PAM_ROLES(7) Standards, Environments, and Macros PAM_ROLES(7)

pam_roles - Roles account management module

The pam_roles module implements pam_sm_acct_mgmt(3PAM). It provides functionality to verify that a user is authorized to assume a role. It also prevents direct logins to a role. The user_attr(5) database is used to determine which users can assume which roles.

The PAM items PAM_USER, PAM_AUSER, and PAM_RHOST are used to determine the outcome of this module. PAM_USER represents the new identity being verified. PAM_AUSER, if set, represents the user asserting a new identity. If PAM_AUSER is not set, the real user ID of the calling service implies that the user is asserting a new identity. Notice that root can never have roles.

This module is generally stacked above the pam_unix_account(7) module.

The following options are interpreted:


Allows a remote service to specify the user to enter as a role.


Provides syslog(3C) debugging information at the LOG_DEBUG level.

The following values are returned:


If the type of the new user identity (PAM_USER) is "normal". Or, if the type of the new user identity is "role" and the user asserting the new identity (PAM_AUSER) has the new identity name in its list of roles.


No account is present for user.


If the type of the new user identity (PAM_USER) is "role" and the user asserting the new identity (PAM_AUSER) does not have the new identity name in its list of roles.

Example 1 Using the Module

The following are sample entries from pam.conf(5). These entries demonstrate the use of the module:

cron account required
other account requisite
other account required

The cron service does not invoke Delayed jobs are independent of role assumption. All other services verify that roles cannot directly login. The "su" service (covered by the "other" service entry) verifies that if the new user is a role, the calling user is authorized for that role.

Example 2 Allowing Remote Roles

Remote roles should only be allowed from remote services that can be trusted to provide an accurate PAM_AUSER name. This trust is a function of the protocol (such as sshd-hostbased).

The following is a sample entry for a pam.conf(5) file. It demonstrates the use of pam_roles configuration for remote roles for the sshd-hostbased service.

sshd-hostbased account requisite allow_remote
sshd-hostbased account required

See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability Evolving
MT Level MT-Safe with exceptions

roles(1), syslog(3C), libpam(3LIB), pam(3PAM), pam_acct_mgmt(3PAM), pam_set_item(3PAM), pam_setcred(3PAM), pam_sm_acct_mgmt(3PAM), pam.conf(5), user_attr(5), attributes(7), pam_authtok_check(7), pam_authtok_get(7), pam_authtok_store(7), pam_dhkeys(7), pam_passwd_auth(7), pam_unix_account(7), pam_unix_auth(7), pam_unix_session(7), sshd(8), su(8)

The interfaces in libpam(3LIB) are MT-Safe only if each thread within the multi-threaded application uses its own PAM handle.

This module should never be stacked alone. It never returns PAM_SUCCESS, as it never makes a positive decision.

The allow_remote option should only be specified for services that are trusted to correctly identify the remote user (that is, sshd-hostbased).

PAM_AUSER has replaced PAM_RUSER whose definition is limited to the rlogin/rsh untrusted remote user name. See pam_set_item(3PAM).

August 19, 2023 OmniOS