Linux add user, authentication failure

Hi,

Trying to add a user to Debian 6.3 Vyatta x86 but getting the following message

adduser john
Adding user `john' ...
Adding new group `john' (1001) ...
Adding new user `john' (1002) with group `john' ...
Creating home directory `/home/john' ...
Copying files from `/etc/skel' ...
passwd: Authentication failure
passwd: password unchanged

Also get the same message when trying to change the password

passwd john
passwd: Authentication failure
passwd: password unchanged

Any ideas?
LVL 6
vmdudeAsked:
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MazdajaiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try -

set system login user authenticaton plaintext-password xyzzy

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http://www.vyatta.org/comment/18556#comment-18556
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comfortjeaniusCommented:
I was looking at this thread stating about using

sudo su then set the passwd

http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=12612
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vmdudeAuthor Commented:
Thank you answered my question
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