userdel - Deletes a user login account from the system.
/usr/sbin/userdel [-r] login
/usr/sbin/userdel [-D] [-r] [-R] [-ttype] [-P] [-x extended_option] login
-D When enhanced security mode is enabled this option deletes the user
account from /etc/passwd file and the enhanced security protected
-r Removes a user's home directory from the system. This directory
must exist and must be owned by the user whose login account is
-R When enhanced security is enabled, retires the account without
deleting entries from the databases or removing home directories.
-t type Removes a local plus (+) or local minus (-) NIS user from the user
database. The value of the type parameter can be + or -.
-P Removes PC accounts only, without deleting the user's existing UNIX
-x extended_option [extended_option]...
Extended_options are of the form attribute=value. You may enter any
number of extended options (within the character limit of the com-
mand line) by separating each option with a space. Alternatively,
they may be entered separately following the -x switch. Note that
some extended options are only available under specific system
The following sets ofextended_option attributes are available:
The value 1 indicates that the account to be deleted is
local. The value 0 indicates that the account is to be
deleted from the NIS database.
The value 1 indicates that the account to be deleted is a
NIS user account. You must be on the NIS master to delete a
The following extended_option attribute is available for PC group
administration if the Advanced Server for UNIX (ASU) is configured
The value of the pc_synchronize=n attribute can be 0 or 1.
If set to 1, both PC and UNIX accounts will be affected by
delete operations. If set to 0, only UNIX accounts will be
affected by delete operations and the PC account will be
login Specifies an existing login account on the system.
The userdel command is part of a set of command line interfaces (CLI) that
are used to create and administer user accounts on the system. When The
Advanced Server for UNIX (ASU) is installed and running, the userdel com-
mand can also be used to administer PC accounts. Accounts can also be
administered with the /usr/bin/X11/dxaccounts graphical user interface
(GUI) or the sysman(8) Accounts menu.
Different options are available depending on how the local system is con-
+ In the default UNIX environment, user account management is compliant
with the IEEE POSIX Standard P1387.3.
+ If enhanced (C2) security is configured, additional options and
extended options can be used.
+ The CLI is backwards-compatible, so all existing local scripts will
function. However, you should consider testing your account management
scripts before using them.
The userdel command deletes a user's login account from the system and
makes the login-related changes in the appropriate system files determined
by the current level of security. Additionally, the files and directories
contained under the user's home directory can be removed from the system.
The -x options local and distributed let the system administrator specify
whether the user to be deleted is local or distributed by NIS. If these
options are not specified on the command line, the system deletes the user
from the appropriate database as specified by the system defaults. System
defaults for users may be set with the usermod -D option. In the absence of
any defaults, userdel deletes a local user. Certain combinations of these
settings are incompatible and produce an error: it is invalid to set both
values to 0 or both of them to 1.
Note the following restriction that applies to this release:
You must have superuser privilege to execute this command.
The userdel command exits with one of the following values:
1. The following example removes the local plus (+) user, newuser1:
% userdel -t + newuser1
2. The following example removes the NIS user, newuser4, from the NIS
% userdel -x distributed=1 newuser4
3. The following example deletes the user, xyz, and removes the user's
% userdel -r xyz
4. The following example deletes the UNIX account for studentB, removing
the home directory and its corresponding PC account.
% userdel -r -x pc_synchronize=1 studentB
The userdel command operates on files for the specific level of system
Commands: groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmod(8), useradd(8), usermod(8),
Manuals: System Administration, Security, Advanced Server for UNIX Instal-
lation and Administration