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Old 08-09-2004, 01:31 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Brisbane
Distribution: Redhat ES 2.1
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Unhappy can I turn off PAM, or at least significatnly reduce the security

Hi All,

I've been pulling my hair out over PAM for a few days now.

We are moving our application from Sco Unix to Redhat Linux ES 2.1. Our clients' Linux servers sit in their little office, usually not connected to the internet and with around 2-10 users accessing the server. Most of our clients prefer not to have a password at the Linux level and use our Application security which allows much more application control.

However, some of our clients like to have passwords at the Linux level but we have been getting heaps of calls from our annoyed users because they can't have their simple passwords anymore. PAM's default security is actually quite strict (min 8 characters, no dictionary words etc). Much too strict for the likes of our users who like things (including security) simple.

That's my problem, now my question is How can I:
A) configure PAM to allow users to use their simple passwords again? or
B) de-activate/de-install PAM to avoid this intense password checking?

I've been playing with /etc/pam.d/login for quite a while but I cannot seem to reduce the default security. It seems quite easy to INCREASE PAM security but not decrease/de-activate it...

Any help appreciated!!

Old 08-09-2004, 01:45 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Red Hat
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This link may help.
Old 08-09-2004, 01:46 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2004
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I've not actually ever played with this, but you might try modifying PASS_MIN_LEN in /etc/login.defs. And if those systems are even connected to the Internet briefly, having passwordless accounts is a bad idea.


After reading the link posted by obie, looks like I'm wrong anyhow, so just ignore my blathering .

Last edited by btmiller; 08-09-2004 at 01:48 AM.
Old 08-09-2004, 07:31 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Distribution: Redhat ES 2.1
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Originally posted by Obie
This link may help.
Thanks for the link, but I don't think it will help me reduce the security. It does explain how to setup more security on Linux, but this doesn't help my cause.

I also installed the patch for cracklib onto my server, but it didn't help. The password checking is still as strict as before. I think this patch is to help you INCREASE the security not decrease it.

I'm floundering quite a bit with PAM and basically grabbing some examples from the web and modifying them slightly. Here's a few that I've tried so far. I don't fully understand them, but I know they don't work for me...

auth required /lib/security/ shadow nullok
account required /lib/security/
password required /lib/security/ retry=3 minlen=3
password required /lib/security/ use_authtok nullok md5 shadow
session required /lib/security/

...minlen=3 seems to be ignored.

auth sufficient /lib/security/
auth sufficient /lib/security/
account sufficient /lib/security/
password sufficient /lib/security/
session sufficient /lib/security/

This uses the default pam_unix for password checking which is still to strict...


btw, what if I just remove the PAM rpm? "rpm -e pam-0.72...."...but I don't want to lock myself out of the system for good ....


Last edited by timbo_oz; 08-09-2004 at 07:36 PM.
Old 08-10-2004, 02:09 PM   #5
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Devuan Beowulf
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Is there really a problem assigning easy passwords?

Every time ive ever assigned one it complains, but it allows nevertheless.

Is it possible you could assign each user a permanent password thats easy to remember. Tell them that its for their security as well as the companies. Maybe its time they embraced the need for higher security, after all we do live in a world of hackers and crackers.

If i was underhanded, id make a point about security, how id go about it, well you can probably think of ways. If not im sure some of the users here can help u with some good examples.
Old 09-27-2010, 06:18 AM   #6
Registered: Apr 2010
Distribution: RHEL
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Anyway you could set password what you want as root, so maybe in your case if security isnt so important why bother with pam?
just change their password with the root user, and of course password aging should not be activated
Old 09-27-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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hurryi, please don't resurrect dead threads. Check the dates before you post. Closed.

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