Useradd in Linux - Not copying any file from skel directory into it

15 July,2013 by Tom Collins

When creating a new local user on Linux  with the useradd  and the directory already exists , the following error \ warning message appears:


        useradd: warning: the home directory already exists.
        Not copying any file from skel directory into it.



If the directory  didn’t exist , the Linux useradd process  creates the directory and copies  the skel files  : .kshrc , .bashrc , .bash_profile and .bash_logout files into the user directory.

As a DBA it is not unusual to receive a server with directories already in place. In those situations a scripted approach is required to copy the skel files. A quick and dirty solution is to add the following line after the useradd sequence

 cp -r /etc/skel/. /<user_home_directpory>

An example sequence could be :


#add user : db2usr
echo "add user = db2usr"
useradd -g db2iadm1 -m db2usr -p 'dg8WM/S.o/bAE' -d /db2usr
chown db2usr /db2usr

#copy skel files 
cp -r /etc/skel/. /db2usr

 Read More

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Author: Rambler(


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