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Old 08-04-2006, 01:23 PM   #1
Harry Seldon
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: SLES 9
Posts: 112

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Setting password complexity

How can I get my Linux installs (Mandrake 10 and Suse 9) to require some kind of password complexity? I'd like to set a minimum length, alphanumeric requirements, and the like. I've been hunting for documentation but the only thing I've found that seems relevant is and it just says to use PAM. I ran a man on pam.d and it looks like what I want but there's nothing in there that says how to specifically do what I want. My google ninja skills are lackingtoday and I can't seem to find a page that has a breakdown on the different options I have or how to enter them. Can anyone help get me going in the right direction?
Old 08-04-2006, 02:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Wales, UK
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
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You need to install a PAM module that does this and add it to your PAM configuration for services. pam_cracklib is the usual one.

I don't have access to those distributions, but most distributions have configuration files in /etc/pam.d/ that are applied to all services. For Debian systems you would put cracklib in /etc/pam.d/common-password to enable it for all services. Here's an example common-password file:

password required use_authtok md5
password required retry=1 minlen=6 difok=3


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