deluser, delgroup - remove a user or group from the system
[options] [--force] [--remove-home] [--remove-all-files]
[--backup] [--backup-to DIR] user
--group [options] group
[options] [--only-if-empty] group
[options] user group
[--quiet] [--system] [--help] [--version] [--conf FILE]
remove users and groups from the system
according to command line options and configuration information in
. They are friendlier
front ends to the userdel
programs, removing the
home directory as option or even all files on the system owned by the user to
be removed, running a custom script, and other features. deluser
can be run in one of three modes:
Remove a normal user¶
If called with one non-option argument and without the --group
will remove a normal user.
By default, deluser
will remove the user without removing the home
directory, the mail spool or any other files on the system owned by the user.
Removing the home directory and mail spool can be achieved using the
option removes all files on the system owned by
the user. Note that if you activate both options --remove-home
have no effect because all files including the home directory and mail spool
are already covered by the --remove-all-files
If you want to backup all files before deleting them you can activate the
option which will create a file username.tar(.gz|.bz2) in the
directory specified by the --backup-to
option (defaulting to the
current working directory). Both the remove and backup options can also be
activated for default in the configuration file /etc/deluser.conf. See
If you want to remove the root account (uid 0), then use the --force
parameter; this may prevent to remove the root user by accident.
If the file /usr/local/sbin/deluser.local
exists, it will be executed
after the user account has been removed in order to do any local cleanup. The
arguments passed to deluser.local
username uid gid home-directory
Remove a group¶
is called with the --group
option, or delgroup
is called, a group will be removed.
Warning: The primary group of an existing user cannot be removed.
If the option --only-if-empty
is given, the group won't be removed if it
has any members left.
Remove a user from a specific group¶
If called with two non-option arguments, deluser
will remove a user from
a specific group.
- --conf FILE
- Use FILE instead of the default files /etc/deluser.conf and
- Remove a group. This is the default action if the program is invoked as
- Display brief instructions.
- Suppress progress messages.
- Only delete if user/group is a system user/group. This avoids accidentally
deleting non-system users/groups. Additionally, if the user does not
exist, no error value is returned. This option is mainly for use in Debian
package maintainer scripts.
- Backup all files contained in the userhome and the mailspool-file to a
file named /$user.tar.bz2 or /$user.tar.gz.
- Place the backup files not in / but in the directory specified by this
parameter. This implicitly sets --backup also.
- Remove the home directory of the user and its mailspool. If --backup is
specified, the files are deleted after having performed the backup.
- Remove all files from the system owned by this user. Note: --remove-home
does not have an effect any more. If --backup is specified, the files are
deleted after having performed the backup.
- Display version and copyright information.
- The action was successfully executed.
- The user to delete was not a system account. No action was performed.
- There is no such user. No action was performed.
- There is no such group. No action was performed.
- Internal error. No action was performed.
- The group to delete is not empty. No action was performed.
- The user does not belong to the specified group. No action was
- You cannot remove a user from its primary group. No action was
- The required perl-package 'perl modules' is not installed. This package is
required to perform the requested actions. No action was performed.
- For removing the root account the parameter "--force" is
required. No action was performed.
Copyright (C) 2000 Roland Bauerschmidt. Modifications (C) 2004 Marc Haber and
Joerg Hoh. This manpage and the deluser program are based on adduser which is:
Copyright (C) 1997, 1998, 1999 Guy Maor.
Copyright (C) 1995 Ted Hajek, with a great deal borrowed from the original
Copyright (C) 1994 Ian Murdock. deluser
is free software; see the GNU
General Public Licence version 2 or later for copying conditions. There is