I switched from the arch Linux image to the latest Debian Jessie lite 2017-01-11 image and added a new user as root.

# adduser sampletext

Then I added on the sudoers-file a new line with: sampletext ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

Then running runuser -l sampletext I get

>>>/etc/sudoers: syntax error near line 28 <<<
sudo: parse error in /etc/sudoers near line 28
sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting
sudo: unable to initialize policy plugin

The same error also displays when I try sudo on the pi account.

I noticed that the pi-user wasn't present when I first opened the sudoers-file even though I did sudo su on it.

Is there a way to add another user with the same privileges as the pi-user?

  • 1
    The first conclusion I draw is there is a syntax error near line 28. The second conclusion is that you introduced the syntax error during your edit.
    – joan
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 10:18
  • @joan but the same thing worked before on older rasbian versions and arch. But for some reason the pi-user wasn't present in the file Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 10:20
  • To add to what Joan and Millways have said it also does not appear that you used visudo edit the file which checks for syntax errors before saving and is the recommended way to edit the sudoers file. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 10:40
  • it should be sampletext ALL=NOPASSWD: ALL Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


What do you mean by "added a new user as root". There is already a root user, although as normally on Debian it does not have a password, so cannot logon.

It is inadvisable to fiddle with /etc/sudoers. Put everything back the way it was.

If you want to create a new user with the same privileges as pi set the user to be a member of the same groups, in particular of group sudo

  • I meant creating a user under root like root@pi~# adduser ... Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 10:41
  • I removed the entry on the sudoers-file and added the new user to all the users pi is in. But when I try sudo sure I then get username is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 10:43

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