Subject: Re: adduser
To: Todd Whitesel <>
From: Andy Doran <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/15/2000 00:16:12
On Fri, 14 Jan 2000, Todd Whitesel wrote:

> I'd just like to mention that while reinstalling seven machines in one night,
> I found myself _really_ wanting a scriptable command line utility to add a
> user. There was really no "macho" value whatsoever in running vipw(8) once
> on each of seven freshly installed systems just to add the same user account.

I find that performing such tasks quickly tends to make me look blindingly
efficient - such is capitalist life in an NT environment. :)

> Mmm, automation.

This is probably *totally* OOB, but WTF...

As an aside, I have a complex tool (ahem) under development, named ua(8).
I used to administer a site with a lot of user accounts that had a lot of
account turnover (educational), and (a) manual (b) one-by-one user admin
tools and (c) millions of little awk(1) scripts just weren't feasible.

With this:

One can define multiple templates for users and groups, specifying quotas,
home directory crap, welcoming mail message etc, etc. Templates can
contain macros, cpp(1) style #if-#endif logic and call other programs
inline, like sh(1).

Automatic conversion of Real Names to usernames and filtering of
international characters can be defined ad hoc. e.g., just feed it a list
of Real Names and go.

The whole thing is modular (libua vs. ua) and 'transaction' based, so it'd
be quite easy to write a GUI tool with 'Save Changes' and 'Undo' crap with
minimal effort.

There are one or two goodies also, like an intelligent tool (ahem) to
periodicaly warn users via mail about quota violations in an esoteric

I don't have the same requirement these days, but coding is fun, so expect
to see a package some day.