Cannot Add User

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Feb 4 06:21:44 PST 2004

Vince Sabio <vince at> writes:

> I just installed a v5.1 single-boot system from CD. So far, the only
> changes I've made from the initial installation were to configure
> sshd, set the system security level to "moderate" (from "high"), and
> set the system clock; other than that, it's a "clean" installation.
> I'm now trying to install Postfix, and the problem I'm running into is
> that I cannot create new user accounts. I created several user
> accounts during installation, and they seem to be fine. But when I
> [manually] create entries in /etc/passwd, master.passwd, and group,
> the entries are 'ignored' -- e.g., a "chown [newuser] [filename]"
> command fails, attempts to su from root into the user account fail,
> etc. When I try to create the user via adduser (using the standard
> defaults), the account creation step fails with the following error:
> pw: user '[newuser]' disappeared during update
> Again, attempts to 'access' the user (i.e., chmod, etc.) will
> fail. Interestingly, though, if I try to re-create the user, adduser
> tells me that the user already exists -- and a check of the relevant
> files confirms that the entries are there.

It sounds like you've messed up your user database.  Try running
pwd_mkdb(8) by hand to get it straightened out.  In future, remember
not to edit passwd and so forth by hand; stick with adduser(8) and/or
vipw(8) to avoid shooting yourself in the foot like this.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list