kdm, PAM and password expiration prompts

James F. Hranicky jfh at cise.ufl.edu
Wed Jul 13 14:58:01 BST 2005

If this isn't the appropriate forum, please let me know.

I'm trying to get password expiration to work with kdm via PAM, but
I'm running into problems. 

Here's a summary of the configuration:

	Authentication mechanism : PAM
	PAM module		 : modified pam_krb5 module
	OS 			 : Solaris 8/Debian Sarge ( 

I'm using a modified pam_krb5 module (originally by Frank Cusack) for
authentication, and in several cases it's working well. For instance, 
when the user's account is set to expire soon, Kerberos passes a 
warning message to the PAM module, which passes it back to KDM, which
displays it for the user without any problems. 

However, when the actual password expiration prompts are attempted, 
PAM chokes, apparently because somewhere in the PAM guts a routine
tries to turn off echo on a TTY, and of course there is none when
using kdm. If anyone could shed insight on a fix for this, I'd 
appreciate it, but I don't expect the KDE folks to fix a problem in

This brings me to my workaround. I wrote a prompter function that 

	- execs a script 
	- writes the prompts to the script
	- and reads the passwords back from the script

The prompter displays properly, but here's where I need help from the
KDE folks: the input fields simply cannot get the focus. I can't type
anything in them at all. I can click the ok button and receive back
the message "Password too short", but that's about it. 

So, to sum up, how can I get X programs that pop up from KDM to get 
the focus? Is it possible? As far as I can tell my script is 
requesting the focus but not getting it, though I may not be doing 
the right thing.

I'm tantalizingly close to getting this to work -- any help would be


| Jim Hranicky, Senior SysAdmin                   UF/CISE Department |
| E314D CSE Building                            Phone (352) 392-1499 |
| jfh at cise.ufl.edu                      http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~jfh |
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