Are basic system administrator utilities such as useradd or adduser standardized? If so, where can I find the specs? (POSIX doesn't seem to encompass those, but I might need to take a better look).

  • What do you want to achieve? Do you know that you can use -b and -d flag for useradd? – MatthewRock Sep 1 '15 at 10:55
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    I mean, I'm not quite sure what you're asking and what you're trying to achieve. What you're saying could be done with rather simple Bash script, but I don't really understand the question. Could you please rephrase it? – MatthewRock Sep 1 '15 at 11:55

No, these utilities are not standardized. A quick look through the useradd(8) manual on RHEL6 versus OpenBSD reveals that while there are similarities, various flags differ in purpose. For a broader view, http://bhami.com/rosetta.html lists under "managing users" a variety of different commands, depending on the particular flavour of unix.


You can use man useradd and man adduser to read manuals of each of these utilities to get an idea about how they work. AFAIK, there is no "standard reference sheet" for these utilities.

You might also take a look at shadow page, where you can find sources.

  • That all looks very debian-specific. I don't want debian specific. I want Unix-specific. – PSkocik Sep 1 '15 at 15:29
  • @PSkocik man is very Unix-specific. Source code may be "debian-specific", but as I said, there's no standard for them, so you won't get much better than that. – MatthewRock Sep 2 '15 at 7:33

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