I tried to add a new user in solaris 10, but got an error:

$ useradd -g oinstall -G dba -d /export/home/oracle oracle
UX: useradd: ERROR: Inconsistent password files.  See pwconv(1M).

I ran pwconv, but nothing was displayed. I also tried to sync the shadow & passwd files, but there's still an error:

$ wc -l /etc/passwd /etc/shadow
  17 /etc/passwd
  17 /etc/shadow
  34 total
  • Compare the passwd and the shadow file manually line by line. Maybe some lines are out of order.... – Dayjay Mar 25 '11 at 7:05
  • @Dayjay i has manually checked 2 files, they has same line order – QuanNH Mar 25 '11 at 8:28

Check the integrity of /etc/passwd and related files with pwck. Do the same for group related files with grpck.

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  • i ran pwck & grpck, but nothing was displayed :( – QuanNH Mar 28 '11 at 2:45

If you got that error it is because the user you wanted to add previously existed and was deleted. And since it existed in the /etc/passwd file, the system automatically created an encrypted passwd in the /etc/shadow for that user. Therefore when the user was deleted from the /etc/passwd, the encrypted passwd should have been deleted from the /etc/shadow file.

Put it this way: you can't add a user with the useradd command if a password already exists for that user in the /etc/shadow file.

Go to the /etc/shadow file and delete the password line for that user and then you'll be able to add the user.

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  • Make sure to also check /etc/user_attr. This is checked in the useradd process too. – Ken J Feb 16 '15 at 12:21

Check file /etc/user_attr. If there is an entry for oracle, hash it out and run useradd command. User will get created and then enable the entry in /etc/user_attr. It worked for me.

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Most likely your server is a NIS client and hence adding local users maybe forbidden. Just check if this is a part of NIS domain.

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