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Lab 3: PAM

In this lab you will configure PAM.

In this lab you will alter PAM's configuration files to perform a special task for you upon login. Usually when PAM is required to do a setup task that task must happen before the user's own environment is ready. One example is mounting the user's home directory. In this lab we'll do something a bit simpler.  

The Login Task
Every time you login you must ping opus once and record the result to the file:


Be sure you don't ping forever (use the -c argument to ping) 

Modify PAM's Configuration
In order to make PAM perform the ping on login you must modify one of the files in /etc/pam.d to include your instruction. You must determine what file to modify and what instruction to place in it. HINT: Look at the pam_exec.so module. Once you are satisfied with your change you will submit the file you changed and a copy of /var/log/opus-ping.log on blackboard. 

If You're Stuck
PAM logs its activities in the file:


If you don't know what's wrong try looking there. You will get more information if you give the "debug" argument to the pam_exec.so module. Always use absolute paths to executables that you run with PAM, you don't know what the $PATH environment variable is set to (it may be empty). 

Turn In
  1. The PAM configuration file you changed.
  2. The file /var/log/opus-ping.log 
Submit your homework on blackboard.

  • 20 points for a correct change