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Our LDAP server recently crashed and now we are facing problems reaching some of our servers.

We have a Xen guest for which the login does no longer work. In the logs, the following error appears.

FAILED LOGIN (1) on '/dev/hvc0' FOR 'root'

Here's a list of what I already tried (and did not resolve the problem).

  • Resetting the root password (mounting to host, chroot and passwd, usual stuff...)
  • Adding a new local account with root privileges (edited the sudoers file)
  • Access through SSH...

All is broken. There is a MySQL server that is failing on that vm and I would really like to fix it. The vserver runs debian squeeze and hvc0 is listed in /etc/securetty.

I'm out of options... All help is appreciated!

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Your PAM configuration may be wrong. Your configuration should be something like this:

auth [success=1 default=ignore]
auth required use_first_pass
auth required

account [success=1 default=ignore]
account required
account required

With those lines, local files are checked before LDAP.

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It was indeed a PAM issue. replaced the pam.d directory with the contents of a freshly installed server et voila, I'm in! We will configure it for LDAP once the LDAP is up again. :) – mstaessen Apr 21 '12 at 0:51

I think you face two distinct configuration options that forbids root logins. One is that root login will be allowed (by /sbin/login or PAM configuration) if there is an entry in /etc/securetty file for hvc0 device. Other is that sshd by default forbids login directly to root account.

You should add hvc0 line/item to /etc/securetty file.

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