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Howto: Linux Add User To Group

How can I add a user to a group under Linux operating system using command line options? How to add an existing user into a group in Linux using command line options?

You can use the useradd or usermod commands to add a user to a group. The useradd command creates a new user or update default new user information. The usermod command modifies a user account and it is useful to add user to existing groups. There are two types of groups under Linux operating systems:

  1. Primary user group.
  2. Secondary or supplementary user group.

All user account related information are stored in the following files:

  1. /etc/passwd – Contains one line for each user account.
  2. /etc/shadow – Contains the password information in encrypted formatfor the system’s accounts and optional account aging information.
  3. /etc/group – Defines the groups on the system.
  4. /etc/default/useradd – This file contains a value for the default group, if none is specified by the useradd command.
  5. /etc/login.defs – This file defines the site-specific configuration for the shadow password suite stored in /etc/shadow file.

useradd Example – Add a new user to secondary group

You need to the useradd command to add new users to existing group (or create a new group and then add user). If group does not exist, create it. The syntax is as follows:
useradd -G {group-name} username
In this example, create a new user called vivek and add it to group called developers. First login as a root user (make sure group developers exists), enter:
# grep developers /etc/group


If you do not see any output then you need to add group developers using the groupadd command:
# groupadd developers
Next, add a user called vivek to group developers:
# useradd -G developers vivek
Setup password for user vivek:
# passwd vivek
Ensure that user added properly to group developers:
# id vivekOutput:

uid=1122(vivek) gid=1125(vivek) groups=1125(vivek),1124(developers)

Please note that capital G (-G) option add user to a list of supplementary groups. Each group is separated from the next by a comma, with no intervening whitespace. For example, add user jerry to groups admins, ftp, www, and developers, enter:
# useradd -G admins,ftp,www,developers jerry

useradd example – Add a new user to primary group

To add a user tony to group developers use the following command:
# useradd -g developers tony
# id tony

Sample outputs:

uid=1123(tony) gid=1124(developers) groups=1124(developers)

Please note that small g (-g) option add user to initial login group (primary group). The group name must exist. A group number must refer to an already existing group.

usermod example – Add a existing user to existing group

Add existing user tony to ftp supplementary/secondary group with the usermod command using the -a option ~ i.e. add the user to the supplemental group(s). Use only with -G option:
# usermod -a -G ftp tony
In this example, change tony user’s primary group to www, enter:
# usermod -g www tony

usermod command options summary

Add the user to the supplementary group(s). Use only with the -G option.
--gid GROUP
Use this GROUP as the default group.
--groups GRP1,GRP2
Add the user to GRP1,GRP2 secondary group.

A note about security

If you add or delete user to existing group, you must change the owner of any crontab files or at jobs manually. You must make any changes involving NIS on the NIS server too.

A note about GUI tool

You will probably find the use of the GUI tool easy. KDE user can use KUser tool and the GNOME user can use users-admin tool called system-config-users:
# system-config-users
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: User Manager Tool in action (image credit Fedora project)

Fig.01: User Manager Tool in action (image credit Fedora project)

See also

For more information type the following command at the shell prompt:
$ man usermod
$ man useradd

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{ 129 comments… add one }
  • prajMarch 26, 2006, 4:05 pm

    How can i run the passwd command
    non-interactively in linux . I want to change the password through a script file….How can i
    invoke the passwd command thru a script file non-interactively.
    If thats not possible then suggest
    some alternative…

    • manojMay 6, 2011, 2:18 pm

      Multiple entries named ‘audio’ in /etc/group. Please fix this with pwck or grpck.
      usermod: error adding new group entry

  • nixcraftMarch 26, 2006, 8:02 pm

    See shell script example here

  • BackSeatAugust 14, 2006, 3:41 pm

    praj: see chpasswd(8)

  • BnKDecember 6, 2006, 8:51 pm


    time saving tip for new admin. I can read man page but it is full of shit-load and no examples at all. keep it up good work!

