Removing Linux User

How to remove user from a linux (system) safetly:

Keep in mind the following process is to make sure a user is SAFELY removed from the system, if you want to remove the user, jump to “To delete user account called [user], enter:”

The following is the recommended procedure to delete a user from the Linux server. First, lock a user account, enter:

passwd -l username

Backup files from /home/user to /backup:

tar -zcvf /backup/account/deleted/[user].$uid.$now.tar.gz /home/[user]/

Please replace $uid, $now with actual UID and date/time. userdel command will not allow you to remove an account if the user is currently logged in. You must kill any running processes which belong to an account that you are deleting, enter:

pgrep -u [user]
ps -fp $(pgrep -u [user])
killall -KILL -u [user]

To delete user account called [user], enter:

userdel -r [user]

Delete at jobs, enter

find /var/spool/at/ -name "[^.]*" -type f -user [user] -delete

To remove cron jobs, enter:

crontab -r -u [user]

To remove print jobs, enter:

lprm [user]

To find all files owned by user [user], enter:

find / -user [user] -print

You can find file owned by a user called [user] and change its ownership as follows:

find / -user [user] -exec chown newUserName:newGroupName {} \;


Sr. Software Engineer with over 10 years of experience. Hobbist photographer and mechanic. Tinkering soul in an endeavor to better understand this world. Love traveling, drinking coffee, and investments.

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