Bug 65577 - useradd: unable to open password file
Summary: useradd: unable to open password file
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: shadow-utils   
(Show other bugs)
Version: 7.3
Hardware: All
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Nalin Dahyabhai
QA Contact: David Lawrence
Keywords: Security
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2002-05-27 21:07 UTC by Joe Acosta
Modified: 2007-03-27 03:53 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2002-12-18 16:59:19 UTC
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description Joe Acosta 2002-05-27 21:07:32 UTC
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0rc2) Gecko/20020510

Description of problem:
as root

root# useradd -u 95 -g named -d /var/named -s /bin/false -n named
useradd: unable to open password file

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
both user add and adduser do the same thing as well as userconf

1. as root adda group
2. then execute
useradd -u 95 -g named -d /var/named -s /bin/false -n named
2. reply is 
useradd: unable to open password file


Actual Results:  is seems that this file is locked somehow after adding a goup.
will reboot to see if that unlocks the file

Additional info:

Comment 1 Warren Togami 2002-06-03 21:36:42 UTC
Someone else reported in Bug 65505 that his passwd (or related files) has been
somehow corrupted, causing redhat-config-users to crash.  Does this cause
permanent corruption in /etc/passwd (even after reboot)?

Comment 2 Joe Acosta 2002-06-04 01:02:54 UTC
It is still 'locked' after a reboot.  

This affects useradd, adduser, redhat-usrs-conf, and any programs that seems to
change the /etc/passwd that I have tried.  (not sure what else)

I'd edit the file manually but not sure how to regenerate the /etc/shadow after
changing the password file.  I know on Sun I have to do that.

Comment 3 Joe Acosta 2002-10-24 03:16:07 UTC
This also affects vipw as well.  

vipw: can't unlock /etc/passwd: Operation not permitted (your changes are still
in /etc/ptmp)

then trying to execute vipw again
root># vipw 
vipw: the password file is busy (/etc/ptmp present)

Comment 4 Joe Acosta 2002-10-24 17:53:50 UTC
This needs to be escalated.  As it turns out I cannot add users to the system
with the state that this is in.  I have other boxes that I am supposed to upgrade.  

I cannot rm -f /etc/passwd
I cannot edit it with vi, I cannot copy a file over it even in single user mode
(init 1) as root with the drives mouted rw, evern after multiple reboots.

I would seriously like to know what is going on with this.  I don't understand
why this is locked.  I have deleted the /etc/ptmp file as well as the
/etc/.pwd.lock file, yet even using vi or echo <data> >> /etc/passwd will not
work as root.  I have never seen an issue like this on ANY unix system and if
this cannot be resolved soon,  I will have to rebuild the system eithe rwith 7.2
or some other distro where this does not exist.

Comment 5 Alan Cox 2002-12-18 16:59:19 UTC
We've never been able to recreate this. It appears that since things like cat
fail you got something like a hardware fault (eg that block on the disk being
bad) or that someone malicious cracked your box and set the password file
immutable with chattr

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