How to Add, Modify and Delete Users on Ubuntu 22.04

Published on  

7 min read

Looking for other version?

Choose a different version or distribution.

How to Add, Modify and Delete Users on Ubuntu

In this guide, we will explain how to perform basic user management tasks such as adding, editing, and deleting users in Ubuntu 22.04 server.

If you're running Ubuntu 22.04, at some point you may need to add, modify or delete users on your system. Fortunately, this can be done quite easily using the command line interface, and in this guide, we'll show you how.

Before we begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • A machine running Ubuntu 22.04
  • Access to a terminal
  • User privileges: root or non-root user with sudo privileges

Adding a New User on Ubuntu 22.04

To add a new user to your Ubuntu system, you'll need to have root or sudo access. Here's the command to add a new user:

sudo adduser <username>

For example, to create a new user named developer, use the following command:

sudo adduser developer

This command will create a new user with the specified username, and prompt the user to provide a password and some additional information during the process. You can also add additional options to the command to specify a home directory or user groups.

Once the user has been created, you can switch to their account using the su command:

sudo su <username>

For example, to switch to the developer account, use the following command:

sudo su developer

Granting a User Sudo Privileges on Ubuntu 22.04

If you want your new user to be able to run commands with root (administrative) capabilities, you must grant them sudo access. There are two approaches to this task: first, adding the user to a pre-defined sudo user group, and second, specifying privileges in sudo's setup on a per-user basis.

Option 1: Adding the New User to the Sudo Group

On Ubuntu 22.04 computers, sudo is set to grant full privileges to any user in the sudo group by default. You can see which groups your new user is a member of by using the groups command:

groups developer
// Output
developer : developer

A new user is by default only a member of their own group because adduser creates this in addition to the user profile. Both a user and its own group have the same name. You can use the usermod command to include the user in a brand-new group. To add a user to sudoers, enter the following command:

sudo usermod -aG sudo developer

Option 2: Specifying Explicit User Privileges in /etc/sudoers

Instead of adding your user to the sudo group, you can use the nano /etc/sudoers command or visudo command to open the system's default editor and manually set each user's capabilities in the configuration file /etc/sudoers.

sudo visudo

This will open file /etc/sudoers and this will contain 

root    ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Just add developer ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL line to grant sudoers privileges to user developer.

root      ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
developer ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

For each user who needs to have full sudo access, add a new line like this. Once finished, save and close the document by pressing CTRL + X, followed by Y, and ENTER to confirm.

Modifying a User on Ubuntu 22.04

You can modify a user's account information using the usermod command. Here are a few examples:

Change the Username

If you need to change a user's username, you can do so with the following command:

sudo usermod -l <new_username> <old_username>

For example, to change the user's username from developer to john, use the following command:

sudo usermod -l john developer

Changing Own Password

To change your own password, use the following passwd command:


You'll be prompted to enter your current password and then enter your new password.

Changing Password for Other User

If you are a root user or non-root user with sudo privileges, you can change the password for another user. The passwd <username> command can be used. A sudo privileged user will have to use sudo before this command:

sudo passwd developer

You'll be prompted to enter the new password for the user.

Change the Home Directory

To change a user's home directory, use the -d option:

sudo usermod -d /path/to/new/directory <username>

This command will change the user's home directory to the specified path.

Add User to a Group

To add a user to an existing group, use the -aG option:

sudo usermod -aG <group_name> <username>

This command will add the user to the specified group.

Changing the Shell

Most modern systems have a default user bash shell. However, this can vary based on the Linux distribution or the user’s environment. To change the shell for a user:

sudo chsh <username>

Changing User Information

To change the details for a user (for example full name, room number, etc.):

sudo chfn <username>

Deleting a User on Ubuntu 22.04

If you need to delete a user from your Ubuntu system, you can do so with the following command:

sudo deluser <username>

By default, deluser will remove the user without removing the home directory, the mail spool or any other files on the system owned by the user. Removing the home directory and mail spool can be achieved using the --remove-home option:

sudo deluser --remove-home <username>

The --remove-all-files option removes all files on the system owned by the user. Note that if you activate both options --remove-home will have no effect because all files including the home directory and mail spool are already covered by the --remove-all-files option:

sudo deluser --remove-all-files <username>

If you previously configured sudo privileges for the user you deleted, you may want to remove the relevant line again by entering vissudo or nano /etc/sudoers.

root      ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
developer ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL # Delete this line

This will prevent a new user created with the same name from accidentally being given sudo privileges.


Managing users on your Ubuntu 22.04 server is an uncomplicated process that can be achieved through the command line interface. This guide provides step-by-step instructions that can help you add, edit, and delete users on your system with ease. However, it's crucial to exercise caution when performing these actions as a single mistake can lead to severe consequences. By following the instructions carefully, you can prevent issues and manage your users effortlessly.

We hope you find this guide helpful, and for more information on Ubuntu, including tips, tricks, and tutorials, be sure to check out Rexposed, your ultimate resource for all things Ubuntu.

About the Author

Rexposed Staff

Was this helpful?