Linux tutorials

How to create a user with a non-standard home directory


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • openssh


  • How to create an SSH user with a non-standard home directory.


  1. 1.
    Create the home directory for the user.
# mkdir -p /path/to/directory/user
For example:
# mkdir -p /storage/media/myuser
  1. 2.
    Apply the correct SELinux label.
# chcon -Rv --type=user_home_dir_t /path/to/directory/user
For example:
# chcon -Rv --type=user_home_dir_t /storage/media/myuser
  1. 3.
    Create the user and specify the home directory.
# useradd -d /path/to/directory/username -M username
# passwd username
For example:
# useradd -d /storage/media/myuser -M myuser
# passwd myuser
  1. 4.
    Change the file permission and ownership of the home directory.
# chown -R user:user /path/to/directory/user
# chmod 700 /path/to/directory/user
For example:
# chown -R myuser:myuser /storage/media/myuser
# chmod 700 /storage/media/myuser
  1. 5.
    Use the ssh-copy-id command to copy the ssh key from the client to the server.
$ ssh-copy-id user@ip_address
For example:
$ ssh-copy-id [email protected]
  1. 6.
    Apply the correct SELinux security context to the authorized_keys file.
# chcon -R -v system_u:object_r:usr_t:s0 /path/to/directory/username/.ssh/authorized_keys
For example:
# chcon -R -v system_u:object_r:usr_t:s0 /storage/media/myuser/.ssh/authorized_keys
Verify you can log in successfully.
Last login: Fri Sep 29 16:19:37 2023 from
[myuser@example ~]$