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Thread: I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

    I had created "ubuntuuser", now it's gone (I erased the user) but his folder remains, and I can't remove it. rmdir ubuntuuser doesn't work (Permission denied)

    sudo ... ( Directory not empty)

    sudo rmdir ubuntuuser --ignore-fail-on-non-empty (nothing happens, no message but directory is not removed).

    If I right-click on the folder (Nautilus), now the owner is 1003 - user #1003 (?)

    Group: 1004 (?)

    And the Folder access options are disabled.

    So? How can I erase that folder?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Porirua, New Zealand
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    Ubuntu

    Re: I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

    The safest way of removing a user's home directory is via an option on the "deluser" command. For the example you gave, it would be:
    Code:
    deluser --remove-home ubuntuuser
    There is another way, which requires special care, because it could result in accidental loss of data.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

    You'll have to delete all contents of the directory before you can delete the directory itself. The quick way is
    Code:
    sudo rm -r /home/ubuntuuser
    Be careful, one additional space can wipe your entire system.

    PS: The save way would be lisati's suggestion, but I don't know whether that still works after you already deleted the user.

  4. #4
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    Re: I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

    Quote Originally Posted by lisati View Post
    The safest way of removing a user's home directory is via an option on the "deluser" command. For the example you gave, it would be:
    Code:
    deluser --remove-home ubuntuuser
    There is another way, which requires special care, because it could result in accidental loss of data.
    The problem is that the user ubuntuuser doesn't exist anymore, so I get this message: The user `ubuntuuser' does not exist.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: I can't remove an erased user's directory (U 12.04)

    Quote Originally Posted by rva1945 View Post
    The problem is that the user ubuntuuser doesn't exist anymore, so I get this message: The user `ubuntuuser' does not exist.
    The other way I had in mind is very similar to Impavidus's suggestion. Care is needed, because a simple typo can cause accidental loss of data.
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