  • SørenJune 19, 2007, 10:37 am

    I find the easiest way to add a user to a group is using gpasswd like this:
    gpasswd -a

  • SørenJune 19, 2007, 10:38 am

    This editor bugs me :) The command should be:
    gpasswd -a user group

  • FrogbertJuly 11, 2007, 6:52 am

    This is wrong, usermod -G ftp tony will take you out of all your existing groups. Not add a new one.

  • nixCraftJuly 12, 2007, 6:13 pm

    Yes I’m adding a existing user to existing group, but to keep user in other old group you need to use:

    usermod -G oldgroup1, oldgroup2, ftp tony
    • lefty.cruppsOctober 15, 2014, 5:39 pm

      You’re suggesting we’d need to know each group first? Perhaps telling us that above would be good, also including the command to find the current ‘oldgroup1 oldgroup1’ stuff:
      groups lefty

      Also, what’s the difference between useradd and adduser?
      What’s the differences between distros?
      The article could use some reorganization as well to make the concept flow better, but the article has good info, just not laid out super-clearly. IMHO.

  • vimJuly 14, 2007, 2:41 am

    Actually, it’s easier to go like this:

    usermod -a -G ftp tony

    The -a causes your old groups to be kept. At least in the newer versions. I was looking into this and found an old manpage where the -a function is not documented.

    Since I don’t know when this feature was introduced, you should check for it on the man pages before using it.

  • nixCraftJuly 14, 2007, 10:15 pm


    -a seems to a new option. This FAQ has been updated to include -a.

    Appreciate your post!

    • ThembaMarch 16, 2015, 8:06 am

      The -a option is not working on ubuntu 14.04

      • SterexJanuary 30, 2016, 1:14 pm

        It works just fine.

  • derryAugust 7, 2007, 10:25 pm

    I recommend that when you need to add people to an existing group to use

    gpasswd -a USER GROUP

  • Steve FranciaAugust 19, 2007, 6:24 pm

    usermod (pwdutils) 3.1.2

    there is no -a option available, so that options is a fairly new one, it also appears to be nonstandard across *NIX.

  • rupaAugust 22, 2007, 9:06 am

    thanks for -a option, it saved my time on centos

    • emiatFebruary 1, 2011, 4:43 am

      tnx a lot

    • ratnaDecember 16, 2011, 11:51 am

      R u still in same Domain?


  • sureshJanuary 7, 2008, 12:01 pm

    why this command didnt work on sun solaris 10 ?
    #useradd -u 100 -g other -d /export/home/newuser1 -m -s /bin/ksh -c “Regular User Account ” newuser1

    Error :uid 100 already in use

  • soliverJanuary 25, 2008, 9:20 pm


    how can I give a usergroup root rights?
    I would like to create a group “developer” but they need root access as well.


    • RyanMarch 13, 2012, 1:13 am

      No one needs to assign root access to their own account. Not even you. Add them to the wheel group.

  • soliverJanuary 25, 2008, 9:23 pm

    I also want to give another user root access.
    That way you can do PermitRootLogin yes, which is more secure.

  • NileshJanuary 26, 2008, 3:09 pm

    install sudo.

    then edit /etc/sudoers (or other location)

    and append the line-

    %developer ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

    This will give the users in group developer the root access but will need to type


    The above setup will not demand root password

  • chrisMarch 11, 2008, 6:47 pm

    Now that I foolishly ran:
    usermod -G ftp chris

    Is there anyway I get access back to all the groups I had before?

    I am using Ubuntu so I don’t have a password for the root user.

  • nixCraftMarch 11, 2008, 7:31 pm

    See if you have backup in /etc/group- or restore it from your tape backup.


  • chrisMarch 11, 2008, 7:50 pm

    no tape backup and unless the etc/group file is auto backedup I don’t have one of those either.

  • nixCraftMarch 12, 2008, 5:28 am
  • LiLoApril 30, 2008, 8:34 am


    Is there a way to automatically create a MySQL database when creating the user?

