Already existing user "debian" can be removed?

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?

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Accepted Answer

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 .bash_history, just .bash_logout, .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:

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

Sign up

Featured on Community

Get our biweekly newsletter

Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

Hollie's Hub for Good

Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

Become a contributor

Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

Welcome to the developer cloud

DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

Learn more
DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel