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The PC-BSD® User Manager utility allows you to easily add and delete users and groups, as well as change a user's or the root user's password. To access this utility, go to Control Panel ➜ User Manager or type pc-su pc-usermanager. You will need to input your password in order to access this utility.
Managing User Accounts
In the example shown in Figure 8.9a, the system has two user accounts. The dru account has the ability to become the superuser as the "Can administrate system" checkbox is checked.
If you click the "Remove" button for a highlighted user, a pop-up menu will ask if you would like to also delete the user's home directory (along with all of their files). If you click "No", the user will still be deleted but their home directory will remain. If you have only created one user account, the "Remove" button will be greyed out as you need at least one user to be able to login to the PC-BSD® system.
The password for any user can be changed by first highlighting the user name then clicking the "Change Password" button. You will not be prompted for the old password in order to reset a user's 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 root password.
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 8.9b.
The accounts that you did not create are known as system accounts and are needed by the operating system or installed applications. You should not delete any accounts that you did not create yourself as 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 cannot try to login to the system using that account name.
Figure 8.9c shows the add user account creation screen that opens when you click the "Add" button.
This screen is used to input the following information when adding a new user or system account:
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, input a description to remind you which application uses the account.
Username: 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 choose already exists as an account, it will be highlighted in red and the utility will prompt you to use another name.
Home Directory: leave this field empty for a user account as the system will automatically create a ZFS dataset for the user's home directory under /usr/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 to users when they are at 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 using the "Groups" tab.
Password: the password is case-sensitive and needs to be confirmed.
Encrypt Files: if this box is selected, the user's home directory will automatically be encrypted with PEFS. When the user logs in, the contents of their home directory are automatically decrypted after they enter their password. When they logout, the contents of their home directory are automatically encrypted and will appear as gibberish to other users who do not know the password. For this reason, it is important to select a good password that the user will not forget. At this time, there is no easy mechanism for changing the user's password if their home directory is encrypted. A future version of PC-BSD® will add a utility to allow the user to manage their password and encryption key.
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 8.9d.
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 appear 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, do not remove any groups that you did not create yourself or applications that used to work may stop working.