    (the new database would be named after the user and with the same login / password)

  • nixCraftApril 30, 2008, 12:48 pm

    You need to write a shell script; there is no built in option to create mysql db.

  • LiLoApril 30, 2008, 2:04 pm

    OK, so for instance, with webmin which allows the creation of users from a text using useradd, it would not be possible to automatically add a database for each call of useradd without modifying webmin…

    That’s not making my life any easier :)

  • totiMay 2, 2008, 4:19 am

    Hi… newb here ;)
    I have a quick question: in CentOS 5, when I type usermod -a -G ftp tony I always get the error “invalid numeric argument ‘ftp’ why is that?

  • totiMay 2, 2008, 4:20 am

    sorry just read the disclaimer on “leave reply” disregard my question :|

  • RobMJune 6, 2008, 8:27 pm

    If you modified your own user account while logged in with it, the changes will not have an effect until you next login.

    If you don’t want to logout, you can replace your current BASH shell with a new one to achieve the same thing by running the follow:

    su –preserve-environment –command “$(which $SHELL) –login -i” $(whoami)

    This will switch-user to yourself, replacing your current shell with a new instance of itself. You will be prompted for your password.

    If you don’t specify a command to run you’ll probably get an error to the effect of “cannot execute bash: file not found” because it won’t be on the environment. You could use –shell to point su at it, but your shell wouldn’t be a “login” shell and therefore won’t read your .bash_profile etc.

  • kishoreJune 19, 2008, 9:58 am

    Hi friends,

    I want to say thanks for u.Because of this post i created the users myself without anyones help.

    Thanks and Regards

  • helpneededJune 26, 2008, 11:30 am

    why do we need to add new users in linux?

  • nixCraftJune 26, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Linux is multiuser operating system. User can maintain their privacy and security.

  • HAMEEDJune 27, 2008, 9:18 am


  • itsadokJuly 5, 2008, 6:16 am

    There are simpler commands (at least on Ubuntu):

    adduser user group
    will add an existing user to an existing group

    deluser user group
    will remove a user from a specified group

  • David BrownJuly 6, 2008, 9:04 pm

    In the past when I’ve upgraded to the latest edition of Ubuntu I’ve added any existing users by entering the user name, real name, password etc. into the Users and Groups dialogue boxes and all worked fine.

    However with upgrading to Hardy when I do the same an error flags up saying “Home Directory Already Exists – Please enter a different home directory path” and I’ve been unable to re-instate the users.

    Can anyone tell me how to add these users

  • JuLian henDraJuly 8, 2008, 4:06 am

    How do I listed all existing users and group by command line in Ubuntu, thanks

  • vishwasJuly 8, 2008, 5:45 am

    how to add two groups in a group
    for eg: group1 and group2 these group should be added to another group called group3

  • functionsysAugust 21, 2008, 5:16 am

    whyyyyyyyyy how i can fix it

    FunctionSys@FunctionSys-PC ~/mysql
    $ groupadd
    bash: groupadd: command not found

    FunctionSys@FunctionSys-PC ~/mysql
    $ /usr/sbin/groupadd
    bash: /usr/sbin/groupadd: No such file or directory

    FunctionSys@FunctionSys-PC ~/mysql
    $ useradd -G {mysql} mysql
    bash: useradd: command not found

    FunctionSys@FunctionSys-PC ~/mysql

  • SureshSeptember 22, 2008, 10:06 am

    Hi Vivek,

    your tutorial is really nice to follow.

    I have a scenario, where i need to create a super user and subuser(1,2,3) for accessing ftp in our webserver it is linux with redhat on it. so that super user can access all the subuser folders, and subusers can access only their folders respectively.

    I haven’t created any of the groups, so i would like to know from scratch like defining users and creating permissions.

    since I am new to this linux environment, it would be great if you could post commands like the one above for the scenario i explained.

