Completely remove user from system

Roland Smith rsmith at
Thu Dec 23 12:50:26 UTC 2010

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 10:06:31AM -0200, itpr0 wrote:
> Hi list,
> We are using postfix with system user authentication, I have to completely
> remove an user for the system so he couldn't auth to send e-mails.
> Some coworkers told to just remove the lines from /etc/passwd and
> /etc/master.passwd... I did that but the user still can authenticate.
> using "pw user show XXX" returns that still have a register from the user
> XXX but trying the "pw user del XXX" it says there is no such user..
> I tried rmuser and here is the return:
> # rmuser XXX
> Matching password entry:
> XXX:*:20887:1014::0:0:XXXXX XXXXX:/home/XXX:/nonexistent
> Is this the entry you wish to remove? y
> Remove user's home directory (/home/XXXX)? y
> Removing user (XXX): home passwdpw: user 'XXX' does not exist: No such file
> or directory
> There is any other thing that I can do to completely remove this user? It's
> urgent 'cos it's sending a lot of spam mails :( and our server administrator
> is on vacation :/
> Thank you.

After modifying /etc/master.passwd, you need to run pwd_mkdb(8):

    pwd_mkdb /etc/master.passwd

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