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Cannot login as root at the console, login incorrect

This document (7014706) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10


At the text console login screen, the error message "Login incorrect" is displayed when attempting to login as any user, including the root user. No user is allowed to login.

The root user and all other users can login to a graphical login. They can also ssh into the server.

The following error message(s) is displayed in the system log (/var/log/messages).

"login: pam_securetty(login:auth): /etc/securetty is either world writable or not a normal file"
"login[3452]: FAILED LOGIN 1 FROM /dev/tty2 FOR root, Authentication failure"

Reviewing a supportconfig pam.txt or running rpm -V pam shows:

.M.......  c /etc/securetty


Change the /etc/securetty permissions.

1. Login to a graphical login, or ssh into the server as root
2. Run chmod 644 /etc/securetty
3. Run rpm -V pam to confirm the errors have been resolved for /etc/securetty

If unsuccessful, you might also consider reinstalling the pam RPM package.



The pam authentication mechanism is designed to fail for security purposes if the /etc/securetty file has invalid permissions.


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:7014706
  • Creation Date: 06-Mar-2014
  • Modified Date:28-Sep-2022
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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