Can the /etc/passwd file have a script instead of shell for login-shell on RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.4

Posted on 2014-07-25
Last Modified: 2014-08-04
On an older RedHat EL 4.6 server, /etc/passwd has a script instead of a shell in the login-shell field. This was for security reasons, so the user could not get into bash.
For example: user:x:520:501:comment:/home/:/usr/local/bin/

Is it possible to do on a Red Hat EL 6.4 server? I tried it,  but the user gets access denied when she tries to log in. Do I need to set something else up? The user will always be using /bin/bash shell.
Question by:penguins_rule
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 40220232
If they do not have a shell they will not be able to log in.

How is the user logging in? Via SSH, GUI, SFTP??

Author Comment

ID: 40220347
If the exists in their /home directory, then it works.
I am having a problem with access control (acl) and permissions. So, I will see what happens once I get that straightened out.

To answer savone: The users log in using putty on a windows PC.
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

savone earned 167 total points
ID: 40220744
I don't know what is in, but they will need a valid shell to login via SSH.
Optimize your web performance

What's in the eBook?
- Full list of reasons for poor performance
- Ultimate measures to speed things up
- Primary web monitoring types
- KPIs you should be monitoring in order to increase your ROI

LVL 62

Assisted Solution

gheist earned 167 total points
ID: 40223174
You need binary program as shell
/bin/true /bin/false and /sbin/nologin are good noop-shells.

Author Comment

ID: 40224831
Is it possible to change something in PAM auth to allow any shell?
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Harisha M G
Harisha M G earned 166 total points
ID: 40224846
Check a these things to begin:

1. Whether the script has execute permission for the user?
2. Whether the script is accessible for the user?
3. Whether the user gets the same error when he tries to run the script after logging in?
LVL 62

Expert Comment

ID: 40224855
You can enter any program in /etc/shells

Accepted Solution

penguins_rule earned 0 total points
ID: 40228983
Listing the script in /etc/shells did not work because it could not run /bin/bash
The user had no problem running the script after logging in when the /etc/passwd login program was /bin/bash
As far as I could tell, the directories and script had the group set correctly and the script was executable

I was able to create a little script in the user's home directory and then set the login shell in /etc/passwd to it

>cat /home/user/
source /usr/local/bin/

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40238543
With information from the experts, I was able to come up with a way to do what i needed to do. Because I did not want to give them access to the shell, this was the method used.

Featured Post

Automating Terraform w Jenkins & AWS CodeCommit

How to configure Jenkins and CodeCommit to allow users to easily create and destroy infrastructure using Terraform code.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

SSH (Secure Shell) - Tips and Tricks As you all know SSH(Secure Shell) is a network protocol, which we use to access/transfer files securely between two networked devices. SSH was actually designed as a replacement for insecure protocols that sen…
In part one, we reviewed the prerequisites required for installing SQL Server vNext. In this part we will explore how to install Microsoft's SQL Server on Ubuntu 16.04.
In a previous video, we went over how to export a DynamoDB table into Amazon S3.  In this video, we show how to load the export from S3 into a DynamoDB table.
How to Install VMware Tools in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 (RHEL 6.4) Step-by-Step Tutorial
Suggested Courses

632 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question