[CentOS] Authentication Problems

Wed Feb 16 12:28:05 UTC 2011
James Bensley <jwbensley at gmail.com>

Hi List,

We have a CentOS VPS running a web site in a DC far away. The chap that
dev's this site told me he couldn't SFTP in yesterday, his password was
being rejected (I went to his desk to confirm and saw it was telling him the
password was incorrect but neither him nor me had changed it and we are the
only two with access to this VPS). So I logged in as root and reset his
password, be he still couldn't log in (same problem, claiming the password
was wrong).

[root at server ~]# passwd webdevuser
Changing password for user webdevuser.
New UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updates successfully.

I tried to SSH in as the web dev user and it wouldn't let me in. Returning
back to my root console window;

[root at server ~]# su - webdevuser
[webdevuser at server ~]# passwd
Changing password for user webdevuser.
Changing password for webdevuser.
(current) UNIX password:
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error

Firstly; I am stracthing my head as to why his password was no longer
working in the first place?

Secondly; Why I can't reset it?

Googling around many people suggest there is a discrepancy between the
/etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files and by deleting /etc/shadow and using
pwconv to recreate shadow and the same for /etc/groups, deleting gshadow
recreating it with grpconv will solve the problem but I still can't login as
the web dev user.

Any ideas anyone?


There are 10 kinds of people in the world; Those who understand Vigesimal,
and J others...?
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