getusershell - Linux


getusershell retrieves the shell (or login) program for the specified user, which defaults to the current user. This utility proves particularly useful for administering user accounts and ensuring that users are assigned appropriate shells.


getusershell [user]




Retrieving the login shell for the current user:

$ getusershell

Retrieving the login shell for a specific user:

$ getusershell alice

Common Issues

  • User Not Found: If the specified user does not exist, getusershell will return an error message.
  • Inconsistent Shell Configuration: Some programs assume a specific shell, and using getusershell to retrieve the user’s shell can ensure that the correct one is used.


getusershell can be combined with other commands to manage user accounts. For instance, the following command resets the default shell for all users to /bin/bash:

$ for user in $(getent passwd); do usermod -s /bin/bash $user; done

Related Commands

  • passwd: Allows you to change user passwords.
  • finger: Provides information about users, including their login shell.
  • chsh: Changes a user’s login shell.