getting a user's home dir (sed/awk?)

Patrick Bowen pbowen at
Mon Apr 17 16:58:23 UTC 2006

Erik Norgaard wrote:

>I am trying to create a script, the idea is to host a number of web
>services, each running as a different process owned by a different user
>bound to a non privileged port on localhost. The point is that each
>service can be restarted without affecting other services and that any
>security compromise does not propagate to other services.
>Now, to start all servers I want to create a master script that looks up
>the user's home directory and runs a script in a predefined path.
>So the question is: given a username, how do I get the homedir?
>I have found "pw usershow user1" will return a line from the passwd
>file, but that needs to be split chewed, and spit out. Seems awk can do
>it but I have no clue.
>Thanks, Erik
>PS: Yes, I know, I could just create a perl script - but this time I
>want to do it all using the tools in base.


How 'bout something like;

     pw usershow user1 | awk -F: ' { print $9 } '


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