pam_open_session w/o tty on Solaris

Nicolas Williams Nicolas.Williams at
Tue Oct 30 07:53:28 EST 2001

This has been hashed over plenty. The bug is in PAM_UNIX, not PAM, and
yes, supplying PAM with a bogus TTY for non-tty SSH sessions suffices to
work around the problem. A Sun patch to PAM_UNIX is available too.



On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 03:42:24PM -0500, David Butts wrote:
> Hello, all-
> Apparently, under Solaris (I can personally confirm SunOS 5.7 and 5.8),
> pam_open_session will generate a segfault if PAM_TTY is not set.  The
> obvious symptom of this is that OpenSSH 2.9.9p2 will segfault on any
> operation that does not request a tty (do_exec_no_pty).
> Based on a quick google search, this seems to have been encountered
> by others, though the specific symptoms seem to have changed a bit.
> (eg
> contains a reference to this problem -- the first instance of PAM_TTY)
> I wasn't able to find any other reference to Sun bugid 4250887 that
> was mentioned in the comment, and an empty string worked for me as
> well.
> In any case, the following change appears to address the problem:
> diff -ru openssh-2.9.9p2_orig/auth-pam.c openssh-2.9.9p2/auth-pam.c
> --- openssh-2.9.9p2_orig/auth-pam.c	Mon Apr 23 14:38:37 2001
> +++ openssh-2.9.9p2/auth-pam.c	Mon Oct 29 15:32:08 2001
> @@ -272,6 +272,12 @@
>  	do_pam_set_conv(&conv);
> +	if (ttyname == NULL) {
> +		ttyname = "";
> +	}
> +#endif /* PAM_SUN_CODEBASE */
> +
>  	if (ttyname != NULL) {
>  		debug("PAM setting tty to \"%.200s\"", ttyname);
>  		pam_retval = pam_set_item(__pamh, PAM_TTY, ttyname);
> Obviously that expands the meaning of PAM_SUN_CODEBASE a bit from its
> current definition, but it seemed a fairly reasonable thing to use,
> since this appears to be another misbehavior of PAM under Solaris.
> I don't honestly know enough about the inner workings of PAM to know
> whether it would be better to use an empty string, or a real but
> useless file like /dev/null, though.
> Is there a better way to deal with this?
> Thanks,
> David

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