I'm working on a Debian server as an inexperienced admin. I need to change the full name of a user (not the login name) provided during adduser USERNAME. How can I do this? I didn't find such an option in usermod (http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/usermod8.html).


The GECOS field in /etc/password can be modified with the chfn(1) command.

chfn -f "Joe Blow" jblow
  • This also works on RHEL / CentOS. – Fer García Jan 7 '19 at 21:11

You can do the following

adduser username -c "John Snow" -s /bin/bash


usermod -c "Snow John" username

To verify users' full name finger username


You can edit /etc/passwd directly the full name a field in this file.

  • although, if you are doing that be sure to use vipw instead of simply editing the file the usual way – Knoxy May 8 '20 at 0:49

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