy            2 May  2 21:20 /home/wendy

Alpine Linux uses the /etc/passwd file to store all usernames and encrypted passwords stored in the /etc/shadow file.

Don’t create home directory

You can tell the adduser not to create home directory by passing the -H option:

#`` adduser -H wendy

We can set home directory path (default is /home/$USER/) too by passing the -h /path/to/home/dir option. For instance, set path to shared AWS /efs/ filesystem as follows:

#`` adduser -h /efs/home/wendy wendy

Login shell

By default /bin/ash is set as the login shell for all new users and /bin/sh for system users. On the most system, I install and use bash. So we are going to set /bin/bash (or any other shell from /etc/shells file )as a login shell:

#`` adduser -h /efs/home/wendy -s /bin/bash wendy

To list all shell use the cat command:

#`` cat /etc/shells

Finally, use the id command or directly query the /etc/passwd file using the grep command to verify that user account created on Alpine Linux:

#`` id {``username``}

#`` grep '^``username``' ``/etc/passwd

#`` id wendy

#`` grep '^wendy' /etc/passwd

Add a New User from the Command Line

How to delete a user

Sometimes we don’t need a user account, and we can delete them from the CLI.

Delete a user account from the command Line

To remove users on Alpine use the deluser command. The syntax is:

#`` deluser [--remove-home] {USER}

To delete user named ‘wendy’ from the system, run:

#`` deluser wendy

One can remove the user and its home directory, including all other data as follows:

#`` deluser --remove-home wendy

And there you have it, we added and deleted users on Alpine Linux using the CLI.

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How to add and delete users on Alpine Linux
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