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USERDEL(8)                BSD System Manager's Manual               USERDEL(8)

     userdel -- remove a user from the system

     userdel -D [-p preserve-value]
     userdel [-rSv] [-p preserve-value] user

     The userdel utility removes a user from the system, optionally removing
     that user's home directory and any subdirectories.

     Default values are taken from the information provided in the
     /etc/usermgmt.conf file, which, if running as root, is created using the
     built-in defaults if it does not exist.

     The first form of the command shown above (using the -D option) sets and
     displays the defaults for the userdel utility.

     See user(8) for more information about EXTENSIONS.

     -D      Without any further options, -D will show the current defaults
             which will be used by the userdel utility.  Together with one of
             the options shown for the first version of the command, -D will
             set the default to be the new value.  This option is included if
             built with EXTENSIONS.

     -p preserve-value
             Set the preservation value.  If this value is one of 'true',
             'yes', or a non-zero number, then the user login information will
             be preserved.  This option is included if built with EXTENSIONS.

     In the second form of the command, after setting any defaults, and then
     reading values from /etc/usermgmt.conf, the following command line
     options are processed:

     -p preserve-value
             Preserve the user information in the password file, but do not
             allow the user to login, by switching the password to an
             "impossible" one, and by setting the user's shell to the
             nologin(8) program.  This option can be helpful in preserving a
             user's files for later use by members of that person's group
             after the user has moved on.  This value can also be set in the
             /etc/usermgmt.conf file, using the 'preserve' field.  If the
             field has any of the values 'true', 'yes', or a non-zero number,
             then user information preservation will take place.  This option
             is included if built with EXTENSIONS.

     -r      Remove the user's home directory, any subdirectories, and any
             files and other entries in them.

     -S      Allow a samba user name (with a trailing dollar sign) to be
             deleted.  This option is included if built with EXTENSIONS.

     -v      Perform any actions in a verbose manner.  This option is included
             if built with EXTENSIONS.

     Once the information has been verified, userdel uses pwd_mkdb(8) to
     update the user database.  This is run in the background, and, at very
     large sites could take several minutes.  Until this update is completed,
     the password file is unavailable for other updates and the new
     information is not available to programs.

     The userdel utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


     passwd(5), usermgmt.conf(5), group(8), nologin(8), pwd_mkdb(8), user(8),

     The userdel utility first appeared in NetBSD 1.5.  It is based on the
     addnerd package by the same author.

     The userdel utility was written by Alistair G. Crooks <>.

BSD                            November 16, 2005                           BSD