su produces a "su: incorrect password' error with valid password

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Local users can no longer use 'su' command to get root rights.
  • Only this generic message is generated in logs which is the same as supplying the wrong password:
Dec 14 16:49:57 testserver su(pam_unix)[23992]: authentication failure; logname=test uid=500 euid=500 tty=pts/2 ruser=test rhost=  user=root
  • If switch to account of the other user, it fails with a "password incorrect' error even the password is correct.
# su -
su: incorrect password</code>


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

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