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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007
userdel — delete a user login from the system
The userdel command deletes a user login from the system by modifying the appropriate login related files.
The userdel command requires the login argument. login is the name to be deleted, specified as a string of printable characters. It may not contain a colon (:) or a newline (\n).
userdel recognizes the following options:
In the event where a directory is shared by users of the same group and the owner of that directory is deleted, then the ownership of that directory is propagated to the next user who is sharing that directory. The new owner is determined by looking at the order in which the users sharing this directory are added to the /etc/passwd file. If there is only one user remaining then the directory is brought back to unshared mode by resetting the permissions to 755 from 775.
This command is aware of NIS user and group entries. Only local users and groups may be deleted or modified with this command. Attempts to delete or modify NIS users or groups will result in an error. NIS users and groups must be administered from the NIS server. The userdel command may fail with the error
login x does not exist
(return value 6) if the user specified is an NIS user (see passwd(4)). The error
Cannot modify /etc/group file, /etc/passwd was modified
(return value 10) is returned if a local user belongs to an NIS group (see group(4)).
userdel exits with one of the following values:
Remove the user otto from the system:
Remove the user bob from the system and delete bob's home directory from the system:
userdel -r bob
Because many users may try to write the /etc/passwd file simultaneously, a password locking mechanism was devised. If this locking fails after subsequent retrying, userdel terminates.