Documentation

user – Manage user accounts

Synopsis

  • Manage user accounts and user attributes.
  • For Windows targets, use the win_user module instead.

Parameters

Parameter Choices/Defaults Comments
append
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
If yes, add the user to the groups specified in groups.
If no, user will only be added to the groups specified in groups, removing them from all other groups.
Mutually exclusive with local
authorization
string
added in 2.8
Sets the authorization of the user.
Does nothing when used with other platforms.
Can set multiple authorizations using comma separation.
To delete all authorizations, use authorization=''.
Currently supported on Illumos/Solaris.
comment
string
Optionally sets the description (aka GECOS) of user account.
create_home
boolean
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes ←
Unless set to no, a home directory will be made for the user when the account is created or if the home directory does not exist.
Changed from createhome to create_home in Ansible 2.5.

aliases: createhome
expires
float
An expiry time for the user in epoch, it will be ignored on platforms that do not support this.
Currently supported on GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, and DragonFlyBSD.
Since Ansible 2.6 you can remove the expiry time specify a negative value. Currently supported on GNU/Linux and FreeBSD.
force
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
This only affects state=absent, it forces removal of the user and associated directories on supported platforms.
The behavior is the same as userdel --force, check the man page for userdel on your system for details and support.
When used with generate_ssh_key=yes this forces an existing key to be overwritten.
generate_ssh_key
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Whether to generate a SSH key for the user in question.
This will not overwrite an existing SSH key unless used with force=yes.
group
string
Optionally sets the user's primary group (takes a group name).
groups
list
List of groups user will be added to. When set to an empty string '', null, or ~, the user is removed from all groups except the primary group. (~ means null in YAML)
Before Ansible 2.3, the only input format allowed was a comma separated string.
Mutually exclusive with local
hidden
boolean
added in 2.6
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes
macOS only, optionally hide the user from the login window and system preferences.
The default will be yes if the system option is used.
home
path
Optionally set the user's home directory.
local
boolean
added in 2.4
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Forces the use of "local" command alternatives on platforms that implement it.
This is useful in environments that use centralized authentification when you want to manipulate the local users (i.e. it uses luseradd instead of useradd).
This will check /etc/passwd for an existing account before invoking commands. If the local account database exists somewhere other than /etc/passwd, this setting will not work properly.
This requires that the above commands as well as /etc/passwd must exist on the target host, otherwise it will be a fatal error.
Mutually exclusive with groups and append
login_class
string
Optionally sets the user's login class, a feature of most BSD OSs.
move_home
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
If set to yes when used with home: , attempt to move the user's old home directory to the specified directory if it isn't there already and the old home exists.
name
string / required
Name of the user to create, remove or modify.

aliases: user
non_unique
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
Optionally when used with the -u option, this option allows to change the user ID to a non-unique value.
password
string
Optionally set the user's password to this crypted value.
On macOS systems, this value has to be cleartext. Beware of security issues.
To create a disabled account on Linux systems, set this to '!' or '*'.
See https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/faq.html#how-do-i-generate-crypted-passwords-for-the-user-module for details on various ways to generate these password values.
password_lock
boolean
added in 2.6
    Choices:
  • no
  • yes
Lock the password (usermod -L, pw lock, usermod -C).
BUT implementation differs on different platforms, this option does not always mean the user cannot login via other methods.
This option does not disable the user, only lock the password. Do not change the password in the same task.
Currently supported on Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD.
profile
string
added in 2.8
Sets the profile of the user.
Does nothing when used with other platforms.
Can set multiple profiles using comma separation.
To delete all the profiles, use profile=''.
Currently supported on Illumos/Solaris.
remove
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
This only affects state=absent, it attempts to remove directories associated with the user.
The behavior is the same as userdel --remove, check the man page for details and support.
role
string
added in 2.8
Sets the role of the user.
Does nothing when used with other platforms.
Can set multiple roles using comma separation.
To delete all roles, use role=''.
Currently supported on Illumos/Solaris.
seuser
string
added in 2.1
Optionally sets the seuser type (user_u) on selinux enabled systems.
shell
string
Optionally set the user's shell.
On macOS, before Ansible 2.5, the default shell for non-system users was /usr/bin/false. Since Ansible 2.5, the default shell for non-system users on macOS is /bin/bash.
On other operating systems, the default shell is determined by the underlying tool being used. See Notes for details.
skeleton
string
added in 2.0
Optionally set a home skeleton directory.
Requires create_home option!
ssh_key_bits
integer
Default:
"default set by ssh-keygen"
Optionally specify number of bits in SSH key to create.
ssh_key_comment
string
Default:
"ansible-generated on $HOSTNAME"
Optionally define the comment for the SSH key.
ssh_key_file
path
Optionally specify the SSH key filename.
If this is a relative filename then it will be relative to the user's home directory.
This parameter defaults to .ssh/id_rsa.
ssh_key_passphrase
string
Set a passphrase for the SSH key.
If no passphrase is provided, the SSH key will default to having no passphrase.
ssh_key_type
string
Default:
"rsa"
Optionally specify the type of SSH key to generate.
Available SSH key types will depend on implementation present on target host.
state
string
    Choices:
  • absent
  • present ←
Whether the account should exist or not, taking action if the state is different from what is stated.
system
boolean
    Choices:
  • no ←
  • yes
When creating an account state=present, setting this to yes makes the user a system account.
This setting cannot be changed on existing users.
uid
integer
Optionally sets the UID of the user.
update_password
string
    Choices:
  • always ←
  • on_create
always will update passwords if they differ.
on_create will only set the password for newly created users.

