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PAM, shadow using DBM files?

I administer a RedHat 6.2 system with about 6000 users.  Authentications are
noticeably slow, with users toward the bottom of the passwd file often
taking 15-20 seconds to authenticate via ipop3d.  I suspect the
authentication mechanism itself because users toward the top of the passwd
file will authenticate within 1 second.

A theory I have is that hashing the passwd and shadow files, as on some
commercial *nixes, would speed things up and solve the problem.  It looks
like the capability to use DBM files is at least partially written into the
shadow password package, but not enabled on the version distributed with
RedHat 6.2.

What do you think is the best way to solve the slow authentication problem?
Is anyone using shadow passwords with the DBM files?  After quite a bit of
searching and reading through archives, I've found a few mentions of the
problem, but not a clear solution.  Can you point me toward any additional
documentation on getting this to work with PAM on RH 6.2?

Thanks for your assistance.


Scott Isaacson, Network and Systems Consultant
5029 South 133rd Street
Omaha, Nebraska  68137-1738

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