Linux PAM

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Linux PAM
Stable release 1.1.8 / September 19, 2013; 11 months ago (2013-09-19)
Written in C
Operating system Linux
Type authentication
License GNU General Public License or Revised BSD License
Website www.linux-pam.org

Linux Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) provide dynamic authentication support for applications and services in a Linux system. Linux PAM is evolved from the Unix Pluggable Authentication Modules architecture.

Linux-PAM separates the tasks of authentication into four independent management groups:

  • account modules check that the specified account is a valid authentication target under current conditions. This may include conditions like account expiration, time of day, and that the user has access to the requested service.
  • authentication modules verify the user's identity, for example by requesting and checking a password or other secret. They may also pass authentication information on to other systems like a keyring.
  • password modules are responsible for updating passwords, and are generally coupled to modules employed in the authentication step. They may also be used to enforce strong passwords.
  • session modules define actions that are performed at the beginning and end of sessions. A session starts after the user has successfully authenticated.

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