FreeKB - How to create, modify, and delete user accounts in Linux
How to create, modify, and delete user accounts in Linux

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The /etc/skel is a directory that contains files and directories. "skel" is short for Skeleton, and /etc/skel is commonly referred to as the Skeleton Directory. When creating a new user account using the useradd command, the /etc/skel directory contains files and directories that are copied to a new user's home directory. Typically, the files in /etc/skel are hidden, so the ls -a command must be used to view the files in /etc/skel.

[root@server1 ~]# ls -a /etc/skel
. .. .bash_logout .config .mozilla .profile


Notice /etc/skel contains the following files:

  • .
  • ..
  • .bash_logout
  • .config
  • .mozilla
  • .profile

If we view a newly created users home directory, we can see that these files were copied to the users home directory.

[root@server1 ~]# ls -a /home/user1
. .. .bash_logout .config .mozilla .profile


Let's say you want every new user account to contain a directory name ABC and a file named 123. You can create these files in the skeleton directory.

[user1@server1 ~]# mkdir /etc/skel/ABC
[user1@server1 ~]# touch /etc/skel/123


When you create user2, user2 home directory will contain directory ABC and file 123.

[user1@server1 ~]# useradd -m user2

[user1@server1 ~]# ls /home/user2
. .. ABC 123 .bash_logout  .bash_profile  .bashrc  .emacs  .kshrc  .mozilla


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