Add override options when home directory already exists

Bug #178616 reported by jhansonxi on 2007-12-25
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
adduser (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: adduser

When a new user is added and the default home directory for the username already exists, adduser issues a warning and refuses to touch it. This is desirable to prevent unintentional damage from copying skel and setting uid/gid. But when a home directory has to be created beforehand and the admin wants adduser to copy skel and set uid/gid, there is no way to override the default behavior. This situation arises when the user's home directory is an individual mount on a md, lvm, or dm-crypt device. The device must be mounted first so skel is copied to the correct target but the uid/gid can't be set correctly because the user/group doesn't exist yet.

Andreas Moog (ampelbein) on 2008-08-17
Changed in adduser:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in adduser:
status: Unknown → New
Jmadero (jmadero) wrote :

I also have this problem. I think that there are a few needed solutions:

1. I think that when you install a fresh copy of Ubuntu but have a separate partition for home directory that there should be some kind of "detect" function where you can add more than one user. Right now on one of the steps it only allows you to add one user, if this user exists in /home then it'll "take over" the directory correctly but all other users are left out. It would be nice if it had a list of folders inside of /home and asked if any of those are user home folders and thus should create users for them

2. The over ride option is a nice suggestion, if not this then maybe a check mark for "directory exists" and then browse to it

3. Even using adduser from command prompt sometimes has problems if the directory exists. The problems are as followed:
a. Passwords don't exist so basically you have to either recreate your password (or whatever user password you have, if there are more than a couple users this becomes tedious in command prompt). Or you have to create the user with adduser command prompt and then go into the GUI to set the password...also tedious if there are more than a couple users (especially if users are not all there on install and you have to create it later when everyone can get together at the same time).

b. If you are going to a new release of Ubuntu then it can create conflicts when you create the new user with a directory which was created in a previous release. I just had this problem with Alpha 4 release of 9.10. When I set up the user with command line adduser everything went fine but when I tried to log in I got an error at boot saying that there was a configure file that it couldn't use so my user was inaccessible, I just downgraded back to 9.04.

Thanks for the hard work

information type: Public → Public Security
information type: Public Security → Public
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