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One more time on pam_xauth

I keep posting this but it never seems to get through; so I will try again.

This has been asked in different ways before but no answer has been forthcoming.
So let me try again. This has to do with the behavior of the line:
session    optional     /lib/security/pam_xauth.so
in a /etc/pam.d file. In particular it appears in the kppp file under RH 6.1 and
RH 6.2.

Now when one runs kppp in these environments and one is logged on as a normal
user, the kppp runs as root. It is not launched by you as yourself and then SUID
to root but is launched by an application called  consolehelper and runs as
Now the behavior that I and others have observed is the execution fails because
kppp cannot attach to the Xserver unless one first runs an xhost command.

Now, from the man page for pam_xauth one seems to able to draw the conclusion
the xhost should not be necessary because of the:

session    optional     /lib/security/pam_xauth.so

line in the /etc/pam.d/kppp file. Is this correct?

Some people find that this works in 6.1 but not in 6.2. I find it does not work
6.1. Clarification would be appreciated.

Along the same vein, this same line is in the /etc/pam.d/su file. What is its
purpose in that case?

Aaron Konstam         
Computer Science
Trinity University
715 Stadium Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200

telephone: (210)-999-7484

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