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Which users are automatically created from a Linux Install (I'm using Debian)?

Posted on 2006-05-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
For example, (I'm using Debian Linux, gnome desktop)

1.  I navigate to System Tools -> Users and Groups and open the "users and groups" GUI.

2.  I Click the "Users" tab.

3.  I see all of the users I had created,

4.  I then see a checkbox that says "Show all users and groups".  I check it.  Users appear that I didn't create such as:

Are these users automatically created from the Debian installation?  (For the installation type I chose multi-user, instead of workstation, or server option).  I'd appreciated some wisdom here. :)
Question by:llvllar1on
1 Comment

Accepted Solution

AndyAelbrecht earned 750 total points
ID: 16624924
all those users are created on installation of your Debian station.

a quick rundown:

root: administrator user
daemon: user to run random daemons under (daemons who don't have their own user)
almost all the other users are service dependant
mail: user who runs the mail program (exim, sendmail)
www-data: Apache(2)'s user: if you check /etc/apache(2)/httpd.conf you will see user www-data and group www-data there
sshd: your SSH Server runs with this user
identd: your IdentD server runs with this suer
mysql: MySQL server runs with this suer
lp: the user under which the line printer daemon runs


you should not remove these users unless you know what you are doing. Most of them (as you can see in /etc/passwd or prolly with the System Tools -> Users and Groups aswell) don't even have login access (shell = /sbin/false or /sbin/nologin or something similar)

hope this helps,


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