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Old 08-22-2007, 11:44 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 8

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Can't add local system user - useradd keeps saying user already exists

Hi all,

I'm trying to add a local user to a linux system. Although the user is not created in this system, when I run useradd it keeps saying that the user already exists.
I've already checked passwd, shadow and group files. Also took a look at files attributes (lsattr command).

Taking a look at /etc/nsswitch.conf, I saw that winbind is also a authentication method for this system against a Win2003 server.

passwd: compat winbind
group: compat winbind
shadow: compat winbind

Then I took a look at winbind log file and saw that, even if I want to add a local system user with the command "useradd -g users mytestuser", our Win2003 server is contacted by winbind to check if user already exists. And it does exist in Win2003 domain. But I need to create it as a local user.

In some other unix systems commands for adding user have a flag to indicate where to check/add users (LDAP, NIS, Local Base). But useradd command in linux doesn't have this documented.

Does anyone know how to do that without having to change temporarily nsswitch.conf file ? I want to add a user if it does not exist in local database (passwd, shadow) and even if it exists in Win2003 AD.

Thanks in advance.


Old 08-25-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 43

Rep: Reputation: 15
Try adding user manually
Old 08-27-2007, 02:17 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 8

Original Poster
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Originally Posted by WAJEDUR REHMAN View Post
Try adding user manually
I can do this at any time, but I think it's not the right way.
The problem will still exist if I need to add another user.

Old 08-27-2007, 11:44 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Argentina
Distribution: Debian Etch, Slackware 12
Posts: 28

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Hi ADeluiz,

Did you try to perform the command adduser instead of useradd?
Old 08-28-2007, 07:38 AM   #5
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 43

Rep: Reputation: 15
Try using single user mode console
Old 07-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Distribution: Redhat Enterprise 4
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
I found this thread, because I'm having the same problem.

The solutions offered are:
  • Try adding user manually
  • Try using single user mode console

Srsly? No attempt to actually solve the underlying problem?

If this is the quality of the answers here, I guess I'll stick to


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