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How to Remove or Delete a User in Linux

As Linux is a multi-user system, and often the basis for large digital infrastructure, it is likely that many companies and organizations using Linux have multiple users who can access and modify it. What happens if you need to remove one of these users from your system? How do you delete a user in Linux?

Whether you’re new to Linux or a long-time user in need of a quick refresher, read on to learn how to remove or delete users in Linux.


How to Delete a User in Linux

To remove a user in Linux, just follow these 4 steps:

  1. First, make sure you’re logged in as root user or another user with sudo access. Only users with the proper permissions may remove other users.
  2. To delete a user in Linux, simply use the userdel command followed by the name of the user you are removing. So, if you were attempting to delete a user name User1, you would enter the following into the terminal:
    userdel User1
    Screenshot showing the results of the userdel User1 command.
  3. The userdel command can only be used to remove a user who is not logged in or the owner of any currently running processes. You can add the -f (Force) option to userdel to stop all running processes and force the removal.
    userdel -f User1
    Screenshot showing the results of the userdel -f User1 command.
  4. Lastly, to remove a user, their home directory, and their mail spool, you can use the following command:
    sudo userdel -r User1
    Screenshot showing the results of the sudo userdel -r User1 command.

And there you have it! Now you can easily remove or delete users from Linux using the userdel command.


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