adduser command and email accounts

Posted on 2001-06-28
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Hi Linux experts,

When I use adduser to create a new user account on a server, the user can only have a shell access.
If I want him to have an email account on the server what should I do??? is it possible or should I use another command?

I use sendmail as a mail server on a RED HAT Linux box.

Please be precise and clear since I'm a little new to Linux world.

Thanks in advance
Question by:Curieux

Expert Comment

ID: 6235354
What do you mean email account?  Any user can use sendmail manually (ugly and hard).  Unless you have sendmail locked, and even then they can use Perl to access sendmail.

If you mean pine (an email client), the user simply types "pine" at the command prompt and it creates the mail folders automatically for pine.

Author Comment

ID: 6235424
Sorry, I wasn't clear I think ....

My server is running a Web and email server on the same machine with a DNS (

I want to grant an email address ( to all the users on the machine. The users don't have shell access to the machine.

Is it possible? If yes how?


LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 6236328
Two ways:

1. Create a normal account and set their shell to /bin/false (if you are using redhat, you can also use linuxonf and use the "create pop account" (does the same thing).

2. Replace sendmail with qmail + Courier IMAPd, since that combo uses their own account lists if so desired.
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Author Comment

ID: 6237406
I know for the /bin/false and /bin/badsh .
But What is LINUXONF???

I want to stay with sendmail and have the possibility to create pop accounts via the web (like hotmail).
The site administrator will be the only person who deals with the web interface to create the emails for security reasons.

The site administration interface does a lot of tasks like dealing with products and clients databases.
I want to add the "add pop account" feature to that interface.

Thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 6237673
Please propose a comment first and if it solves the problem I will accept it as an answer
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 100 total points
ID: 6237918
If you want to have user accounts with email access you'll need to have a POP or IMAP server installed and running. Depending on what IMAP/POP server you use a Linux account for each user may or may not be required. The typical IMAP server used on Linux (Univ. of Washington IMAP) does require a Linux account and home dir for each user, although the shell can be set to /bin/false to disable interactive logins. An alternate IMAP server that doesn't require a Linux account and integrates with sendmail is the Cyrus IMAP implementation ( It uses SASL for user authentication and can be configured to not need a Linux account for authentication. A side benefit of using a sasldb based authentication scheme for the POP & IMAP clients is that you can configure sendmail for SMTP AUTH, which allows your users access to sendmail from outside of the local domain of the server without runnig the risk of having your SMTP server being exploited as a spam relay (which will likely cause your server to be black-listed). It's pretty easy to add Cyrus accounts from the command line and thus easy to implement a Web based process.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 6237989
Linuxconf is the "all in one" administrativ tool shiped with redhat. It isnt installed by defaultin RH7.1 but on all earlier versions it is.

Expert Comment

ID: 6238153
If you want a web-interface to create and manage the
user/email accounts you can try Webmin ( For security you should install
openssl so the webmin traffic is encrypted.
Webmin offers much more than just managing accounts but you
can disable the functions that you don't need.
You can also configure Sendmail from Webmin.

Expert Comment

ID: 9078765
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Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.

Expert Comment

ID: 9976040
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
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