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Old 03-03-2016, 06:22 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2016
Distribution: Ubuntu
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PAM changes causing prompt during upgrade


I have made some changes to the /etc/pam.d/password-common file to enable and enforce a stronger password policy.

However, now, when I do a dist-upgrade it stops at the PAM module and prompts me to choose between retaining my changes or reverting to the default.

In the past when I've had these prompts during upgrades it has meant that I modified the wrong files and I should be creating a .local version or perhaps putting my changes into a file in a .d folder.

However, I can't find any information on how to do this with my PAM change. Is there a better place to make changes to the password policy so I don't get prompted whenever PAM is updated, or am I stuck with this and will always have to tell it to keep my changes?

Old 03-04-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2010
Location: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Distribution: RHEL, Fedora, CentOS
Posts: 404

Rep: Reputation: 73

It might help to let us know a little about your environment: flavor, version ...
My suggestion is that you copy your actual modified pam file (password-common), upgrade the pam package, accept the default (losing your changes), then compare the new file with the backed up one, and see/decide how to re enforce password policy.

Additionally, I think you also need to add in system-auth in order to control text and graphical logins.

I hope it helps.
Old 03-06-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2016
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 2

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I didn't think my specific distro or changes were relevant to this question as it's more of a general enquiry as to how to make changes to password policy without triggering the warning during upgrades.

FWIW I'm currently using Ubuntu 14.04, but have seen this behaviour across multiple different distros. The change I made is to install libpam_cracklib and uncomment the line for in password-common and tweak the settings slightly to match our Windows environment requirements.


Last edited by grist; 03-06-2016 at 02:58 PM.


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