Notes

Note

  • There are specific requirements per platform on user management utilities. However they generally come pre-installed with the system and Ansible will require they are present at runtime. If they are not, a descriptive error message will be shown.
  • On SunOS platforms, the shadow file is backed up automatically since this module edits it directly. On other platforms, the shadow file is backed up by the underlying tools used by this module.
  • On macOS, this module uses dscl to create, modify, and delete accounts. dseditgroup is used to modify group membership. Accounts are hidden from the login window by modifying /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist.
  • On FreeBSD, this module uses pw useradd and chpass to create, pw usermod and chpass to modify, pw userdel remove, pw lock to lock, and pw unlock to unlock accounts.
  • On all other platforms, this module uses useradd to create, usermod to modify, and userdel to remove accounts.

See Also

See also

authorized_key – Adds or removes an SSH authorized key
The official documentation on the authorized_key module.
group – Add or remove groups
The official documentation on the group module.
win_user – Manages local Windows user accounts
The official documentation on the win_user module.

Examples

- name: Add the user 'johnd' with a specific uid and a primary group of 'admin'
  user:
    name: johnd
    comment: John Doe
    uid: 1040
    group: admin

- name: Add the user 'james' with a bash shell, appending the group 'admins' and 'developers' to the user's groups
  user:
    name: james
    shell: /bin/bash
    groups: admins,developers
    append: yes

- name: Remove the user 'johnd'
  user:
    name: johnd
    state: absent
    remove: yes

- name: Create a 2048-bit SSH key for user jsmith in ~jsmith/.ssh/id_rsa
  user:
    name: jsmith
    generate_ssh_key: yes
    ssh_key_bits: 2048
    ssh_key_file: .ssh/id_rsa

- name: Added a consultant whose account you want to expire
  user:
    name: james18
    shell: /bin/zsh
    groups: developers
    expires: 1422403387

- name: Starting at Ansible 2.6, modify user, remove expiry time
  user:
    name: james18
    expires: -1

Return Values

Common return values are documented here, the following are the fields unique to this module:

Key Returned Description
append
boolean
When state is 'present' and the user exists
Whether or not to append the user to groups

Sample:
True
comment
string
When user exists
Comment section from passwd file, usually the user name

Sample:
Agent Smith
create_home
boolean
When user does not exist and not check mode
Whether or not to create the home directory

Sample:
True
force
boolean
When state is 'absent' and user exists
Whether or not a user account was forcibly deleted

group
integer
When user exists
Primary user group ID

Sample:
1001
groups
string
When groups is not empty and state is 'present'
List of groups of which the user is a member

Sample:
chrony,apache
home
string
When state is 'present'
Path to user's home directory

Sample:
/home/asmith
move_home
boolean
When state is 'present' and user exists
Whether or not to move an existing home directory

name
string
always
User account name

Sample:
asmith
password
string
When state is 'present' and password is not empty
Masked value of the password

Sample:
NOT_LOGGING_PASSWORD
remove
boolean
When state is 'absent' and user exists
Whether or not to remove the user account

Sample:
True
shell
string
When state is 'present'
User login shell

Sample:
/bin/bash
ssh_fingerprint
string
When generate_ssh_key is True
Fingerprint of generated SSH key

Sample:
2048 SHA256:aYNHYcyVm87Igh0IMEDMbvW0QDlRQfE0aJugp684ko8 ansible-generated on host (RSA)
ssh_key_file
string
When generate_ssh_key is True
Path to generated SSH public key file

Sample:
/home/asmith/.ssh/id_rsa
ssh_public_key
string
When generate_ssh_key is True
Generated SSH public key file

Sample:
'ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQC95opt4SPEC06tOYsJQJIuN23BbLMGmYo8ysVZQc4h2DZE9ugbjWWGS1/pweUGjVstgzMkBEeBCByaEf/RJKNecKRPeGd2Bw9DCj/bn5Z6rGfNENKBmo 618mUJBvdlEgea96QGjOwSB7/gmonduC7gsWDMNcOdSE3wJMTim4lddiBx4RgC9yXsJ6Tkz9BHD73MXPpT5ETnse+A3fw3IGVSjaueVnlUyUmOBf7fzmZbhlFVXf2Zi2rFTXqvbdGHKkzpw1U8eB8xFPP7y d5u1u0e6Acju/8aZ/l17IDFiLke5IzlqIMRTEbDwLNeO84YQKWTm9fODHzhYe0yvxqLiK07 ansible-generated on host'
stderr
string
When stderr is returned by a command that is run
Standard error from running commands

Sample:
Group wheels does not exist
stdout
string
When standard output is returned by the command that is run
Standard output from running commands

system
boolean
When system is passed to the module and the account does not exist
Whether or not the account is a system account

Sample:
True
uid
integer
When UID is passed to the module
User ID of the user account

Sample:
1044


Status

Red Hat Support

More information about Red Hat’s support of this module is available from this Red Hat Knowledge Base article.

Authors

  • Stephen Fromm (@sfromm)

Hint

If you notice any issues in this documentation you can edit this document to improve it.