bug: not all files form /etc/skel are copied to /home/user

Not all files from /etc/skel are currently copied to /home/user.

This is because package anon-base-files which creates user user and thereby runs useradd which copies /etc/skel is installed before usability-misc.

In result folder /home/user/Downloads is no longer created by default in Whonix 14.

(A long standing, non-critical, non-release-blocking bug.)

Installing any packages shipping any /etc/skel files before anon-base-files in build-steps.d/ 1700_install-packages would not be a great solution because that wouldn’t work for Qubes-Whonix builds or “sudo apt-get install whonix” builds.

Is there some linux command to copy from /etc/skel to user home for already existing users?

How to implement this best? Triggers? whonix-initializer, similar to:


Maybe something useful here:

Though you will want to ignore the part about copying over to new user folders.

I concur

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Fixed a related, but not this very bug.

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Somewhere in Whonix Desktop Installer with Calamares - field report we learned that calamares gets confused with already created user user during live boot.

Therefore it would be best if user user would be created at first boot, however not when booting in live mode, no user would be created. This would also fix this very bug.

//cc @onion_knight

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Hi @Patrick!
Catching up after a couple week of holidays :slight_smile:
Just to avoid confusion, are we talking about the Whonix-Desktop-Calamares-ISO build? If yes, then to the best of my knowledge it doesn’t require a user, as the live-user is created upon boot in live-mode. The “final” user on the installed system is chosen during the install with Calamares. Don’t know if it sounds clear enough?


This is sorted thanks to pam_mkhomedir (Create home directory on login (by package security-misc)) and using adduser/useradd with --no-create-home.

Since user is created at first login, i.e. at first boot, copying from /etc/skel now working flawlessly.