How to disable LDAP Authentication in Linux

After a customer had performed some bad edits on various LDAP configuration files, users were locked out and unable to access the system. Root could still login however.

I logged in as root, and rather than mess with various config files, eg under /etc/pam.d, ran this command to disable LDAP authentication and enable “normal” authentication using /etc/shadow: Continue reading

SSH Authentication and Directory Permissions

Running sshd in the foreground can be an effective way to debug ssh problems. In the following example, a user was unable to access a remote system using ssh keys. Running sshd in debug mode provided a quick resolution. Both source and target systems were Solaris, but the same method applies equally to Linux. Continue reading

Sendmail Authentication for Local Mail Delivery

These days, service providers like British Telecom have tightened up their requirements on email delivery. Most ISPs now accept email only from servers that can authenticate through SMTP. Sendmail has authentication built in, allowing administrators to use an “authinfo” file, for example. The server then authenticates every time it sends mail out to the ISP.

That’s great for reducing spam. But it can have a side-effect of killing local mail on the server. Here is an recent example from Debian Squeeze. The authentication features that allowed this server to successfully send mail through the ISP were preventing local mail from working: Continue reading