When I use the command adduser it asks me for all sorts of directory-like information such as:

  • Full Name
  • Room Number
  • Work Phone
  • etc.

Where is this information stored and how does one retrieve or edit it? It might be useful to add that this machine isn't connected to an LDAP or NIS server.


These informations are stored in /etc/passwd :

myuser:x:1001:1001:My User,Room,8888888888,9999999999,Other:/home/myuser:/bin/bash
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  • Oh, there it is! Is there a standard utility to edit and retrieve this data? Also, in the age of LDAP, is this information actually used anywhere? – AlfaZulu Mar 26 '14 at 15:49
  • Bash or Shell are the most standard utility ! You can install finger if you want but i cannot see what will be the benefit. I am not sure in case of a pam_ldap authentication... – krisFR Mar 26 '14 at 16:09
  • The full name may be used by mail client running locally on that system. There are a few other minor tools that might try to use the gecos information. It is mostly pointless though. – Zoredache Mar 26 '14 at 16:21
  • If it's mostly pointless, is it safe to say that most administrators leave this information blank? – AlfaZulu Mar 26 '14 at 20:10

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