I'm running Ubuntu 12.10 desktop 32 bit. Currently I have only a user, type administrator. I'd like to create another administrator user but I keep getting the following error:

Failed to create user

GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.Accounts.Error.Failed: running '/usr/sbin/adduser' failed: /usr/sbin/adduser returned an error (1): adduser: Please enter a username matching the regular expression configured via the NAME_REGEX[_SYSTEM] configuration variable. Use the `--force-badname' option to relax this check or reconfigure NAME_REGEX.

Any suggestion is appreciated.

  • 1
    Could you please edit and tell us more specifically what you did to get this error. Was it a command? – Zilvador Dec 25 '12 at 22:00

You normally get this message if you are trying to create a user with a name that contains characters that are considered to be un acceptable as per your NAME_REGEX file. You can try again changing the username with the GUI or you can relax the check by using the command line with the following command.

sudo adduser --force-badname <username>

and then if you want to add the user to the sudo group run the following command.

sudo adduser <username> sudo
  • 1
    -1, I wouldn't encourage doing that. The restriction is probably in place for a reason. – nyuszika7h Aug 27 '14 at 15:28
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    @nyuszika7h I wonder how could this affect the system? Just looking for an example here since I create a user for my mail account. – sitilge Jun 15 '15 at 11:42

The username you're entering contains bad characters. Try entering a simple username containing only lower-case English letters - daniel is good, &&Daniel <*> Johnson## is not so good.

  • This is the correct answer. It would be helpful if the error message showed the actual regex instead of the variable name... – Gabe Hiemstra Sep 10 '18 at 12:02

In Debian systems, the regex defining acceptable user names is found in /etc/adduser.conf.

A typical regex (found on my system) is:


I don't want to veer too far off topic with regex parsing, but the caret ^ symbol indicates the beginning character of the user name must be between lowercase a and lowercase z. The remaining characters may be lowercase a-z, 0-9, hyphen, or underscore. As mentioned in other answers, you can override this check if you like. By default, regexes are case-sensitive.


CoalaWeb's answer is correct, but if you don't want to make a custom group for that user... you can simply use the following command to create a user:

sudo useradd <username>


sudo useradd josh

...then rightly said by CoalaWeb, follow the command:

sudo adduser <username> <groupname>


sudo adduser josh sudo

...this will give the new user 'josh' sudo rights (super-user rights (aka admin))

...I would also add to the group called 'adm'.

hope this helps someone

  • groupname is before username. commands should be sudo adduser <groupname> <username> eg: sudo adduser sudo josh – SherylHohman May 10 '18 at 0:10

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