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pluggable authentication module
Last modified: Thursday, January 02, 2003 

A UNIX programming interface that enables third-party security methods to be used. By using PAM, multiple authentication technologies, such as RSA, DCE, Kerberos, smart card and S/Key, can be added without changing any of the login services, thereby preserving existing system environments.

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For pages about pluggable authentication module . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Making Login Services Independent of Authentication Technologies
This paper from Sun Microsystems explains the intricacies of PAM in detail.

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