After removing the user, does the crontab added by that user gets removed as well? I am asking this because I can see a user file called "abcuser" in the


When I cat the file, I can see the crons added by that user. The user no longer exist and the cron's won't work. But why does the crontab file is still there?


By default, userdel doesn't remove the user's cron, at, and print jobs. To do it, uncomment the following line in /etc/login.defs:

USERDEL_CMD /usr/sbin/userdel_local 

Here is an example of userdel_local script:

#! /bin/sh

if [ $# != 1 ]; then
    echo "Usage: $0 username"
    exit 1

crontab -r -u $1

So, whenever you execute userdel, any cron jobs owned by the user will be remove.

  • +1 for that. I learned something this morning; thanks, quanta! – MadHatter Oct 3 '11 at 7:27
  • The lack of deletion saved me some work after a PEBKAC event, but what's the historical reason for leaving those elements hanging around? – David Tonhofer Feb 28 at 17:17

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