Similar problem to this – https://communities.vmware.com/thread/608628
I have a brand new install of esxi 6.7.0 Update 3 build 14320388 and cannot join a new host to an existing vCenter Server. When it tries to create or modify the vpxuser account it gets “Passwd: Permission denied”.
On the new host itself when I try to create a user account (just a test account nothing special) on the new host, I get the same error. Doing all this using the root account.
The root account has rw access to /etc/passwd
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