    Many Thanks.

  • eveOctober 22, 2008, 1:38 pm

    i have 2 group. Group A and Group B.
    I have a existing user in Group A.
    Now i want to add this existing user to Group B too.
    What should i do?

    Thanks You.

  • AksuliOctober 31, 2008, 9:43 pm

    Ive managed to add account.

    richard@richard-desktop:~$ sudo useradd -G admin,dialout,cdrom,floppy,audio,dip,video,plugdev,fuse,lpadmin aksu
    richard@richard-desktop:~$ sudo passwd aksu
    Enter new UNIX password:
    Retype new UNIX password:
    passwd: password updated successfully
    richard@richard-desktop:~$ id aksu
    uid=1001(aksu) gid=1001(aksu) groups=1001(aksu),20(dialout),24(cdrom),25(floppy),29(audio),30(dip),44(video),46(plugdev),107(fuse),109(lpadmin),115(admin)

    Now I have a problem, when I connect the server says:

    Could not chdir to home directory /home/aksu: No such file or directory

    How can I manage that to work out right. ATM I can’t use TAB for filling in file/folder names etc.. PLZ help me out :)

  • vishwasNovember 3, 2008, 4:00 am

    Aksuli type this command it will help u

    1) richard@richard-desktop:~$ sudo useradd -G admin,dialout,cdrom,floppy,audio,dip,video,plugdev,fuse,lpadmin aksu -d /home/aksu

    2) mkdir /home/aksu

  • kennyNovember 14, 2008, 7:01 pm

    i type in useradd command but i get the response command not found.what is the problem

  • Pratik PatelNovember 15, 2008, 5:10 am

    Please tell me how can i add multiple users to one group at a single shot.

  • RyanNovember 20, 2008, 11:59 pm

    To add a user to multiple groups – ‘man useradd’

    -G, –groups GROUP1[,GROUP2,…[,GROUPN]]]
    A list of supplementary groups which the user is also a member of.
    Each group is separated from the next by a comma, with no intervening whitespace. The groups are subject to the same restrictions as the group given with the -g option.
    The default is for the user to belong only to the initial group.

  • junaidJanuary 21, 2009, 9:10 am

    thanks a alot buddy for help……. keep it up

    plz insert search tool with in website…….

    GOD bless YOU

  • hyacinthFebruary 4, 2009, 3:01 am

    How to delete and add a group..
    please help me..


  • dunnoFebruary 13, 2009, 9:41 pm

    complete noob with linux here…

    what are the actual groups that you can add users to?

    i know there’s the ‘users’ group for standard users… but what else is there? can i add a user as a sysadmin with full control over the system? or is that the same as logging in as root?

    i also understand it’s apperently a “bad idea” to login as root into KDE… but why?

    sorry, like i said, complete noob. just installed yesterday.

    oh, and also, even though i realize this isn’t the right place to ask this, i have no idea where else to ask and i’ve been seraching for this for hours… how do you mount a new hard drive? there’s plenty of info telling how to mount a cdrom or a floppy drive, or even a usb thumb drive, but NOWHERE does anything or anyone say how to mount a simple hard drive…. is it not possible to add an additional hard drive? i can’t believe that that would be impossible, so there’s got to be a way.

  • wasimMarch 9, 2009, 12:14 pm

    to add user in multiple group

    usermod -G group1,group2 username

  • PatrickMarch 29, 2009, 6:04 pm

    i have 3 sites. MainSite TestSite and FileSite. Main and Test need to be apart of the FileSite group to be able to read/write/delete files.

    usermod -a -G MainSite,TestSite FileSite
    is that right?

