PAM_TALLY2(8) Linux-PAM Manual PAM_TALLY2(8)
pam_tally2 - The login counter (tallying) module
pam_tally2.so [file=/path/to/counter] [onerr=[fail|succeed]] [magic_root] [even_deny_root] [deny=n] [lock_time=n] [unlock_time=n]
[root_unlock_time=n] [serialize] [audit] [silent] [no_log_info]
pam_tally2 [--file /path/to/counter] [--user username] [--reset[=n]] [--quiet]
This module maintains a count of attempted accesses, can reset count on success, can deny access if too many attempts fail.
pam_tally2 comes in two parts: pam_tally2.so and pam_tally2. The former is the PAM module and the latter, a stand-alone program.
pam_tally2 is an (optional) application which can be used to interrogate and manipulate the counter file. It can display users' counts, set
individual counts, or clear all counts. Setting artificially high counts may be useful for blocking users without changing their passwords.
For example, one might find it useful to clear all counts every midnight from a cron job.
Normally, failed attempts to access root will not cause the root account to become blocked, to prevent denial-of-service: if your users
aren't given shell accounts and root may only login via su or at the machine console (not telnet/rsh, etc), this is safe.
This can be used for auth and account module types.
If something weird happens (like unable to open the file), return with PAM_SUCCESS if onerr=succeed is given, else with the
corresponding PAM error code.
File where to keep counts. Default is /var/log/tallylog.
Will log the user name into the system log if the user is not found.
Don't print informative messages.
Don't log informative messages via syslog(3).
Authentication phase first increments attempted login counter and checks if user should be denied access. If the user is authenticated
and the login process continues on call to pam_setcred(3) it resets the attempts counter.
Deny access if tally for this user exceeds n.
Always deny for n seconds after failed attempt.
Allow access after n seconds after failed attempt. If this option is used the user will be locked out for the specified amount of
time after he exceeded his maximum allowed attempts. Otherwise the account is locked until the lock is removed by a manual
intervention of the system administrator.
If the module is invoked by a user with uid=0 the counter is not incremented. The sysadmin should use this for user launched
services, like su, otherwise this argument should be omitted.
Do not use the .fail_locktime field in /var/log/faillog for this user.
Root account can become unavailable.
This option implies even_deny_root option. Allow access after n seconds to root account after failed attempt. If this option is
used the root user will be locked out for the specified amount of time after he exceeded his maximum allowed attempts.
Serialize access to the tally file using locks. This option might be used only for non-multithreaded services because it depends on
the fcntl locking of the tally file. Also it is a good idea to use this option only in such configurations where the time between
auth phase and account or setcred phase is not dependent on the authenticating client. Otherwise the authenticating client will be
able to prevent simultaneous authentications by the same user by simply artificially prolonging the time the file record lock is
Account phase resets attempts counter if the user is not magic root. This phase can be used optionally for services which don't call
pam_setcred(3) correctly or if the reset should be done regardless of the failure of the account phase of other modules.
If the module is invoked by a user with uid=0 the counter is not changed. The sysadmin should use this for user launched services,
like su, otherwise this argument should be omitted.
MODULE TYPES PROVIDED
The auth and account module types are provided.
A invalid option was given, the module was not able to retrieve the user name, no valid counter file was found, or too many failed
Everything was successful.
User not known.
pam_tally2 is not compatible with the old pam_tally faillog file format. This is caused by requirement of compatibility of the tallylog
file format between 32bit and 64bit architectures on multiarch systems.
There is no setuid wrapper for access to the data file such as when the pam_tally2.so module is called from xscreensaver. As this would
make it impossible to share PAM configuration with such services the following workaround is used: If the data file cannot be opened
because of insufficient permissions (EACCES) the module returns PAM_IGNORE.
Add the following line to /etc/pam.d/login to lock the account after 4 failed logins. Root account will be locked as well. The accounts
will be automatically unlocked after 20 minutes. The module does not have to be called in the account phase because the login calls
auth required pam_securetty.so
auth required pam_tally2.so deny=4 even_deny_root unlock_time=1200
auth required pam_env.so
auth required pam_unix.so
auth required pam_nologin.so
account required pam_unix.so
password required pam_unix.so
session required pam_limits.so
session required pam_unix.so
session required pam_lastlog.so nowtmp
session optional pam_mail.so standard
failure count logging file
pam.conf(5), pam.d(5), pam(8)
pam_tally2 was written by Tim Baverstock and Tomas Mraz.
Linux-PAM Manual 06/04/2011 PAM_TALLY2(8)