Chapter 29. Authentication Configuration

When a user logs in to a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, the username and password combination must be verified, or authenticated, as a valid and active user. Sometimes the information to verify the user is located on the local system, and other times the system defers the authentication to a user database on a remote system.

The Authentication Configuration Tool provides a graphical interface for configuring NIS, LDAP, and Hesiod to retrieve user information as well as for configuring LDAP, Kerberos, and SMB as authentication protocols.


If you configured a medium or high security level during installation or with the Security Level Configuration Tool, network authentication methods, including NIS and LDAP, are not allowed through the firewall.

This chapter does not explain each of the different authentication types in detail. Instead, it explains how to use the Authentication Configuration Tool to configure them.

To start the graphical version of the Authentication Configuration Tool from the desktop, select Main Menu Button (on the Panel) => System Settings => Authentication or type the command authconfig-gtk at a shell prompt (for example, in an XTerm or a GNOME terminal). To start the text-based version, type the command authconfig at a shell prompt.


After exiting the authentication program, the changes made take effect immediately.

29.1. User Information

The User Information tab has several options. To enable an option, click the empty checkbox beside it. To disable an option, click the checkbox beside it to clear the checkbox. Click OK to exit the program and apply the changes.

Figure 29-1. User Information

The following list explains what each option configures: