Unix User Setup

Luca Nerlich, tech

Table of Contents

Hey there! In this post I will quickly describe how one can create a new user on a unix system e.g. Ubuntu / server. You will create the user itself, assign its home folder and setup root privileges if needed.

This how-to has been tested on Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS.

New User

As a root user, the following steps need to be completed to create a new User with the name newuser.

  1. Create home directory

    mkdir /home/newuser
  2. Create user and add to group users.

    useradd -g users -d /home/newuser -s /bin/bash newuser
  3. Set the password for the user newuser.

    passwd newuser
  4. Set newuser as the owner of his home directory.

    chown newuser:root /home/newuser
  5. Set the permissions for the home directory. Only allow newuser to write in /home/newuser. Others can read.

    chmod 754 /home/newuser

Root / Sudo privileges

If the user newuser should be able to use sudo and execute commands as root, the sudo file needs to be updated. The sudo file can be updated by executing the following command.


The default sudo file includes at least the following line(s):

root ALL=(ALL:ALL)


Copy this line and replace root by the name of the new user. Here newuser.

newuser ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

If everything has been done correctly, the new user should now be able to login and also execute commands as sudo.

Thanks for reading!


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