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USERDEL(8) Befehle zur Systemverwaltung USERDEL(8)


userdel - löscht ein Benutzerkonto und die dazugehörigen Dateien


userdel [Optionen] ANMELDENAME


userdel is a low level utility for removing users. On Debian, administrators should usually use deluser(8) instead.

The userdel command modifies the system account files, deleting all entries that refer to the user name LOGIN. The named user must exist.


The options which apply to the userdel command are:

-f, --force

This option forces the removal of the user account, even if the user is still logged in. It also forces userdel to remove the user's home directory and mail spool, even if another user uses the same home directory or if the mail spool is not owned by the specified user. If USERGROUPS_ENAB is defined to yes in /etc/login.defs and if a group exists with the same name as the deleted user, then this group will be removed, even if it is still the primary group of another user.

Note: This option is dangerous and may leave your system in an inconsistent state.

-h, --help

zeigt die Hilfe an und beendet das Programm

-r, --remove

Die Dateien im Home-Verzeichnis des Benutzers werden zusammen mit dem Home-Verzeichnis und dem Mailspool entfernt. Dateien, die sich nicht unterhalb des Home-Verzeichnisses befinden, müssen per Hand gesucht und gelöscht werden.

The mail spool is defined by the MAIL_DIR variable in the login.defs file.

-R, --root CHROOT_DIR

Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory. Only absolute paths are supported.

-P, --prefix PREFIX_DIR

Apply changes in the PREFIX_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the PREFIX_DIR directory. This option does not chroot and is intended for preparing a cross-compilation target. Some limitations: NIS and LDAP users/groups are not verified. PAM authentication is using the host files. No SELINUX support.

-Z, --selinux-user

entfernt die Zuordnung von SELinux-Benutzern aus den Anmeldeinformationen des Benutzers


The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the behavior of this tool:



Informationen zu den Gruppenkonten


Konfiguration der Shadow-Passwort-Werkzeugsammlung


Informationen zu den Benutzerkonten


verschlüsselte Informationen zu den Benutzerkonten

/etc/shadow-maint/userdel-pre.d/*, /etc/shadow-maint/userdel-post.d/*

Run-part files to execute during user deletion. The environment variable ACTION will be populated with userdel and SUBJECT with the username. userdel-pre.d will be executed prior to any user deletion. userdel-post.d will execute after user deletion. If a script exits non-zero then execution will terminate.


Per user subordinate group IDs.


Per user subordinate user IDs.


The userdel command exits with the following values:




can't update password file


invalid command syntax


specified user doesn't exist


user currently logged in


can't update group file


can't remove home directory


userdel will not allow you to remove an account if there are running processes which belong to this account. In that case, you may have to kill those processes or lock the user's password or account and remove the account later. The -f option can force the deletion of this account.

Sie sollten von Hand alle Systemdateien überprüfen, um sicherzustellen, dass keine Dateien vorhanden sind, die dem gelöschten Benutzer gehören.

Sie sollten keine NIS-Attribute auf einem NIS-Client löschen. Dies muss auf dem NIS-Server durchgeführt werden.

If USERGROUPS_ENAB is defined to yes in /etc/login.defs, userdel will delete the group with the same name as the user. To avoid inconsistencies in the passwd and group databases, userdel will check that this group is not used as a primary group for another user, and will just warn without deleting the group otherwise. The -f option can force the deletion of this group.


chfn(1), chsh(1), passwd(1), login.defs(5), gpasswd(8), groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), subgid(5), subuid(5), useradd(8), usermod(8).

04.02.2024 shadow-utils 4.13