User Manager/9.2

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The PC-BSD User Manager utility allows you to easily add and delete users and groups on your system, as well as change a user's or the administrative password. To access this utility, go to Control Panel ➜ User Manager. After inputting the administrative password, you should see a screen similar to Figure 7.4a, though the names of your users accounts will vary:

Figure 7.4a: Viewing User Accounts in User Manager


In this example, the system has 2 user accounts. The "dru" account has the ability to become the superuser as the "Can administrate system" checkbox is checked.

The password for any user can be changed by first highlighting the user name then clicking the "Change Password" button. Since the superuser is using this utility, you will not be prompted for the old password in order to reset the password; this can be handy if a user has forgotten their password and can no longer log into the PC-BSD system. If you click the "Change Admin Password" button, you can change the password that is used whenever you are prompted for administrative access.

If you click the "Advanced View" button, this screen will change to show all of the accounts on the system, not just the user accounts that you created. An example is seen in Figure 7.4b.

Figure 7.4b: Viewing All Accounts and Their Details


The accounts that you did not create are known as system accounts and are needed by the operating system or installed applications. This means that you should not delete any accounts that you did not create yourself; doing so may cause a previously working application to stop working. Advanced view provides additional information associated with each account, such as the user ID number, full name (description), home directory, default shell, and primary group. System accounts usually have a shell of "nologin" for security reasons, meaning that an attacker can't try to login to the system using that account name.

Figure 7.4c shows the add user account creation screen--click the Add button to open this screen:

Figure 7.4c: Creating a New User Account


NOTE: if you click the Add button while in Simple View, you will only be prompted to enter the username, full name, and password.

The following information is needed to create a new user or system account:

Username: this is the name the user will use when they log in to the system; it is case sensitive and can not contain any spaces. If you are creating a system account needed by an application, use the name provided by the application's installation instructions. If the name that you type in already exists as an account, it will be highlighted in red and the utility will prompt you to use another name.

Full Name: this field provides a description of the account and can contain spaces. If it is a user account, use the person's first and last name. If it is a system account, you can input a description to remind you which application uses the account.

Home Directory: you can leave this field empty for a user account as the system will automatically create a home directory for them under /home/username. However, if you are creating a system account it is important to override this default by typing in /var/empty or /nonexistent unless the application's installation instructions specify that the account needs a specific home directory.

Shell: this drop down menu contains the shells that are available for user accounts when they work from a command prompt. You can either keep the default or select a shell which the user prefers.

Primary Group: if you leave the default button of "New Group" selected, a group will be created with the same name as the user. This is usually what you want unless you are creating a system account and the installation instructions specify a different group name. Note that the drop down menu for specifying a group name will only show existing groups, but you can quickly create a group as described in the groups tab below.

Password: the password is case-sensitive and needs to be typed in twice in order to confirm the password.

Once you have made your selections, press the Ok button to create the account.

If you click the Groups tab, you can view all of the groups on the system, as seen in Figure 7.4d. If you click the Groups tab while in Simple View, you will only see the groups that you created or which were created for you when you added a new user.

Figure 7.4d: Managing Groups Using User Manager


This screen has 3 columns:

Groups: shows all of the groups on the system.

Available: shows all of the system and user accounts on the system in alphabetical order.

Members: indicates if the highlighted group contains any user accounts.

To add an account to a group, highlight the group name in the first column. Then, highlight the account name in the available column. Click the right arrow and the selected account will show in the members column. You should only add user accounts to groups that you create yourself or when an application's installation instructions indicate that an account needs to be added to a group.

If you click the Add button, a pop-up menu will prompt you for the name of the new group. Once you press OK, the group will be added to the Groups column.

If you click the Remove button, the highlighted group will automatically be deleted after you press the Apply button, so be sure to do this with care. Again, don't remove any groups that you did not create yourself or applications that used to work may stop working.

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