pw groupadd/useradd fail when the nscd cache is used for name/group resolution

Adam McDougall mcdouga9 at
Mon Jul 13 17:43:53 UTC 2009

Michael Proto wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 12:57 PM, Ulrich Spörlein<uqs at> wrote:
>> On Thu, 09.07.2009 at 16:13:25 +0300, Vlad Galu wrote:
>>> I've stumbled upon this while installing postgres. In
>>> /etc/nsswitch.conf I had "group: cache files compat" and "passwd:
>>> cache files compat". Once I commented them out things started working
>>> again. Before the change, this is how it looked like:
>>> -- cut here --
>>> [root at vgalu /usr/ports/databases/postgresql84-server]# pw group add pgsql -g 70
>>> pw: group disappeared during update
>>> [root at vgalu /usr/ports/databases/postgresql84-server]# pw group add pgsql -g 70
>>> pw: group 'pgsql' already exists
>>> [root at vgalu /usr/ports/databases/postgresql84-server]#
>>> -- and here --
>>> Shouldn't 'files' be used upon a cache miss? If this is a PEBKAC,
>>> sorry for the noise.
>> Just a me too. This is most likely because nscd is also caching negative
>> lookups. The usual workaround would be to restart it using
>> /etc/rc.d/nscd restart
> A slightly lower-impact alternative would be to use "nscd -i passwd"
> to invalidate the password cache.
> -Proto
> _______________________________________________

I was intending to report this soon as well (its been on my list for a 
while) as a problematic
issue while installing ports.  The other issue I had was Java would 
crash immediately if I had
nscd running (configured to cache YP).  I plan to report that soon if it 
still happens with 1.6.
I probably tested with 1.4 or 1.5. 

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