I am trying to add a user called 'quinn' to Lubuntu. I've opened a command prompt (as I have done a million times before) and entered sudo -s to be root, entered my password and this is what happens:

adduser quinn
adduser: The group `quinn` already exists.

so, I deleted any potential quinn's (although no quinn's show up in either the user nor the group list)

userdel -r quinn
userdel: user 'quinn' does not exist

ok, so there is no user quinn, no group quinn, nothing in the /etc/passwd file with the name quinn. So, once again:

adduser quinn
adduser: The group `quinn` already exists.

and if I try:

adduser quinn quinn

I get: adduser: The user quinn does not exist.

Grrrrr... I've tried similarly with useradd and the GUI version, and I've tried other names... but nothing seems to allow me to add another user to this system...

  • You may want to try sudo deluser quinn first to clean it up. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson May 4 '16 at 11:22
  • Hi @GunnarHjalmarsson... I did. It tells me, user 'quinn' does not exist. – 4ndy May 5 '16 at 3:32
  • Does the file /var/lib/AccountsService/users/quinn exist? If it does, remove it and reboot. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson May 5 '16 at 11:41
  • Does delgroup quinn help to remove the (left over?) group? – David Foerster May 18 '16 at 10:04
  • Nothing helped. Since posting this, I've rebuilt the system from scratch (there wasn't much on it), and in the end installed Ubuntu instead... and that works flawless. So, I am starting to think that perhaps this is a limitation of Lubuntu? – 4ndy May 20 '16 at 4:08

The questioner has moved on to Ubuntu, but I wanted to post an answer, the answer is that I think there might have been an issue in the installation of Lubuntu. According to this:


The questioner did everything correctly. I might add that when they got the message about the group already being created they might have tried:

sudo useradd quinn

According to the page cited, this will do a similar function as adduser, except it literally only creates the user, not groups, or any other user account configs.

| improve this answer | |
  • That's the only explanation I can think of, too. – 4ndy Jun 7 '16 at 20:30

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