  • Aheebwa EdgarMay 19, 2009, 6:16 pm

    pliz thanx so much for your ideas but my question was how to add one user to the linux group.am waiting right now.
    God bless you

  • Aheebwa EdgarMay 19, 2009, 6:46 pm

    i need just a command to add user to a group.thank you

  • SnapJune 5, 2009, 2:44 am

    If I have a user that is only used to run scripts (started by fetchmail), but I do not actually ever log in as such user in the console. I have added that user to a group to get access to a folder, but it does not seem to work.. if it was a normal user, I would simply log out and log in again to activate my membership in this group.. but since I never log in with this user, how can I make sure that it is actually a member of the group?

  • balu phaniJuly 29, 2009, 6:18 am

    i want to create a user say “testusr” and i don’t want to get home directory for him and his individual group (generally he will belong to his group “testusr” group i don’t want it) but i have already have a common group say “cmngrp” so he should belong to it only.
    i think my point is clear
    create “testusr” without home directory and without his own group but belongs to “cmngrp”.

  • balu phaniJuly 29, 2009, 7:29 am

    i got it
    useradd -Ng -M

  • wasimJuly 29, 2009, 11:38 am

    you can check existing group by this command

    cat /etc/group | cut -d “:” -f1

  • yogesh kolteOctober 28, 2009, 8:29 am

    it was very helpful to usermod command to modified changes the user

  • Vlad the ImpalerNovember 8, 2009, 9:26 am

    To check groups and who is in the group, the easiest is cat /etc/group. Smile!

  • karimNovember 21, 2009, 9:18 am

    Hi ,

    Say i have a group called music.

    I want every new user henceforth created to automatically have the music group as their secondary group on top of the primary group that will be added by the system.

    Is this possible?


  • Al B..January 15, 2010, 8:56 pm

    son of monkeys uncle there is no usermod “-a” option is SUSE Ent 10

  • esraaMarch 24, 2010, 7:47 pm


  • esraaMarch 28, 2010, 7:31 pm

    i wante cleared code in shell script programming to add user and add groupe

  • zercMay 5, 2010, 2:15 pm


    Thank you for this tutorial !

  • ArvindMay 19, 2010, 5:37 am

    Thank you for this tutorial !

  • umer ahmedJune 5, 2010, 5:39 pm

    good tutorial

  • AndeyJune 5, 2010, 10:16 pm

    i’ve probably used this page like 50 times because i’m still to lazy to learn usermod

  • Brian MaskellJune 9, 2010, 7:11 pm
  • uzerJuly 4, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Hey, I’m getting
    [user@localhost ~]$ sudo su
    [sudo] password for user:
    user is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

  • shane williamsonJuly 7, 2010, 2:03 am

    Okay these commands DO NOT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • indirJuly 9, 2010, 6:25 am

    thanks, its works for me :)

  • selvenSeptember 15, 2010, 7:44 pm

    seriously, this is so gay! in my days to add a user to a group, we just had to add it in /etc/group! i don’t understand why there should be a “tool” to complicate it!

  • nicSeptember 16, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I like to use a “for” loop for this. For exampled

    for i in group1 group2 group3 ...; do adduser $i; done

  • Tom O'ConnellOctober 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I am using Mint 9 and have no knowledge of either command line or archive manager.
    Can you steer me to the easiest tutorial.


  • dxNovember 4, 2010, 10:06 am

    how many users can be in a group? i want to add 500 users to group mailusers. wont that be slowing down my mailserver?


  • syedDecember 9, 2010, 7:53 pm

    i have need in one account and multiple sign

  • NURUL HUDAJanuary 9, 2011, 4:04 pm

    I have lost my all inbox mails unexpectedly.Is it possible to retrive again?please help me.

  • emiatFebruary 1, 2011, 4:52 am

    what is the 1st step on how to add group in active directory 2003? And 1st step of how to add group in active directory?


  • Rodislav MoldovanApril 3, 2011, 10:01 pm

    #works in Debian 6
    Add user to a new group, by keeping old groups
    usermod -a -G AdditionalGroup User

    -a append
    -G group name

  • RashidMay 12, 2011, 10:50 am

    thanks for sharing useful and knowledgeable topic

  • ExtraJune 27, 2011, 8:02 am

    Oh yeah man! This is the best site i ever meet, on helping users to quick find the answer to concrete Question! Thank you so much for the FAQ archive! wish you the best thinks.
    this is the primary site, that i search for responses to Linux Q’s.

