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How to configure PAM to remember password history changes

This document (3829103) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
SUSE Linux Desktop 9
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9


Every time a user changes her password, you would like it to be stored in a password history file. Additionally, PAM should check this file so that users can't reuse their previous "N" number of passwords.


NOTE:  For a newer article on this topic, see TID 7008156,
/etc/pam.d/password (SLES9, OES/Linux 1, SUSE Linux Desktop 9)

/etc/pam.d/common-password (SLE 10, OES/Linux 2)

and change the line:
password required nullok
password required nullok remember=N

Put in the number of passwords you want to be saved/checked instead of "N".

Additional Information

The passwords are stored /etc/security/opasswd and checked every time a user changes her password.


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:3829103
  • Creation Date: 26-Sep-2007
  • Modified Date:24-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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