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A PAM account module that evaluates HBAC rules stored on an IPA server.

Before using pam_hbac, please make sure you really need it. If possible, please use SSSD! pam_hbac is meant as a fall-back solution for platforms where SSSD can't be installed.

Supported platforms

pam_hbac was tested on the following operating systems and releases:

  • Linux (RHEL-5 and newer)
    • The pam_hbac developers tested RHEL-5 and newer Red Hat based distributions. Ubuntu is used as a CI platform, but no functional testing was done there except integration tests.
  • FreeBSD - tested with FreeBSD 10.2
  • Solaris - tested with Solaris 11 and Omnios. Some users run pam_hbac on Solaris 10 as well.
  • HPUX - tested with HPUX 11.31 - no SSL/TLS yet
  • AIX - tested with AIX 7.1 TL4

Building from source

To build pam_hbac, make sure the dependencies are installed. Except the usual build dependencies such as autotools, pkg-config gettext, or a compiler, the only required packages are the LDAP and PAM development libraries and a UTF-8 library. Currently libunistring and glib are supported as UTF-8 libraries, with glib being the default.

In order to build man pages, the tool a2x is an optional build dependency.

The unit tests require the cmocka unit test framework as well as nss_wrapper and pam_wrapper tools from the project.

If you're building from a git checkout, generate configure first with autoreconf -if. Then run the usual configure, make, make install commands. For platforms that we tested and support, there is a platform-dependent README.$platform in the doc/ subdirectory that includes suggested configure flags.


Please see the pam_hbac(8) man page distributed along with pam_hbac for documentation on setting up the module itself. The module is configured with a configuration file as well, its options are described in a separate man page pam_hbac.conf(5)

Setting up the HBAC rules for LDAP clients

This section describes how the PAM rules interact for clients that authenticate against the compat LDAP tree.

Obviously, you'll want to set up HBAC rules for the client machine pam_hbac runs on. But in addition to that, the slapi-nis Directory Server plugin that runs on the IPA server itself also runs a PAM account check against the system-auth PAM service. In order to satisfy this second check, you also need to create a special system-auth HBAC service and allow access using this service for any users or groups that you want allow access to clients running pam_hbac as well.

Please see doc/ipa/sch-ipa.txt from the slapi-nis' tree for more information on how the compat tree works.


Please open a ticket if you encounter a bug or send a pull request with a contribution. For questions, you can use the freeipa-users mailing list.

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