su: user root does not exist error

Jonathan Dahl jonhdahl at
Mon Mar 18 10:27:59 PST 2002

I have installed the first batch of software and chrooted the $LFS partition. However, once I chroot, I can't execute much of anything. A su reveals "su: user root does not exist", and a whoami reveals "whoami: cannot find username for UID 0". I'm pretty sure my /etc/passwd file is ok (root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash). A ls -al shows user and group owners as 0 and 0 (probably from running the chown 0.0 command in the LFS book).

Other possible symptoms: when I ls, files are not colored. My personal startup files (/root/.bash_profile)  are being read, I think--an echo $PATH reveals the proper path. 

Any ideas of what could cause my /etc/passwd file to be improperly processed? Could I have installed a package incorrectly? (If so, which one?) 

I am using version 3.2 of the LFS book.

Note: I am not currently subscribed to the mailing list, so please CC replies to jonhdahl at

Thanks in advance,
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