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pam(3PAM)							     pam(3PAM)

NAME
       pam - PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module)

SYNOPSIS
       #include	<security/pam_appl.h>
       cc [ flag... ] file ... -lpam [ library ... ]

       The  PAM	framework, libpam, consists of an interface library and	multi-
       ple authentication  service modules.  The PAM interface library is  the
       layer implementing the  Application Programming Interface ( API ).  The
       authentication service modules are a set	of  dynamically	 loadable  ob-
       jects  invoked  by the PAM API to provide a particular type of user au-
       thentication. PAM gives system administrators the flexibility of	choos-
       ing  any	 authentication	service	available on the system	to perform au-
       thentication. This framework also  allows  new  authentication  service
       modules	to  be plugged in and made available without modifying the ap-
       plications.

       Refer to	Chapter	3, "Writing PAM	Applications  and  Services",  of  the
       for  information	 about	providing  authentication, account management,
       session management, and password	management through PAM modules.

   Interface Overview
       The PAM library interface consists of six categories of functions,  the
       names for which all start with the prefix  pam_.

       The  first category contains functions for establishing and terminating
       an    authentication   activity,	  which	  are	pam_start(3PAM)	   and
       pam_end(3PAM). The functions pam_set_data(3PAM) and  pam_get_data(3PAM)
       maintain	module specific	data.  The  functions  pam_set_item(3PAM)  and
       pam_get_item(3PAM)  maintain  state  information. pam_strerror(3PAM) is
       the function that returns error status information.

       The second category contains the	functions that authenticate  an	 indi-
       vidual user and set the credentials of the user,	pam_authenticate(3PAM)
       and pam_setcred(3PAM).

       The third category of  PAM interfaces is	account	management. The	 func-
       tion  pam_acct_mgmt(3PAM) checks	for password aging and access-hour re-
       strictions.

       Category	four contains the functions that  perform  session  management
       after access to the system has been granted. See	pam_open_session(3PAM)
       and pam_close_session(3PAM)

       The fifth category consists of the function that	changes	authentication
       tokens, pam_chauthtok(3PAM). An authentication token is the object used
       to verify the identity of the user. In UNIX, an authentication token is
       a user's	password.

       The sixth category of functions can be used to set values for PAM envi-
       ronment	variables.   See   pam_putenv(3PAM),   pam_getenv(3PAM),   and
       pam_getenvlist(3PAM).

       The  pam_*() interfaces are implemented through the library libpam. For
       each of the categories listed above, excluding categories one and  six,
       dynamically loadable shared modules exist that provides the appropriate
       service layer functionality upon	demand.	 The functional	 entry	points
       in the  service layer start with	the  pam_sm_ prefix.  The only differ-
       ence between the	pam_sm_*() interfaces and their	corresponding pam_ in-
       terfaces	is that	all the	pam_sm_*() interfaces require extra parameters
       to pass service-specific	options	to  the	 shared	 modules.    Refer  to
       pam_sm(3PAM) for	an overview of the PAM service module
	APIs.

   Stateful Interface
       A  sequence  of	calls sharing a	common set of state information	is re-
       ferred to as an authentication transaction.  An authentication	trans-
       action  begins with a call to pam_start(). pam_start() allocates	space,
       performs	various	initialization activities, and assigns a PAM authenti-
       cation handle to	be used	for subsequent calls to	the library.

       After initiating	an authentication transaction, applications can	invoke
       pam_authenticate()   to	 authenticate	a   particular	  user,	   and
       pam_acct_mgmt()	to  perform  system entry management. For example, the
       application may want to determine if the	user's	password has expired.

       If the user has been successfully authenticated,	the application	 calls
       pam_setcred() to	set any	user credentials associated with the authenti-
       cation  service.	 Within	 one   authentication	transaction   (between
       pam_start()  and	 pam_end()), all calls to the  PAM interface should be
       made with the same authentication handle	returned by pam_start().  This
       is  necessary because certain service modules may store module-specific
       data in a handle	that is	intended for use by other modules.  For	 exam-
       ple,  during  the call to pam_authenticate(), service modules may store
       data in the handle that is intended for use by pam_setcred().

       To perform session management,  applications  call  pam_open_session().
       Specifically, the system	may want to store  the total time for the ses-
       sion. The function pam_close_session() closes the current session.

       When necessary, applications can	call pam_get_item() and	pam_set_item()
       to  access  and to update specific authentication information. Such in-
       formation may include the current username.

       To terminate an	authentication	transaction,  the  application	simply
       calls  pam_end(),  which	frees previously allocated space used to store
       authentication information.

   Application-Authentication Service Interactive Interface
       The authentication service in PAM does not  communicate	directly  with
       the  user; instead it relies on the application to perform all such in-
       teractions. The application passes a pointer to the  function,  conv(),
       along with any associated application data pointers, through a pam_conv
       structure to the	authentication service when it initiates an  authenti-
       cation  transaction,  via  a call to pam_start(). The service will then
       use the function, conv(), to prompt the user for	 data,	 output	 error
       messages,  and  display	text information. Refer	to pam_start(3PAM) for
       more information.

   Stacking Multiple Schemes
       The PAM architecture enables authentication by multiple	authentication
       services	 through  stacking.   System  entry  applications, such	as lo-
       gin(1), stack multiple service modules to authenticate users with  mul-
       tiple  authentication  services.	The order in which authentication ser-
       vice  modules are stacked  is  specified	 in  the  configuration	 file,
       pam.conf(4).  A system administrator determines this ordering, and also
       determines  whether the same password can be used for  all  authentica-
       tion services.

   Administrative Interface
       The authentication library, /usr/lib/libpam.so.1, implements the	frame-
       work interface. Various authentication  services	 are   implemented  by
       their  own  loadable  modules  whose  paths  are	 specified through the
       pam.conf(4) file.

       The PAM functions may return one	of the following generic  values,   or
       one of the values defined in the	specific man pages:

       PAM_SUCCESS	       The function returned successfully.

       PAM_OPEN_ERR	       dlopen()	failed when dynamically	loading	a ser-
			       vice module.

       PAM_SYMBOL_ERR	       Symbol not found.

       PAM_SERVICE_ERR	       Error in	service	module.

       PAM_SYSTEM_ERR	       System error.

       PAM_BUF_ERR	       Memory buffer error.

       PAM_CONV_ERR	       Conversation failure.

       PAM_PERM_DENIED	       Permission denied.

       See attributes(5) for description of the	following attributes:

       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |      ATTRIBUTE	TYPE	     |	    ATTRIBUTE VALUE	   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |MT Level		     |MT-Safe with exceptions	   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+

       login(1),  pam_authenticate(3PAM),  pam_chauthtok(3PAM),	 pam_open_ses-
       sion(3PAM),    pam_set_item(3PAM),   pam_setcred(3PAM),	 pam_sm(3PAM),
       pam_start(3PAM),	pam_strerror(3PAM), pam.conf(4), attributes(5)

       The interfaces in  libpam() are MT-Safe only if each thread within  the
       multithreaded application uses its own  PAM handle.

				  22 Feb 2005			     pam(3PAM)

NAME | SYNOPSIS

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