Unknown users, how to delete them and who they are

Issue

  • We have seen users that we didn’t create or that are not part of our security realm. Where did they come from? Is it safe to delete them?

Environment

Resolution

The first step is to check how these users were created. To do this, please execute this script on “Manage Jenkins” -> “Script console”. This script will generate a CSV output with the permissions, type of users, and how they were created.

If you are checking out source code from an SCM, Jenkins automatically creates local accounts that track the authors of commits to the SCM repo, if those accounts do not already exist. Since usernames are likely to be the same across multiple SCM systems, as well as Jenkins itself, ideally we end up with a single Jenkins user record that maps to all source code changes that person made. This enables features such as seeing all builds that contain code committed by a given user, or emailing commit authors (based on their Jenkins user account email address) when a build fails. These auto-generated users are not on the secure realm, so they are not going to be able to log in and they have no permission in Jenkins. If you later explicitly create a Jenkins account with the same username, this commit history data will be preserved and associated with that account.

These users can safely be deleted, but they will be recreated when the user shows up as an SCM author again. The above-mentioned script will detail what users have been created due to SCM checkouts on the description field.

Alternativelly, you may have users that are no longer being used, or users that have left the company that can also be removed.

To delete those users, you can run the below script from the Script Console, indicating the user name:

import hudson.model.User
User currentuser = User.get('UserToDelete')
currentuser.delete()

In case you are working with several Controllers connected to an Operation Center instead of a standalone Controller, you will need to run this script on every Controller, so the user can be removed from all the instances. Do do so, you may need to create a Cluster Operation in your Operation Center, and then add a step to run the above script in all the connected controllers. Once done, this will execute the script on each instance, and therefore remove the desired user from each Controller.

Please note that deleting a user will also remove the credentials and tokens associated to that user, so ensure you are removing unknown or unnecessary users.

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