How do I add to an Ubuntu system many users at once?

I have a list of over 40 students, that I want to add as users to my Ubuntu server. I do not wantto do “adduser” for each of them separately. Is there an easy way to add all of them at once? For example, can I create a CSV file with usernames and passwords, and create a username for each row of the file?

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Site Moderator
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January 5, 2023
Accepted Answer

Hi @erel,

You can create a list of users and passwords and then use a small bash script to go through them.

Let’s assume the list looks like this:

  1. # File named studentusers
  2. user1-password1
  3. user2-password2
  4. user3-password3

Your bash script will look like:

# Run script with SUDO
for user in $(cat /root/studentusers); do
  STUDENT=$(echo $user | awk -F"-" '{print $1}')
  STUDENT_PASSWORD=$(echo $user | awk -F"-" '{print $2}')
  useradd $STUDENT
  echo "${STUDENT}:${STUDENT_PASSWORD}" | chpasswd

To create the script, ssh to your Droplet, create a file called and put the above contents in it. Additionally, don’t forget to create the studentusers file in your /root directory.

Once that is done, just execute the following sudo bash

That should do the trick.

Site Moderator
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January 10, 2023

Hello @erel

What I can add as an idea is to use random passwords for the usernames and not re-using the same password or just changing the last digit, as in my experience students usually tend to abuse a system during exams and are often able to find the pattern in the username/password generation.


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