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This is a simple PAM account module. It is meant to be used together with other modules! It allows you to require a special user or group to access a service.

It's available at


You need the pam-devel files to compile it. In Debian do:

# apt-get install libpam0g-dev

Compiling and installing should be straight forward:

$> ./configure
$> make    
$> su
#> make install 

Note: on Fedora you must install the pam-devel package prior to installing modules. This can be accomplished by executing 'yum install pam-devel'.


The module is an account module only! It has no usage as auth, password or session module!

Please Note: The Syntax has changed from Version 0.1

It accepts usernames or groupnames as parameter. Groupnames have to be given with a leading @. Just have a look at the examples below:

This requires the user to be in a group called “dialin”:

account    required
account    required @dialin

This only allows user “joe” to login:

account    required
account    required joe

Here either “joe” or members of the “dialin” group may login:

account    required
account    required joe @dialin

Since version 0.3 you may let in everybody except the named group or user. This example keeps out members of the lusers group:

account    required
account    required !@lusers

Since version 0.4 you can define users and groups with spaces, just use colons instead of the spaces. You should always avoid using spaces in usernames and groups but sometimes it is necessary (most times some kind of interaction with Microsoft products is involved). The example lets in “Joe Schmoe” and members of the “Windows Users” group.

account    required
account    required Joe:Schmoe @Windows:Users

Version 0.7 adds the possibility to do case insensitive checks using the no_case option. The following matches “Joe” as well as “joe” or “JOe”

account    required
account    required no_case joe

Bugs / Known Issues

Be careful with the negation (!). All parameters are logically OR'ed together so if one statement is true access is granted. A simple example to explain - Imagine this line:

account    required
account    required !@lusers !@schmocks

This would let in all users in group schmocks that are not in group lusers. To keep out both groups use two lines like this:

account    required
account    required !@lusers
account    required !@schmocks

The module discards all standard parameter which are: debug, no_warn, use_first_pass, try_first_pass, use_mapped_pass and expose_account. This means two things: First these parameter doesn't change anything in pam_require's behavior and second you can't have users with these names.


To Jennifer Vesperman for her very helpful article “Writing PAM Modules” at

To Jens Chr. Bachem j [dot] bachem [at] travco [dot] de for the negation patch.

To Svein Olav Bjerkeset svein [dot] bjerkeset [at] vegvesen [dot] no for some hints what to change for compiling on Solaris.

To Scipio scipio [at] freemail [dot] hu for pointing out some errors in my code.

To Jon Severinsson jon [at] severinsson [dot] net for adding the missing primary group membership test

To Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov [at] ums [dot] usu [dot] ru for adding control files to build Debian package

To Xim Tur i Massanet joatumas [at] yahoo [dot] es for adding the no_case option and a fix to make deny only work


I'm always open to suggestions or hints that help me make my C better. I'm completely new to the whole autoconf/automake stuff so any tips on this are greatly appreciated.

Just contact me at andi [at] splitbrain [dot] org or visit it website at


pam_require - A simple PAM account module
Copyright (C) 2003-2009 Andreas Gohr <>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.
sw/pam_require.txt · Last modified: 2009/07/24 20:27 by