userdel - delete a user account and related files
userdel [options] LOGIN
The userdel command modifies the system account files, deleting all entries that refer to the user name LOGIN. The named user must exist.
The options which apply to the userdel command are:
-f, --force This option forces the removal of the user account, even if the user is still logged in. It also forces userdel to remove the user's home directory and mail spool, even if another user uses the same home directory or if the mail spool is not owned by the specified user. If USERGROUPS_ENAB is defined to yes in /etc/login.defs and if a group exists with the same name as the deleted user, then this group will be removed, even if it is still the primary group of another user. Note: This option is dangerous and may leave your system in an inconsistent state. -h, --help Display help message and exit. -r, --remove Files in the user's home directory will be removed along with the home directory itself and the user's mail spool. Files located in other file systems will have to be searched for and deleted manually. The mail spool is defined by the MAIL_DIR variable in the login.defs file. -R, --root CHROOT_DIR Apply changes in the CHROOT_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the CHROOT_DIR directory. -P, --prefix PREFIX_DIR Apply changes in the PREFIX_DIR directory and use the configuration files from the PREFIX_DIR directory. This option does not chroot and is intended for preparing a cross-compilation target. Some limitations: NIS and LDAP users/groups are not verified. PAM authentication is using the host files. No SELINUX support. -Z, --selinux-user Remove any SELinux user mapping for the user's login.
The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the behavior of this tool:
MAIL_DIR (string) The mail spool directory. This is needed to manipulate the mailbox when its corresponding user account is modified or deleted. If not specified, a compile-time default is used. MAIL_FILE (string) Defines the location of the users mail spool files relatively to their home directory. The MAIL_DIR and MAIL_FILE variables are used by useradd, usermod, and userdel to create, move, or delete the user's mail spool. If MAIL_CHECK_ENAB is set to yes, they are also used to define the MAIL environment variable. MAX_MEMBERS_PER_GROUP (number) Maximum members per group entry. When the maximum is reached, a new group entry (line) is started in /etc/group (with the same name, same password, and same GID). The default value is 0, meaning that there are no limits in the number of members in a group. This feature (split group) permits to limit the length of lines in the group file. This is useful to make sure that lines for NIS groups are not larger than 1024 characters. If you need to enforce such limit, you can use 25. Note: split groups may not be supported by all tools (even in the Shadow toolsuite). You should not use this variable unless you really need it.