authconfig man page

authconfig, authconfig-tui — an interface for configuring system authentication resources


authconfig [options] {--update|--updateall|--test|--probe|--restorebackup <name>|--savebackup <name>|--restorelastbackup}


authconfig provides a simple method of configuring /etc/sysconfig/network to handle NIS, as well as /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow, the files used for shadow password support.  Basic LDAP, Kerberos 5, and Winbind client configuration is also provided.

If --test action is specified, the authconfig just reads the current settings from the various configuration files and prints their values. If --update action is specified, authconfig must be run by root and configuration changes are saved. Only the files affected by the configuration changes are overwritten. If --updateall action is specified, authconfig must be run by root and all configuration files are written. The --probe action instructs authconfig to use DNS and other means to guess at configuration information for the current host, print its guesses if it finds them, to standard output, and exit.

The --restorebackup, --savebackup, and --restorelastbackup actions provide a possibility to save and later restore a backup of configuration files which authconfig modifies. Authconfig also saves an automatic backup of configuration files before every configuration change. This special backup can be restored by the --restorelastbackup action.

If --nostart is specified (which is what the install program does), ypbind or other daemons will not be started or stopped immediately following program execution, but only enabled to start or stop at boot time.

The --enablenis, --enableldap, --enablewinbind, and --enablehesiod options are used to configure user information services in /etc/nsswitch.conf, the --enablecache option is used to configure naming services caching, and the --enableshadow, --enableldapauth, --enablekrb5, and --enablewinbindauth options are used to configure authentication functions via /etc/pam.d/system-auth.  Each --enable has a matching --disable option that disables the service if it is already enabled. The respective services have parameters which configure their server names etc.

The algorithm used for storing new password hashes can be specified by the --passalgo option which takes one of the following possible values as a parameter: descrypt, bigcrypt, md5, sha256, and sha512.

The --enablelocauthorize option allows to bypass checking network authentication services for authorization and the --enablesysnetauth allows authentication of system accounts (with uid < 500) by these services.

When the configuration settings allow use of SSSD for user information services and authentication, SSSD will be automatically used instead of the legacy services and the SSSD configuration will be set up so there is a default domain populated with the settings required to connect the services. The --enablesssd and --enablesssdauth options force adding SSSD to /etc/nsswitch.conf and /etc/pam.d/system-auth, but they do not set up the domain in the SSSD configuration files. The SSSD configuration has to be set up manually. The allowed configuration of services for SSSD are: LDAP for user information (--enableldap) and either LDAP (--enableldapauth), or Kerberos (--enablekrb5) for authentication.

In case SSSD does not support some feature of the legacy services that are required for the site configuration, the use of the legacy services can be forced by setting FORCELEGACY=yes in /etc/sysconfig/authconfig.

The list of options mentioned here in the manual page is not exhaustive, please refer to authconfig --help for the complete list of the options.

For namelist you may substitute either a single name or a  comma-separated list of names.


The SSSD service is enabled and possibly started by authconfig when at least two of the following three conditions are met:
1) /etc/sssd/sssd.conf file exists (or is configured via the implicit SSSD support)
2) SSSD authentication is enabled ( is used in PAM configuration)
3) SSSD is enabled for user identity (nsswitch.conf contains sss)

When --update action is used the enablement or disablement and possible restart of services happens only in case the changed configuration options affect the service to be restarted. This means that if for example the ypbind service is enabled with authconfig --update --nostart --enablenis but not started and you run the same command without the --nostart later the ypbind service will not be started because no configuration change affecting ypbind happened.

Return Codes

authconfig returns 0 on success, 1 on backup operation errors, 2 if not running with sufficient privileges, 3 if unknown password hash algorithm is specified or incorrect values are set for password strength checking (this error is non fatal), 4 if download of CA certificate fails, 5 if writing configuration files fails on --updateall action, 6 if writing fails on --update action, 7 if Winbind domain join fails.



Used to track whether or not particular authentication mechanisms are enabled. Currently includes variables named USESHADOW, USEMD5, USEKERBEROS, USELDAPAUTH, USEWINBIND, USEWINBINDAUTH, USENIS, USELDAP, and others.


Used for shadow password support.


Configuration file for NIS support.


Another configuration file for NIS support.


Used to configure nss_ldap, pam_ldap, nslcd, and the OpenLDAP library. Only the files already existing on the system are modified.


Used to configure Kerberos 5.


Used to configure winbind authentication.


Used to configure user information services.


Used to configure parameters of user accounts (minimum UID of a regular user, password hashing algorithm).


Common PAM configuration for system services which include it using the include directive. It is created as symlink and not relinked if it points to another file.


Contains the actual PAM configuration for system services and is the default target of the /etc/pam.d/system-auth symlink. If a local configuration of PAM is created (and symlinked from system-auth file) this file can be included there.

See Also

authconfig-gtk(8), system-auth-ac(5), passwd(5), shadow(5), pwconv(1), domainname(1), ypbind(8), nsswitch.conf(5), smb.conf(5), sssd(8)


Nalin Dahyabhai <>, Preston Brown <>,
Matt Wilson <>, Tomas Mraz <>

Referenced By

authconfig_selinux(8), cacertdir_rehash(8), system-auth-ac(5).

authconfig-tui(8) is an alias of authconfig(8).

22 July 2011 Red Hat, Inc.