User management between UI and through SSH

Hi, this is my first post and I’ve had a FreedomBox for less than 12 hours, I hope this post is OK anyway!

I’m not sure what I’ve done but I’m also curious about how users on the UI and users on the machine itself relate to each other. Is there a way to solve this? After having messed this up, I’ve since learned that y’all want the UI to be the ultimate way people interact with FreedomBox. I’m not sure I dig that, but anyway. I’m just confused by the following behavior:

Problem Description and how to Reproduce
I can log into the UI using user: user01-admin
or I can ssh into the machine using user01@192... (without the -admin part)

When I go to Users and Groups through the UI, user01-admin is the only listed user. When I click on it, do nothing, and then clicks Save Changes, I’m given 2 red and 1 green messages:
Failed to add user to group.
Unable to set SSH keys.
User user01-admin updated.

Other notes

  • I think user-01 was the original username I typed in at the very beginning, and i used the UI to change that to user10-admin
  • Through SSH I did adduser helloworld and usermod -a -G sudo helloworld
  • I discovered this issue while trying to add my public key to user01-admin through the UI
  • If I run getent passwd | awk -F: '{ print $1}' I see helloworld and user01 but not user01-admin

Expected Results
Just the success message
And I guess more overlap between users according to the OS and “users” on plinth, I would have expected something adduser helloworld to result in a new user in the UI

Actual results
Those 2 error messages

Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) and FreedomBox version 20.8. FreedomBox is up to date,
I ordered the hardware yestersday and got it today (nice!)


Hello @emg,

Could you try ?

getent passwd | awk -F: '{ print $1,$5}'

I assume all of these but the last two are standard out of the box…

getent passwd | awk -F: '{ print $1,$5}'


root root
daemon daemon
bin bin
sys sys
sync sync
games games
man man
lp lp
mail mail
news news
uucp uucp
proxy proxy
www-data www-data
backup backup
list Mailing List Manager
irc ircd
gnats Gnats Bug-Reporting System (admin)
nobody nobody
systemd-timesync systemd Time Synchronization,,,
systemd-network systemd Network Management,,,
systemd-resolve systemd Resolver,,,
fbx fbx,,,
dnsmasq dnsmasq,,,
nslcd nslcd name service LDAP connection daemon,,,
openldap OpenLDAP Server Account,,,
avahi Avahi mDNS daemon,,,
systemd-coredump systemd Core Dumper
ez-ipupd Dynamic DNS client,,,
helloworld ...
user01 user01

I have the same problem. I installed debian first and created an admin user “nupa” with adduser, then as nupa I installed freedombox. I’m not able to log into freedombox as “nupa”, and I can’t create a new account with that name either as it’s already taken. How do I sync my existing debian user with freedombox?

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