Linux User Management: Troubleshooting Login Issues

15 minutes
  • 5 Learning Objectives

About this Hands-on Lab

Managing Linux user accounts and passwords is a routine task for many system administrators. In this lab, students are required to resolve a series of login issues for the users in the `app` group by checking the authentication logs as well as the `/etc/passwd` and `/etc/shadow` files.

Learning Objectives

Successfully complete this lab by achieving the following learning objectives:

List the Users in the app Group, Then Verify the User Configuration in the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow Files
# grep app /etc/group
# grep <GID> /etc/passwd
# grep user* /etc/shadow
The Double Exclamation Points (!!) in the Password Field of /etc/shadow Indicates That user1 Has Never Had a Password Set, so Set the Password for user1
# passwd user1
The 0 in the 8th Field of the /etc/shadow File for user2 Indicates that Account Has Expired and Needs to Be Unlocked
# chage -E -1 user2
The Configuration for user3 Is Missing from the /etc/shadow File, so Recreate the shadow File with the pwconv Command
# pwconv
Verify That All Users Can Log into the System
# ssh user1@<LabServerIP>
   password:
# exit
# ssh user2@<LabServerIP>
   password:
# exit
# ssh user3@<LabServerIP>
   password:
# exit

Additional Resources

ABC Company has just hired a team of application administrators to manage a new application. Today is their first day, but none of the new hires are able to log in to the server. The user accounts and the group for the team were created by a consultant who has since left the organization. The team manager has asked that you look at the logins for the appteam group that was created and resolve their issues.

To complete this lab, check the authentication logs as well as the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files to diagnose the issue for each of the users in the app group. Hint: each account could have a separate login issue. Good luck!

Please use the lab environment for this exercise, and not the Cloud Playground. To gain root access, log into the lab environment with the cloud_user account and issue sudo -i.

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Psst…this one if you’ve been moved to ACG!