is there a way to set up user aliases in unix such that if you have a user, my_user, they can log in with an alternate username, i.e. my_user_alternate and still be logged in as my_user?


Yes, create the new user and set its UID to be the same as the other one.

This is commonly used to create "alternate" root logins.

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You can do this by adding a new user with the same user id (uid) as the one you want as an alternative.


useradd -o -u 1001 my_user_alternate

It's the -o option that allows you to have the same uid. (Assuming that the user you want to 'copy' has a uid of 1020)

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  • I'd also add -g 1001 just to be safe and verbose. – Carl Bennett Apr 28 '15 at 19:30

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