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Managing User and Group Accounts

The ability to manage user accounts and group membership is a crucial tool in any system administrator's box. In this hands-on lab, we will work with commands like `useradd`, `passwd`, `usermod`, `groupadd`, `groupmod` and `groupdel`. By the time we're done, we will have a good grasp on how to use these tools for managing user accounts and groups on any Linux system.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 30m
Clock icon Jan 17, 2020

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Create a tester Group in the Reserved Range

    Use the groupadd command with the -r option to create the group testers:

    groupadd -r tester
  2. Challenge

    Add the test1 User and Make Them a Member of the tester Group. Lock and unlock the test1 User, and Force them to Change their Password

    Use the command useradd with the -G option to spection the tester group:

    useradd -G tester test1

    Set a temporary password (that the user will have to change the first time they log in):

    echo Temp@$$ | passwd --stdin test1

    We could also set one manually by just running passwd test1 and typing/confirming a password by hand.

    Lock and unlock the account using the usermod command.

    usermod -L test1
    tail -n1 /etc/passwd /etc/shadow
    usermod -U test1

    We can run tail -n1 /etc/passwd /etc/shadow to see if it got set.

    And to make test1 change their password on the next login, run:

    chage -d0 test1

    Verify the account and groups using the id command.

    id test1
  3. Challenge

    Modify cloud_user to Add Secondary Membership in tester Group

    Use the usermod command with the -aG options to add cloud_user to the tester group:

    usermod -aG tester cloud_user

    We can run id cloud_user to check our work and see if the user is in the group now.

  4. Challenge

    Create the /usr/local/test_scripts Directory Owned by cloud_user and Set GID Permission for the testers Group with No Access to Others

    Create the directory:

    mkdir /usr/local/test_scripts

    Make sure it's owned by cloud_user, and the tester group:

    chown cloud_user:tester /usr/local/test_scripts

    Give the group write permissions, and revoke any permissions from anyone else:

    chmod g+ws,o-rx /usr/local/test_scripts

    As a best practice, verify your work. Become the new user, get into the new directory, and create a couple things to look at:

    su - test1
    cd /usr/local/test_scripts
    mkdir dir1
    touch file1
    ls -l

The Cloud Content team comprises subject matter experts hyper focused on services offered by the leading cloud vendors (AWS, GCP, and Azure), as well as cloud-related technologies such as Linux and DevOps. The team is thrilled to share their knowledge to help you build modern tech solutions from the ground up, secure and optimize your environments, and so much more!

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