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I have a web server running Debian. Up until now, I was adding all my users by hand: create their shell, ftp, mysql, svn, etc. accounts, with the correct privileges, create a folder in the web tree and link to the "www" folder in their home, and so on. I had to do all that by hand, and although there weren't so many users (family, friends), it was a pain to always remember everything.

Now, I have to reinstall it entirely. I could write a script that just does all that automatically for me, of course, but I know that this is the definition of what an admin does, basically, and I was wondering whether there was so automatic user management tools I was overlooking?

Any pointers? Software and/or documentation?

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The useradd and groupadd commands have been standardized to a large degree across Linux distributions. Look for recommended system administration commands in general for Debian (I'm a Fedora user myself, I know Debian is quite different in this area).

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Webmin should do what you want, but I've always preferred to write my own scripts to perform the user creation like you are doing.

If you are already creating the users, apache virtualhost config files, copying skeleton directory to /home/user, etc, it should be within your grasp to create a small interactive shell script which takes all the pertinent details and creates your new user with everything setup for them.

Good luck!

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