I have debian8, (Jessie) and I am trying to add a user to the dialout group. Alas, that group doesn't exist. I would prefer not to add the user to the root or sudo group.

what should I do?

~$ groups
user1 user2 cdrom floppy sudo audio dip video plugdev netdev lpadmin scanner bluetooth

How can I create the dialout group?

$sudo usermod -a -G dialout user1

executes without error, but I cannot see that I am a member of the dialout group, nor that any dialout group exists

  • 1
    I think the groups command will print only the groups you are a member of. Try cut -d: -f1 /etc/group to list all groups in the system and see if dialout group is present. – mkc Mar 21 '15 at 1:43
  • Check with getent group dialout. – Cyrus Mar 21 '15 at 4:56

In Debian, the default groups are set up by base-passwd; the dialout group should always be present. If it isn't, you can use update-passwd to restore the expected configuration:

sudo update-passwd

(this will restore the system and user groups, but won't modify anything else).

You simply need to add your user to the group:

sudo adduser $(whoami) dialout
  • I logged out and logged back in, then it was evidently there. Thank you – j0h Mar 24 '15 at 3:25

You can try the 'groupadd' command.

user@system:~$ groupadd
Usage: groupadd [options] GROUP

  -f, --force                  exit successfully if the group already exists,
                                and cancel -g if the GID is already used
  -g, --gid GID                 use GID for the new group
  -h, --help                    display this help message and exit
  -K, --key KEY=VALUE           override /etc/login.defs defaults
  -o, --non-unique              allow to create groups with duplicate
                                (non-unique) GID
  -p, --password PASSWORD       use this encrypted password for the new group
  -r, --system                  create a system account

Else, a lot of the time most Window Managers have a graphical user manager installed. For instance, under a Knoppix setup I have it under Menu -> Preferences -> Users and Groups

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