  • Laxman RanaSeptember 20, 2011, 4:37 am

    thanks this tutorial to learn about user add with group’s modification…
    nicely this iz working on my pc in linux……………

  • Neth KongOctober 8, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Hi all, I would like to write a script in Linux to manage User and Group….
    *** they are able to add, delete, modify,,,,,,

    Would you please help me?

  • da_fatfingerOctober 20, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I made the mistake of not including -a in usermod as well, now im locked of doing anything useful in ubuntu. Granted i’m a linux newbie, so hard lessons like this are bound to happen, but you would save many headaches with just a small, clear explanation at the top about how flags (especially -a) are vital to how usermod works. Since you are THE top google hit for “linux add user to group”, you would save a lot of people some serious pain.

  • VivekNovember 9, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Any idea howto add existing group into another existing group ?

    Ex: test1 – group has 5 users
    test2 – group has 3 users

    i want to add test1 group to be part of test2, instead of adding the users.

  • vlad the impalerDecember 8, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Can you please emboss, move to top, highlight, make it red and blink FFS !!!
    99 % of the people want an user added to an existing group, not moved.
    Only on Linux, add is a special type of move (sarcasm).

    Please, for this tutorial of yours, that comes up on google, this is what we want:
    usermod -a -G ftp tony
    not this:
    usermod -G ftp tony

    Maybe with time we will learn Linux and face this issues more bravely, but most of us that come here have rather trivial experience with Linux, we want to learn.. but we want to learn how to add an user to a group (of course existing, is the natural way) no how to damage our systems.

    Call me stupid, but it is the 2nd time I revisit this issue, being forced to again reinstall my linux box because of damaging my sudoers list.

    Please, put a big red or whatever flashy warning on top of the article, notifying people about the sudeoers bite.

  • miquelJanuary 12, 2012, 8:11 am

    Nice explanation

  • diptesh maityFebruary 22, 2012, 3:02 pm

    how to create user under user in linux?? not from superuser.

    • Subrat NJanuary 10, 2013, 6:03 pm

      You should know the root password.

      $su – -c “useradd u_name”

      or through sudo

  • marcMarch 26, 2012, 8:22 am

    I knew that useradd could add a user to the system but I did not know that it would for a group as well. Thanks for this how-to then.

  • remove thisApril 10, 2012, 3:28 pm

    This post is wrong and it’s the top search result on google. You should edit or remove it.

    The correct way to add a user to a group is “usermod -aG groupname username”.

  • nitiratna nikaljeApril 25, 2012, 1:19 pm

    its mind blowing solution for adding user to any group .we can add multiple existing users to an existing group by this method # gpasswd -M niti,gauri,lina,nidhi masti =added user niti ,gauri ,lina and nidhi to group “masti”

  • JeremyJune 11, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Thanks, this is helpful for people like myself; just starting out with RHEL.

  • dhaniSeptember 18, 2012, 8:21 am

    Thank you, this really solve my problems in samba share.

  • Bijay ManandharSeptember 20, 2012, 6:24 am

    really nice tutorial ..

    thanx millions..

  • ValerioOctober 15, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Hi… I tryed your hint, but I have got some erros below:
    root@ibeji:/etc# testparm
    Load smb config files from /etc/samba/smb.conf
    Unknown parameter encountered: “client code page”
    Ignoring unknown parameter “client code page”
    Unknown parameter encountered: “character set”
    Ignoring unknown parameter “character set”
    Unknown parameter encountered: “domain admin group”
    Ignoring unknown parameter “domain admin group”
    Unknown parameter encountered: “domain admin users”
    Ignoring unknown parameter “domain admin users”
    Processing section “[netlogon]”
    Processing section “[home]”
    Processing section “[publico]”
    Processing section “[contabil]”
    Processing section “[suporte]”
    Processing section “[tmp]”
    Loaded services file OK.
    Server role: ROLE_DOMAIN_PDC
    Press enter to see a dump of your service definitions

