I have just installed Debian Squeeze x64 and tried sending myself a test email from it using the normal "mail" command. When I sent it I got this error from Exim:

2013-06-08 08:12:46 Exim configuration error in line 173 of /var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated: user uucp was not found
Can't send mail: sendmail process failed with error code 1

After a bit of research into this it sounds like all Debian systems should have the "uucp" user, but can I just run "useradd uucp" or does it need setting up to own certain directories and stuff?

  • you probably need to dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config and select a configuration without uucp support Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


On my Ubuntu system I have a user uucp and it must have been created early because of its usernumber. grep uucp /etc/passwd gives:


and /var/spool/uucp does not exist. grep uucp /etc/group gives:


and grep uucp /etc/shadow gives:


So you should try to create a new user with:

adduser --system --home /var/spool/uucp --no-create-home --shell /bin/sh --group uucp

This will give you a user with a 'low' uid, where useradd uucp would not.

  • useradd uucp and then usermod --home /var/spool/uucp seems to have solved it, thanks Commented Jun 8, 2013 at 12:38
  • 1
    From the useradd man page: useradd is a low level utility for adding users. On Debian, administrators should usually use adduser(8) instead. Your command probably got you a 'high' uid. That will work (which is the most important), but is not as clearly a 'system' user as you would get with my example.
    – Anthon
    Commented Jun 8, 2013 at 12:43

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