Re: Installing mail/mutt erased a user account

From: bob prohaska <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2023 22:46:57 UTC
On Wed, Apr 19, 2023 at 10:51:13PM +0200, Yuri wrote:
> bob prohaska wrote:
> > It appears that installing mail/mutt erased a user account. Mutt 
> > was compiled locally using poudriere and installed via pkg from the
> > local repository. After installation it was still possible to log
> > in as the regular user, but su asked "Who are you?" when invoked.
> Don't really see how that is possible, mutt doesn't seem to require/add
> any user accounts.
Nor do I. 

> > It developed that the original username was absent from /etc/passwd
> > and /etc/master.passwd, but the original home directory was present,
> > in this case /usr/home rather than /home.
> > 
> > Re-running adduser as root allowed reinstatement of user login and
> > su now behaves normally. Adduser didn't report the account as existing,
> > so how login by ssh worked is mysterious and could be indication of
> > a recollection error on my part. 
> It could still be present in /etc/pwd.db.
> > This was on a Pi2 v1.1 running
> > FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT #22 main-1d35493e46: Tue Apr 18 06:23:00 PDT 2023 arm
> > 
> > In the meantime sendmail was reinstated as the MTA. That's been done
> > before with no ill effects, but it was a near-simultaneous change that 
> > might have contributed to the confusion.
> > 
> > I'll chalk this up to faulty wetware unless advised otherwise.
> My guess would be you somehow reverted passwd files to some
> default/backup, but didn't run pwd_mkdb?  I just tried that adding test
> user using `pw useradd`, setting password for it, and then removed the
> line from both passwd files -- I was still able to login via ssh.

I certainly didn't deliberately alter the password files at the time
of installing mutt. I did rmuser the freebsd user account and then
adduser the account that went missing, but that was at the initial
setup, long ago. Your experiment explains how I logged in with the
non-existent username, which is some comfort. But, little else of
this story makes sense.

Thanks for writing,

bob prohaska