I’ve installed a RedHat Enterprise Linux Server 6.5 from a kickstart install file. Everything was OK until I tried to login from tty console. You type “root” and then the password but screen refreshes and it is like you haven’t typed anything. No error, nothing… I’ve tried to install again but it was the same. I was sure that I had done nothing different from our standard physical server provisioning.
I’ve opened the system in single mode. After I spent some time for troubleshooting with my colleagues, we found the answer in /var/log/secure :
Feb 24 10:38:25 srv1 login: PAM unable to dlopen(/lib64/security/pam_tally.so): /lib64/security/pam_tally.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Feb 24 10:38:25 srv1 login: PAM adding faulty module: /lib64/security/pam_tally.so
Feb 24 10:38:28 srv1 login: FAILED LOGIN SESSION FROM (null) FOR root, Module is unknown
Eventually we found out that the kickstart file was changed. It was because of the non-existent pam.d libraries. I’ve changed the line in /etc/pam.d/system-auth to this:
auth required pam_tally2.so deny=5 unlock_time=36000 audit
Nothing special for RHEL, just might hit you in any Linux. Keep in mind..