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Re: logging from PAM modules

On Fri, 1 Sep 2000, Nikolay Pelov wrote:

> PAM already supports setting two user-defined callback functions:
> conversation function and fail-delay function. And there is a
> standard convention how to set and retreive them:
> 	pam_(set|get)_item(pamh, PAM_CONV, conv_func);
> 	pam_(set|get)_item(pamh, PAM_FAIL_DELAY, fail_delay_func);
> So, I think we should stick with this principle and use
>     pam_set_item(pamh, PAM_LOG_CALLBACK, newcb);
>     pam_get_item(pamh, PAM_LOG_CALLBACK, &newcb);
> instead of introducting new function which does exatcly the same like:
> >    pam_log_callback_t *pam_set_log_callback(pam_handle_t *pamh,
> >                                             pam_log_callback_t *newcb);

Nice idea.  BUT...

One of the main efforts underway at present is to ensure that "Linux-PAM" 
is portable to other operating systems, not just Linux.  (Example: be able
to take a Linux-PAM module and put it into a Solaris system.)  And I
understand that Andrew Morgan is keen that (so called) "Linux-PAM" be
made, and kept, portable and ultimately regarded, if possible, as

Are we sure that every current and future PAM implementation from every
commercial OS vendor will accept use of arbitrary new "item types", such
as the proposed "PAM_LOG_CALLBACK"?  Is it not quite probable that some
PAM framework on some vendor's OS will internally implement
"pam_(set|get)_item()" as: 

    pam_(set|get)_item(..., int item_type, ...)
       switch (item_type) {
       case PAM_AUTHTOK:     /* known to this vendor */
          [... ]

       [... similarly for other known item_type ...]

       default:              /* unknown to this vendor */
          [... complain bitterly and fail ...]

So just a note of caution, not to paint ourselves further into a
"Linux-only" corner, when this product deserves wider use.


:  David Lee                                I.T. Service          :
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