Drunken Coder

How to quickly fix a mis-named user

Posted 02/06/2013

Recently, I was setting up an Ubuntu VirtualMachine, and drukenly mistyped the primary username.

This is pretty easy to fix very quickly, thought I would share.


First, boot GRUB into recovery-mode, and choose root-shell from menu.

We need to find out what I drunkenly typed, and fix it by moving the user to what I meant.

mount -o rw,remount /
cat /etc/passwd

At the end, I saw "konsmuer:x:1000:1000:David Konsumer,,,:/home/konsmuer:/bin/bash"

konsmuer should be konsumer. Oh dear!

At this point, I can pretend I am French (pronounced “kon sew mway”), and just leave it. Now that I know how it’s spelled, I could login with my new name, or I can fix it. I think you know what I did next.

Now for the fancy replacement:

cd /etc
# gives list of files to change - check these
grep -R konsmuer

# do change, automatically
for i in `grep -R konsmuer -l .`; do
    sed -i 's/konsmuer/konsumer/g' $i
done

This means “find all files that have ‘konsmuer’, and in-place modify them with sed using a search/replace for ‘konsumer’”.

If you messed up typing the password too, type this:

passwd konsumer

Lastly, let’s move yer home dir:

mv /home/konsmuer /home/konsumer

Now, reboot, and you can login with your corrected user.


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updated node.js on Ubuntu

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David KonsumerWritten by David Konsumer who lives and works in Portland and makes rad stuff. You should follow him on Twitter & Github