Sometimes, on Linux boxes, after installing VMware Server and the MUI (Management User Interface aka VMware Management Interface – the web based administration interface) you cannot login. You have to use the root account and the password of your linux server, you have made no typo errors, but no way to go ahead.

Usually, if you have this problem, you cannot use also the VMware console from a remote IP (eg. you cannot login to your server from your workstation, even from the same LAN).

Recently I have found this problem in many Linux distributions and I have figured out how to fix this serious problem…

The problem is located into your /etc/pam.d/vmware-authd file; usually it looks like this:
[source: js] #%PAM-1.0
auth sufficient /lib/security/pam_unix2.so shadow nullok
auth required /lib/security/pam_unix_auth.so shadow nullok
account sufficient /lib/security/pam_unix2.so
account required /lib/security/pam_unix_acct.so
[/source] When you get the error “Permission denied: Login (username/password) incorrect” it’s because the vmware-authd configuration used by VMware is referring to a non existent files. You have to locate these libraries on your system and fix the authd rule.

[source: js] # find / | grep pam_unix
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix.so
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_session.so
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_passwd.so
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_auth.so
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_acct.so
/lib/security/pam_unix.so
[/source] So, according to the find results, you have to use the pam stuff provided by the VMware package itself. After some changes, the /etc/pam.d/vmware-authd file should look like the following:

[source: js] #%PAM-1.0
auth sufficient /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix.so shadow nullok
auth required /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_auth.so shadow nullok
account sufficient /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix.so
account required /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpam.so.0/security/pam_unix_acct.so
[/source]

Restarting the VMware and the VMware MUI after this change is a good idea.

Have a nice virtualization experience! 😉


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