Cloning a user

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Sep 22 20:11:49 UTC 2014

On Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:18:36 -0600, Dave Babb wrote:
> I also want to clone the MATE configuration and the desktop 
> settings.........Just not the email settings.

This is also possible with the /etc/skel mechanism that
programs like useradd or pw can work with. First create
a "sample user" and check that everything works as you
intend. Then copy the required information (files and
subtrees, also partial) to /etc/skel. If something starts
with a dot '.' (at the top level of the skel/ subtree),
replace it by "dot.". See /usr/share/skel for how such
a structure has to look like. Put everything in there
what you need, except for example e-mail settings or
browser configuration.

Additionally, examine the files (!) for absolute paths.
For example, if your "sample user" has the name "skeltemp",
search for that string in all files. If it's present
somewhere, for example as a reference "/home/skeltemp",
replace it with '~', the abbreviation for the home directory.
This will make sure that, after being instantiated for a
user named "bob", all references to the former "skeltemp"
are gone.

Sidenote: If there is something you want to set globally,
for example, shell configurations, you can do that at the
files in /etc, for example /etc/csh.cshrc; then the user's
.cshrc (in the skeleton: dot.cshrc) can be empty and only
needs alteration if a preset should be overridden.

And allow me a polite note regarding the answering policy
(or "common suggestion") of this list:

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?

I see you're using Thunderbird - it's perfectly able to
properly quote, trim, and answer.


Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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