The usermod command is used to modify settings for regular users. It edits the /etc/passwd file, avoiding the need for administrators to edit the file directly. There are many modifications an administrator can make to an existing user account.


The syntax of the usermod command is:

# usermod [options] {user name}

usermod command options

The below table lists some options for the usermod command.

Option Description Example
-c Sets Comment Field # usermod -c “User one” user01
-e Sets account expiration date # usermod -e 2021/12/31
-aG Add user to group, keeping them in existing groups. # usermod -aG sales-group user01
-l Change user’s login name # usermod -l user999 user01

usermod Command Examples

1. To modify the users comment:

2. To change the users home directory:

# usermod -d /home/test geek 

3. To change the users expiry date:

# usermod -e 2013-12-31 geek

4. To change the inactivity day number, before expiry:

5. To change the primary group of the user:

6. To change/add the secondary groups to the user:

# usermod -G logistics,IT geek

7. To change the name of the user:

# usermod -l geeklab jack 

8. To lock the user password:

9. To unlock the user password:

10. To change the shell of the user:

# usermod -s /bin/csh geek 

11. To change the users ID: