Subject: pam_ssh for users w/o private keys
To: None <>
From: Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/22/2005 23:47:17
Hi all,

I've enabled pam_ssh in /etc/pam.d/display_manager, so that I can log in
from gdm using my key's passphrase (and get an agent started).
Everything is fine for my regular user, but it's not for others that
don't have a private key in their home directory (i.e., root).

I mean, if I try to log  in as root, gdm asks me for the ssh passphrase
(something that shouldn't happen, as I see it).  At that point, I hit
enter, hoping that it would proceed with the next authentication module,
pam_unix, asking me the regular password.  But it does not.  It just
reports a login error.

AFAICS in the documentation, setting pam_ssh as sufficient (which is the
default in the example display_manager file) should cause failures in
this module to fallback to other modules in the chain (pam_unix).

(I don't think this is a gdm specific bug since the same thing works
fine under Linux, using whatever PAM implementation it has.)

Am I wrong in my expectations?  Or is there a problem somewhere?


Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
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