Subject: PAM's "failed to recover old authentication token"
To: None <>
From: Hernani Marques Madeira <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/12/2005 12:54:43

After updating from 3.99.3 to .7 (kernel+userland) on a /i386 machine I seem 
to have lost my passwords, from both, my users and root and get the following
msg when I try to `passwd user`:

firestarter# passwd user
Unable to change auth token: failed to recover old authentication token

chsh(1) also quits with following msgs after trying to change sth there:
chsh: /etc/master.passwd: entry inconsistent
chsh: /etc/master.passwd: unchanged

su(1) doesn't work either, it quits with:
firestarter# su user
su: unknown login su

Are these problems, that are related to PAM, known to someone, even on this 
particular version perhaps? Or should I investigate deeper?

Probably there are even solved, although some PR related to PAM is still

It may also have to do with etcupdate(1) that updated too much/less.

After creating a new user, however, anything goes well with that one, also
su'ing to him, chsh'ing with him.
I am primarily interested in why that happened, because the occurence 
of such inconsistencies are not known by me from updates done by me before 
that one.