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My login screen has started listing as an alternate user a word which I have used in the past as a password for certain applications.
However, when I try to delete it I am told it does not exist, and it doesn't appear when I type cut -d: -f1 l /etc/passwd in terminal.

I have no idea how I managed to create this problem - has anyone got a suggestion on how to get rid of it?

If I change cut -d: l -f1 /etc/passwd to cut -d: l -f5 /etc/passwd

I get
> jim@jim-HP-EliteBook-8460p:~$ cut -d: -f5 l /etc/passwd
cut: l: No such file or directory root daemon bin
... ...

Light Display Manager

Avahi autoip daemon,,, Avahi mDNS daemon,,, dnsmasq,,, colord colour management daemon,,, Speech Dispatcher,,, HPLIP system user,,, Kernel Oops Tracking Daemon,,, PulseAudio daemon,,, RealtimeKit,,,

usbmux daemon,,, Jim Berry,,,

oldpassword,,,

sudo deluser oldpassword
still gives me

The user "oldpassword" does not exist

The record with "oldpassword" as field 5 has "subroot" as field 1.
Would it be safe to delete "subroot" or is it more complicated than that?
i.e. is "subroot" possibly a legitimate passwd record that I have somehow unknowingly corrupted or is it an "interloper" that I have unknowingly created?

  • That is mightily strange! When you say certain applications, could you give some examples? – user364819 Sep 25 '16 at 13:52
  • The only one I can think of that I might have used recently is FileZilla – jimberry Sep 25 '16 at 14:02
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    Since AFAIK lightdm displays the GECOS fullname, you should probably check field 5 from /etc/passwd not field 1 e.g. getent passwd | awk -F: '$5 ~ /strange word/ – steeldriver Sep 25 '16 at 14:37
  • getent passwd | awk -F: '$5 ~ /oldpassword/ gave me a syntax error, but cut -d: -f5 l /etc/passwd gave me cut: l: No such file or directory root daemon ... ... Light Display Manager Avahi autoip daemon,,, Avahi mDNS daemon,,, dnsmasq,,, colord colour management daemon,,, Speech Dispatcher,,, HPLIP system user,,, Kernel Oops Tracking Daemon,,, PulseAudio daemon,,, RealtimeKit,,, usbmux daemon,,, Jim Berry,,, oldpassword,,, (please bear in mind that my understanding of linux is limited and references to stuff like "GECOS fullname" mean nothing to me ;) ) – jimberry Sep 25 '16 at 22:08
  • where "oldpassword" is the unwanted new user – jimberry Sep 25 '16 at 22:11
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I am guessing that at some stage when installing something I must typed a password into the wrong field to get this problem. The userid for "subroot" is 1001, so it is probably not a "system" user that should be hidden. Now that I am aware of the probable source of the issue, I can wait before deleting the "subroot" user until I am sure that no recent installations are unworkable because of my carelessness ;)

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