Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a user account on a machine where they attempted to log in with the incorrect password via SSH until it triggered "too many authentication failures for X" -- I have access ot the box as the root user, but how do i reset this user accounts login?

I've tried:

faillog -u username -r

but this does not seem to resolve the problem for that user account

share|improve this question
Try this ssh -o PubkeyAuthentication=no user@host to see what happens. – quanta Aug 8 '12 at 2:42
Just restart sshd and it will clear it up. Source: I set MaxAuthTries to 2, locked an account, restarted sshd, it worked fine. It won't kill existing connections. – Cocoabean Dec 19 '12 at 2:24

you can fix this without restarting the ssh service. First figure out if it is really a failed login issues by,

pam_tally2 -u <user>. 

(if its RH5x, pam_tally2 with pam_tally)

If its due to failed login attempts, you can issue the following command to reset the number of login attempts to 0,

pam_tally2 -r -u <user>
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.