installing freeradius error

Matthew Newton mcn4 at
Fri Feb 26 03:36:19 CET 2016

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 05:28:12PM -0500, Doug Berman wrote:
> dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
>  syntax error: unknown user 'freerad' in statoverride file

Purge the packages (if possible), then edit
/var/lib/dpkg/statoverride and remove all lines that contain
"freerad". Make a backup of the file first if you're not
experienced in this.

Alternatively you could try "adduser freerad", but you need to
make sure the user is created correctly. But it might help you get
out of the situation.

Then reinstall the packages.

This crops up occasionally, but I'm not entirely sure why. I think
it might be something like having old packages installed, removing
(not purging) them, then installing v3 packages. Not entirely sure
though. I usually only hit it when I've been playing around with
package development. Somehow the packages get removed having
removed the freerad user but not tidied up dpkg-statoverride. But
the postinst/prerm files all seem to do it in the right order.

You can't go too wrong with editing /var/lib/dpkg/statoverride,
but don't blame me if you mess up dpkg/apt...


Matthew Newton, Ph.D. <mcn4 at>

Systems Specialist, Infrastructure Services,
I.T. Services, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

For IT help contact helpdesk extn. 2253, <ithelp at>

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