Question

Already existing user "debian" can be removed?

Posted July 7, 2017 1.9k views
Getting StartedDebian

I made a new Debian droplet, and I’ve noticed there’s an already existing user called “debian”. It’s got no password, and has never logged in. The home directory’s creation date is five days before the creation date of my droplet. This directory’s creation date also happens to coincide with the creation date of the file system, so I’m guessing this is a remnant of the original image created to base new Debian droplets off of?

Can I remove this user and its home directory safely?

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2 answers

I’m pretty sure it’s not a Debian standard user. The ID is 1000, and it’s got its own home directory and even a shell. I did forget to mention the user comment in the passwd file: “Cloud-init-user”. I’m pretty sure it’s a user from DigitalOcean, I’m just not sure if I can remove it.

The home folder has no .bashhistory, just .bashlogout, .bashrc and .profile as the only files.

Hi @turtlebike

What’s the ID of that user? Have a look in /etc/passwd.
My first guess would be “yes”, since it’s probably created as part of the initial build of the image (droplets uses images and doesn’t do a complete install, which is why it can get up and running within one minute)
Here’s a definition of the standard system users, which are not recommended to touch:
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-howto/ch12.en.html#s-faq-os-users

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