  • SequoiaDecember 18, 2012, 5:05 pm

    You should really change this article to either
    a) use the -a switch in the first example or
    b) add a BIG RED WARNING that the command you give will REMOVE THE USER FROM ALL CURRENT GROUPS

    This comes up #1 on google for “linux add user to group” and I suspect I’m not the only one who completely screwed up their user by running the command you have listed here to “add a user to a group”

    Perhaps the article should be titled “How to remove a user from all groups and add them to a new group”

  • Subrat NJanuary 10, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Hi Geeks,

    How can I add multiple users into a group at a time without removing the old users belongs to that particular group.
    I have tried the following command

    #gpasswd -M user1,user2,user3 group_name

    But, the thing is that, after adding these users, the previous users belongs to this group being removed.
    I want the previous users to be exist.
    Please, help……..
    Thanks in advance …..

  • Luis Mompo HandenJanuary 22, 2013, 1:35 pm

    I built a bash script to add multiple users from a csv-file to an existing group without creating a home dir. The passwords in csv-file are clear text.

    cat $FILE | while read line; do
       USER=$(echo $line | awk -F\; '{print $1}')
       PASS_TMP=$(echo $line | awk -F\; '{print $2}' | sed 's/\ //g')
       useradd -M -G cvs_usr $USER
       echo $USER:$PASS_TMP | chpasswd
  • LandisJanuary 27, 2013, 7:30 pm

    In SuSE linux, there is No -a (this article states that the ‘-a’ retains existing groups and ‘adds’ new group ‘-G’), but in openSuSE 12.2 at least, there is no ‘-a’ option to usermod, it keeps existing groups, by default i guess…
    # usermod -G GroupName UserName
    # id lunar
    uid=1002(lunar) gid=100(users) groups=100(users)
    # usermod -G sshd lunar
    # id lunar
    uid=1002(lunar) gid=100(users) groups=100(users),102(sshd)

  • Vaibhav GuptaJanuary 31, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Hi ,
    I have built a x86 rootfs using buildroot with both ifuse , imobiledevice ,usbmuxd . i did chroot ( directory :/var/prj_ca/) to the generated filesystem and mounted the following
    mount –bind /dev /var/prj_ca/dev
    mount –bind /dev/pts /var/prj_ca/dev/pts
    mount –bind /dev/fuse /var/prj_ca/dev/fuse
    mount –bind /proc /var/prj_ca/proc
    mount –bind /sys /var/prj_ca/sys
    mount –bind /media /var/prj_ca/media
    when i run .
    lsusb -v | grep -i iSerial i am getting the IPOD serial id but .
    ifuse is failing with following error.
    ifuse /tmp/apple_inc._ipod_b067d003ed1b22a9fffa47e3654a00e6386a6c9a/
    usbmuxd_get_device_list: error opening socket!
    No device found, is it connected?
    If it is make sure that your user has permissions to access the raw usb device.
    If you’re still having issues try unplugging the device and reconnecting it.

    I am stuck can u please help.

  • Muhammad Usman MajeedApril 22, 2013, 7:46 am

    # usermod -a -G ftp tony

    what did the ‘-a’ switch do?


  • prashanthJuly 12, 2013, 12:35 pm

    is there any way to add multiple users to a existing group with disturbing or deleting existing users in that group

  • George HuebschmanJuly 16, 2013, 5:49 pm

    A very clear thorough answer to the question!

    “When you have a choice, spend your money where you’d prefer to work if you had NO choice.”

  • bbNovember 7, 2013, 1:52 pm

    adduser not useradd

  • JoseDecember 31, 2013, 10:24 pm

    Excellent bro !, I’m using fedora and this is very usefull for HTTPD directories !

