When I try to use this command (as root)

# usermod -d /media/erez -m erez

I get

usermod: user erez is currently used by process <number>

Lot of examples on this issue but none of them mentioned this problem. I hope I am missing a basic thing here. I'm really trying to avoid USB boot (when I tried, I get "Boot error" and couldn't proceed from there).

  • Some background:

I use dual boot on my laptop. (I keep Windows just in case .. =] ). I've create 3 partition:

  1. root - 8 Giga

  2. SWAP - 2 Giga

  3. some ntfs - 25 Giga (that supposed to be for data, /home etc. )

My /home directory seems to be linked to the wrong partition (to the root), instead of the ntfs. [ I don't know for sure, but from reading, it happened due to adding another user. But again, maybe just a bad installation...]

With gparted, There is a 'key' sign next to the 2 partitions I've created (the root and the ntfs). Is it part of the problem?

enter image description here


Command usermod fails if the said user has process(es) running under the same username, regardless what you are trying to modify in this account. You either have to kill all processes owned by this user (in a corporate environment, I need to warn you , NOT to do that) or just edit the /etc/passwd file and change whatever you need and the next time the user logs in from a new session, he or she will have the new settings.

  • No change. Is this right? I edit the /etc/passwd file based on this link (cyberciti.biz/tips/…), and type the command on another terminal. – E. Zohar Jul 7 '16 at 14:51
  • 1
    vipw is a safer way of editing the /etc/passwd file on busier systems, but it can be used for any. When you say "No change", what kind of a change were you expecting ?? – MelBurslan Jul 7 '16 at 14:58

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