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> pam_acct_mgmt(3)
> pam_authenticate(3)
> pam_chauthtok(3)
> pam_close_session(3)
> pam_conv(3)
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pam: Pluggable Authentication Modules Library


pam - Pluggable Authentication Modules Library


#include <security/pam_appl.h> #include <security/pam_modules.h> #include <security/pam_ext.h>


PAM is a system of libraries that handle the authentication tasks of applications (services) on the system. The library provides a stable general interface (Application Programming Interface - API) that privilege granting programs (such as login(1) and su(1)) defer to to perform standard authentication tasks. Initialization and Cleanup The pam_start(3) function creates the PAM context and initiates the PAM transaction. It is the first of the PAM functions that needs to be called by an application. The transaction state is contained entirely within the structure identified by this handle, so it is possible to have multiple transactions in parallel. But it is not possible to use the same handle for different transactions, a new one is needed for every new context. The pam_end(3) function terminates the PAM transaction and is the last function an application should call in the PAM context. Upon return the handle pamh is no longer valid and all memory associated with it will be invalid. It can be called at any time to terminate a PAM transaction. Authentication The pam_authenticate(3) function is used to authenticate the user. The user is required to provide an authentication token depending upon the authentication service, usually this is a password, but could also be a finger print. The pam_setcred(3) function manages the userscredentials. Account Management The pam_acct_mgmt(3) function is used to determine if the users account is valid. It checks for authentication token and account expiration and verifies access restrictions. It is typically called after the user has been authenticated. Password Management The pam_chauthtok(3) function is used to change the authentication token for a given user on request or because the token has expired. Session Management The pam_open_session(3) function sets up a user session for a previously successful authenticated user. The session should later be terminated with a call to pam_close_session(3). Conversation The PAM library uses an application-defined callback to allow a direct communication between a loaded module and the application. This callback is specified by the struct pam_conv passed to pam_start(3) at the start of the transaction. See pam_conv(3) for details. Data Objects The pam_set_item(3) and pam_get_item(3) functions allows applications and PAM service modules to set and retrieve PAM informations. The pam_get_user(3) function is the preferred method to obtain the username. The pam_set_data(3) and pam_get_data(3) functions allows PAM service modules to set and retrieve free-form data from one invocation to another. Environment and Error Management The pam_putenv(3), pam_getenv(3) and pam_getenvlist(3) functions are for maintaining a set of private environment variables. The pam_strerror(3) function returns a pointer to a string describing the given PAM error code.


The following return codes are known by PAM: PAM_ABORT Critical error, immediate abort. PAM_ACCT_EXPIRED User account has expired. PAM_AUTHINFO_UNAVAIL Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info. PAM_AUTHTOK_DISABLE_AGING Authentication token aging disabled. PAM_AUTHTOK_ERR Authentication token manipulation error. PAM_AUTHTOK_EXPIRED Authentication token expired. PAM_AUTHTOK_LOCK_BUSY Authentication token lock busy. PAM_AUTHTOK_RECOVERY_ERR Authentication information cannot be recovered. PAM_AUTH_ERR Authentication failure. PAM_BUF_ERR Memory buffer error. PAM_CONV_ERR Conversation failure. PAM_CRED_ERR Failure setting user credentials. PAM_CRED_EXPIRED User credentials expired. PAM_CRED_INSUFFICIENT Insufficient credentials to access authentication data. PAM_CRED_UNAVAIL Authentication service cannot retrieve user credentials. PAM_IGNORE The return value should be ignored by PAM dispatch. PAM_MAXTRIES Have exhausted maximum number of retries for service. PAM_MODULE_UNKNOWN Module is unknown. PAM_NEW_AUTHTOK_REQD Authentication token is no longer valid; new one required. PAM_NO_MODULE_DATA No module specific data is present. PAM_OPEN_ERR Failed to load module. PAM_PERM_DENIED Permission denied. PAM_SERVICE_ERR Error in service module. PAM_SESSION_ERR Cannot make/remove an entry for the specified session. PAM_SUCCESS Success. PAM_SYMBOL_ERR Symbol not found. PAM_SYSTEM_ERR System error. PAM_TRY_AGAIN Failed preliminary check by password service. PAM_USER_UNKNOWN User not known to the underlying authentication module.
pam_acct_mgmt(3), pam_authenticate(3), pam_chauthtok(3), pam_close_session(3), pam_conv(3), pam_end(3), pam_get_data(3), pam_getenv(3), pam_getenvlist(3), pam_get_item(3), pam_get_user(3), pam_open_session(3), pam_putenv(3), pam_set_data(3), pam_set_item(3), pam_setcred(3), pam_start(3), pam_strerror(3)
The libpam interfaces are only thread-safe if each thread within the multithreaded application uses its own PAM handle. PAM(3)

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