  • Golandaj SFebruary 5, 2014, 6:45 am

    adduser account

    • Golandaj SaddamFebruary 5, 2014, 6:47 am


  • Naveen SharmaApril 25, 2014, 12:45 pm

    I got this question lately in an interview.
    One User ID can belong to maximum how many secondary groups.?

    Is there a definite no?

  • JETApril 25, 2014, 11:45 pm

    The format of this post took out an important part of the commands. PLEASE DISREGARD ABOVE. Here is an ammended post:

    A simple “man usermod” will provide the options available. The -A option does not remove any groups, it only adds. For adding a user to a group, MY preferred method is:
    usermod username -A group

    If you wish to add user to a list of groups, you may use a comma as delimiter, as in:
    usermod username -A group1,group2,group3

    The -G option is not preferred in my opinion, it is used to specify all groups to which the user will belong to, and has the ability to REMOVE a user from unspecified groups. As many have pointed out, the ability to remove a user from groups can have nasty results if not carefully used.

    So, just use the -A option to add your existing users to existing groups, and you should be all set. Good luck!

    • ExtraDecember 18, 2014, 10:51 am

      Good point Jet! Thank You!

  • rajaMay 19, 2014, 2:45 am

    i am create the create to the roup bdba an user add but he was not add to the usermod command.
    usermod -u 1000 -g dba -d |d01|oracle

  • lliseilJanuary 1, 2015, 5:26 pm

    # Post’s original command (does not work):

    useradd -G GROUP USER
    useradd: user 'USER' already exists

    # Working command:

    gpasswd -a USER GROUP
    Adding user USER to group GROUP

    # Help:

    gpasswd -h
    Usage: gpasswd [option] GROUP
      -a, --add USER                add USER to GROUP
      -d, --delete USER             remove USER from GROUP[/code]

    Arch linux here.

  • pandiyanJanuary 3, 2015, 12:10 pm

    thanks friends…..

  • Craig R MortonJanuary 13, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Excellent, thank you.

  • Harry Hinson likes ericaFebruary 23, 2015, 12:00 pm

    complete noob with linux here…

    what are the actual groups that you can add users to?

    i know there’s the ‘users’ group for standard users… but what else is there? can i add a user as a sysadmin with full control over the system? or is that the same as logging in as root?

    i also understand it’s apperently a “bad idea” to login as root into KDE… but why?

    sorry, like i said, complete noob. just installed yesterday.

    oh, and also, even though i realize this isn’t the right place to ask this, i have no idea where else to ask and i’ve been seraching for this for hours… how do you mount a new hard drive? there’s plenty of info telling how to mount a cdrom or a floppy drive, or even a usb thumb drive, but NOWHERE does anything or anyone say how to mount a simple hard drive…. is it not possible to add an additional hard drive? i can’t believe that that would be impossible, so there’s got to be a way.

  • pradeepJuly 16, 2015, 3:34 am

    Good command explanations

  • NinaJuly 16, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Hi, I want to know how to create a group in redhad but to be sure that this group is created in the local machine and not in the grid where I am connected at. I saw man and found option groupadd -r that seesm to add the user to the system account. How could I be sure that the new group is created in the local system? Thanks

  • ReddyAugust 19, 2015, 3:55 pm

    This just saved my day. Thank you.

  • angiekarixSeptember 29, 2015, 5:11 am

    I wanted to know how I can add multiple users at once and not necessarily in one group.

  • ROhitFebruary 18, 2016, 5:56 pm

    hi All

    How to create Group in Centos 6.7
    Group name “Project Manager”

    what is the cli commands
    Please share asap.

  • Vasanth MuthuFebruary 25, 2016, 9:40 pm

    Fantastic!!! Your blog is full of information. I finally added a user to a group in linux….. Thanks,

  • PeterMarch 29, 2016, 8:06 pm

    Great thank you, tired of looking on google every time lol hitting back to school this summer!

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