SSH fails with "error: PAM: pam_open_session(): System error"

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Cannot log into the system using SSH.
  • We see "error: PAM: pam_open_session(): System error" in the secure logs.
  • After modifying PAM, we cannot log into the system through SSH.


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Subscriber exclusive content

A Red Hat subscription provides unlimited access to our knowledgebase, tools, and much more.

Current Customers and Partners

Log in for full access

Log In

New to Red Hat?

Learn more about Red Hat subscriptions

Using a Red Hat product through a public cloud?

How to access this content