I am using elementary freya and creating a new user with

root# useradd -s /bin/bash -mk /etc/skel -d /home/secret -c otherme agentb24

and my /etc/skel is empty and I also want my new user home to be empty. the problem is when I logout and log back in as new user my home is populated with defaults (document, videos, pictures), also when I check my newly created home folder before I logout it is empty just like I want.


Those directories are not created by /etc/skel in most cases, but instead by your desktop environment (specifically its file manager).

  • 2
    Thanks, I think I figured it out. I changed a xdg-user-dirs-update to enabled=False in /etc/xdg/user-dirs.conf. That seemed to work. XDG must be my file manager, I did't know that. Thanks again. – dbruceh Apr 1 '19 at 3:54
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    XDG literally means "X Desktop Group", which was an old name for freedesktop.org - a project that aims to improve interoperability and collaboration in X11 desktop development. The xdg-user-dir and xdg-user-dirs-update are tools to allow any compliant desktops maintain a set of special directories (e.g. ~/Desktop) with localizable names. – telcoM Apr 1 '19 at 6:15

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