I've installed Linux Mint on my old laptop.

I created a username with the temporary use in mind so it is not that good name and I want to change it.

I know how to change username and rename the home-directory + username's group.

I just tested this thing on a new account with nothing installed or configurated, so it did not show any problems....

But I have tons of stuff on my own user and I want to know if there are some caveats to changing username.

Like some files that use username for different things, does the system automatically link the username changes to all these dependencies or do I have to manually use symlink between the old and new usernames? Or something similar?

Can username change cause that some programs/system-files dont work because they are looking for the old name or anything else like that?


1 Answer 1


No. If you use a proper method like usermod command rather than messing with the system files, it won't do any harm. It will reflect the changed username on all the necessary files.

This is because of Linux os functionalities bound with the user ID but not with the user name

you can read more about usermod command here. https://linux.die.net/man/8/usermod

Or simply man usermod

  • This seems correct but only because most applications on Linux play nicely with the system's design. I found one app (taskwarrior) that references the user home directory path explicitly in its config file, so this would fail after renaming the directory. There are also apps that manage their own internal users, like an SQL server, that let you connect without entering a password when your system user has the same name. I expect having to update user name in this kind of app manually.
    – foxesque
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 10:45

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