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It all started after I used the usermod command to modify the login for a user. User johnDo (fictitious for security reasons) was logged-in , I su - root to modify the login from johnDo to johnDoe using
#usermod -l johnDoe johnDo.
No problems so far. Then, for consistency reasons, I went ahead and modified the user's home directory from /home/johnDo to /home/johnDoe. I exited out of the root session, logged out as johnDo and logged back in. Then, I found out that to perform this operation one needs to be LOGGED-OUT from the user to be modified, or the system "gets confused", too late for this!. From then on every time I create a user, all the records are fine in the passwd file. My useradd -D are correct but the home directory for any user I'm adding does not get created. I hope that someone can post some ideas as to where to begin to triage this.
That is what I did as a workaround to get the user going and it's working fine. But my problem is that for every new user I create I have the same problem, and need to do this process again to create their directory, change owners, etc...
This wasn't happening before.....
thanks for the input. I looked at the man pages for useradd did some testing using the -m flag and the directories are getting created. I still think that something happened when I used usermod logged in as the user to be modified. Actually when a user is added and no flags are passed to the useradd command, the defaults in useradd -D are created in my case is:
I tested useradd on other machines same version ( SuSE 7.2) and the user's home directory are created by default just fine.
# useradd testing
if I su - testing
I get .....
notice I did not specified -m
any way in the broken PC using -m works fine. From here I'd like to figure out what might've got broken.
pk21 thanks for the idea of creating a script I'm sure this can be a good resource when things get really bad.