{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 santhosh kumar theyyan May 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm

or specify the home with -d in useradd command


2 ashwani May 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Nice…info…but it doesnt work ;_( it still gives same error as before changeing in /etc/default/usradd

[root@localhost ~]# useradd -d /root/lvm/ mas
useradd: warning: the home directory already exists.
Not copying any file from skel directory into it.


3 Jay A June 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

Hi All,
Anyone who can teach me the solution for this problem:

I add a user jayabellon using this command:
useradd -u 888 -g oinstall -G dba -d /home/jayabellon -r jayabellon

i forgot to create home directory when I log-In so it prompts me cannot go to that directory.

I deleted the user and retry to create again.

But still, when I log-In, this is what it looks like:

I am expecting it to be

this is my entry in /etc/passwd:

actually, i am only working in a test server. Nothing much critical on this one.
It’s just that its my first time to create user using command line, because i usually do it in GUI based.

Jay A


4 divyaraj February 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

Even I have the same problem. If you get any solution please mail me. One solution I can give that re-install the operating system,even I did the same.


5 Jay A June 18, 2009 at 10:27 am

-bash-3.00$ finger jayabellon
Login: jayabellon Name: jayabellon
Directory: /home/jayabellon Shell: /bin/bash
Never logged in.
No mail.
No Plan.


6 nixCraft June 18, 2009 at 11:10 am

Pass -m option to useradd command to create users home dir.


7 Jay A June 19, 2009 at 1:43 am

I got it.

it’s in man page also.


found that it’s faster to create user in command line rather than using GUI Administration tool.

Thanks Vivek


8 Shash April 27, 2010 at 6:02 am

Any chance you can provide a similar command for Oracle SQL?


9 TonyRiver December 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thanks. I’ve been wondering how to change the default home directory for a while now. Glad I found this to explain how.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


10 Tamjeed April 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

This is just nonsense of a blog, when the same thing can be achieved with usermod command with -d option to change the home directory.


11 Joey May 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

It’s really not “nonsense of a blog.” The whole point is so that it is a default, so you DON’T have to do the -d option every time. Why make things harder on yourself? Set all the defaults in the config files, and then just useradd and be done with it.


12 dnyaneshwar October 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

home directory already exits.
not copying any file from skel directory into it
when i login to oracle user it show me


13 sms December 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Thanks a lot you saved me.. since the syntax was so complicated..

what i did wrong was while trying to change existing username to new one..

I was logged as root since it’s not good to change username while being logged under it.. everything went smooth i even appended the groups to my new user but since i didn’t specify the path to the new home directory after -dm all of the old folder was moved by default to the root folder instead of home since i was logged as root.. so be careful guys to specify path or just log into any other user you have that has folder in home$ or i guess excute the command in the target folder .. here what i used to change username:

usermod -dm -Ga ,sudo -l

to understand this go to the man page..


14 sms December 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm

sorry but trying to add syntax with but gets deleted!!!

add this to first comment

usermod -dm (new-user) -Ga (created new group),sudo -l (new-user) (old-user)


15 sms December 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm

forgot to mention that combining options letters won’t work which i guess is weird since it;s used in tar -vzf … but i guess some commands don’t agree.. thanks again i’ve just moved my whole folders to the destination.. u r the best not even the man instructions since those are stupid for not giving no examples.. thanks again guys..


16 XaverW January 30, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the article.
When changing the default home dir in /etc/default/useradd, I suggest to change it in /etc/adduser.conf as well (variable DHOME) – otherwise users added by the command ‘adduser’ will have the wrong/old home still.


17 isiah May 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

on rhel 5 I had to change the command slightly

usermod -d /users/v/vivek -m vivek

this applies to centos 5 as well


18 mahendra bonamukkala March 8, 2015 at 4:43 pm

it’s working both combination of -m -d options

usermod -m -d


19 mahendra bonamukkala March 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

it’s working both combination of -m -d options
usermod -m -d


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