Change username or UserID/uid on Linux


Usermod is a useful command to manage user settings. It modifies the system account files to reflect the changes that are specified on the command line. It is capable of doing a lot of things, but here we will see how to change username and UserID or uid on Linux using usermod.

Change the username using Usermod

The command syntax is simple:

[root]# usermod -l new_username old_username

The above command only changes the username, nothing else is done. So, its a good practice to manually change the user home directory to reflect the change.

[root]# mv /home/old_username /home/new_username

Change the UID/UserID using Usermod

Here’s the syntax.

[root]# usermod -u UID username

Please note that, UID 0-999 are reserved for system accounts and should not be used. The above command will change the ownership of all the content owned by the user in his home directory; stuff outside the home directory needs to be manually fixed.

For more information, take a look at usermod’s manpage.


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