Locking accounts with a number of incorrect login attempts

This document (7012381) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11


When a user incorrectly enters a password several times and you want the account to lock for a certain amount of time.  This configuration does NOT work to lock the root account (although settings can be changed to include root in the locked accounts list.


1. Edit the /etc/pam.d/common-auth file to include

auth required pam_tally2.so deny=2 unlock_time=300

auth required pam_env.so

auth sufficient pam_unix2.so

Where deny=<number of attempts before lockout>

Where unlock_time=<time in seconds for account to be locked>

2. Edit the /etc/pam.d/common-account to include

account required pam_tally2.so

account requisite pam_unix2.so

account sufficient pam_localuser.so

auth required pam_tally2.so

Additional Information

To check the users that have been locked out and the number of attempts run: pam_tally2

To unlock a specific account manually as root run

pam_tally2 --user=<username> --reset

For more information and other options check the man page of pam_tally2


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7012381
  • Creation Date: 08-May-2013
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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