The module gets the item of the type specified -- user specifies the username, PAM_USER; tty specifies the name of the terminal over which the request has been made, PAM_TTY; rhost specifies the name of the remote host (if any) from which the request was made, PAM_RHOST; and ruser specifies the name of the remote user (if available) who made the request, PAM_RUSER -- and looks for an instance of that item in the file=filename. filename contains one line per item listed. If the item is found, then if sense=allow, PAM_SUCCESS is returned, causing the authorization request to succeed; else if sense=deny, PAM_AUTH_ERR is returned, causing the authorization request to fail.
If an error is encountered (for instance, if filename does not exist, or a poorly-constructed argument is encountered), then if onerr=succeed, PAM_SUCCESS is returned, otherwise if onerr=fail, PAM_AUTH_ERR or PAM_SERVICE_ERR (as appropriate) will be returned.
An additional argument, apply=, can be used to restrict the application of the above to a specific user (apply=username) or a given group (apply=@groupname). This added restriction is only meaningful when used with the tty, rhost and shell items.
Besides this last one, all arguments should be specified; do not count on any default behavior.
Classic 'ftpusers' authentication can be implemented with this entry in /etc/pam.d/ftpd:
# # deny ftp-access to users listed in the /etc/ftpusers file # auth required pam_listfile.so \ onerr=succeed item=user sense=deny file=/etc/ftpusers
Note, users listed in /etc/ftpusers file are (counterintuitively) not allowed access to the ftp service.
To allow login access only for certain users, you can use a /etc/pam.d/login entry like this:
# # permit login to users listed in /etc/loginusers # auth required pam_listfile.so \ onerr=fail item=user sense=allow file=/etc/loginusers
For this example to work, all users who are allowed to use the login service should be listed in the file /etc/loginusers. Unless you are explicitly trying to lock out root, make sure that when you do this, you leave a way for root to log in, either by listing root in /etc/loginusers, or by listing a user who is able to su to the root account.