Solaris Transition Guide

User and Group Administration

This section describes your options for performing user and group administration.

User and Group Administration Choices

You can add, modify, and remove users and groups through the command-line interface using useradd, userdel, and usermod. Although these commands are not as robust as Admintool, they do enable you to do most of the tasks supported by Admintool from the command line without running the OpenWindows or CDE software.

The useradd, userdel, and usermod commands are similar to editing the /etc files in that they also affect only the local system. These commands cannot be used to change any information in the network naming service. However, you can use useradd to verify the uniqueness of the user name and user ID and the existence of group names in the network naming service.

Adding User Accounts

This section describes changes to the general procedure for adding user accounts.

The general procedure for adding new users to a SunOS release 4 system was:

  1. Edit the /etc/passwd file and add an entry for the new user.

  2. Create a home directory and set the permissions for the new user.

  3. Set up skeletal files for the new user (.cshrc, .login, .profile, and so on).

  4. Add the new user to the naming service (NIS).

In the Solaris 7 operating environment, there are three ways to add (and maintain) user accounts:

Note -

Because the SunOS release 5.7 software uses a shadow password file, simply editing the /etc/passwd file is no longer sufficient. You should not attempt this method unless you have ample experience with this type of administration.

System Administration Guide, Volume I describes in detail the policy decisions you should consider before you begin to set up accounts. It also explains security considerations for controlling user access to systems and networks.