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Thread: dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Beans
    2

    dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort

    This has been working fine with no system changes for some time now. I have googled and found advice apparently for prior versions of dovecot and different OSes. It is not even temporarily fixed by system reboots.

    Code:
    # cat /etc/lsb-release
    DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
    DISTRIB_RELEASE=14.04
    DISTRIB_CODENAME=trusty
    DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS"
    
    # dovecot --version
    2.2.9
    
    # telnet 127.0.0.1 110
    Trying 127.0.0.1...
    Connected to 127.0.0.1.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    +OK Dovecot (Ubuntu) ready.
    user ********
    +OK
    pass ********
    -ERR [SYS/TEMP] Temporary authentication failure. [****:2016-04-18 17:21:23]
    quit
    +OK Logging out
    Connection closed by foreign host.
    mail.log:

    Code:
    Apr 18 10:21:21 **** dovecot: auth-worker(1891): Error: pam(********,127.0.0.1): pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort
    Apr 18 10:21:27 **** dovecot: pop3-login: Aborted login (auth failed, 1 attempts in 6 secs): user=<********>, method=PLAIN, rip=127.0.0.1, lip=127.0.0.1, secured, session=<osTalsUwpAB/AAAB>
    syslog:

    Code:
    Apr 18 10:21:21 **** t of memory [1891]
    Apr 18 10:21:21 **** dovecot: auth-worker(1891): Error: pam(********,127.0.0.1): pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort
    Apr 18 10:21:27 **** dovecot: pop3-login: Aborted login (auth failed, 1 attempts in 6 secs): user=<********>, method=PLAIN, rip=127.0.0.1, lip=127.0.0.1, secured, session=<osTalsUwpAB/AAAB>
    kern.log:

    Code:
    Apr 18 10:21:21 **** t of memory [1891]
    mail.err:

    Code:
    Apr 18 10:21:21 **** dovecot: auth-worker(1891): Error: pam(********,127.0.0.1): pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort



    Code:
    # dovecot -n
    # 2.2.9: /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
    # OS: Linux 3.19.0-58-generic x86_64 Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS
    disable_plaintext_auth = no
    mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u
    mail_privileged_group = mail
    namespace inbox {
      inbox = yes
      location =
      mailbox Drafts {
        special_use = \Drafts
      }
      mailbox Junk {
        special_use = \Junk
      }
      mailbox Sent {
        special_use = \Sent
      }
      mailbox "Sent Messages" {
        special_use = \Sent
      }
      mailbox Trash {
        special_use = \Trash
      }
      prefix =
    }
    passdb {
      driver = pam
    }
    protocols = " imap pop3"
    ssl_cert = </etc/dovecot/dovecot.pem
    ssl_key = </etc/dovecot/private/dovecot.pem
    userdb {
      driver = passwd
    }
    Others, from the googling, have suggested increasing auth_worker_max_request_count. However, that appears to be for earlier versions of dovecot and does not seem to have been universally successful anyway.

    Oh, and here is meminfo, since the 't of memory' error seems to suggets and out of memory condition, though that would be odd immediately after a reboot.
    Code:
    # cat /proc/meminfo
    MemTotal:       15274824 kB
    MemFree:        14900584 kB
    MemAvailable:   14904420 kB
    Buffers:           21736 kB
    Cached:           139484 kB
    SwapCached:            0 kB
    Active:           166408 kB
    Inactive:          91148 kB
    Active(anon):      96676 kB
    Inactive(anon):     6108 kB
    Active(file):      69732 kB
    Inactive(file):    85040 kB
    Unevictable:           0 kB
    Mlocked:               0 kB
    SwapTotal:      15666172 kB
    SwapFree:       15666172 kB
    Dirty:                 0 kB
    Writeback:             0 kB
    AnonPages:         96380 kB
    Mapped:            52136 kB
    Shmem:              6452 kB
    Slab:              39656 kB
    SReclaimable:      21832 kB
    SUnreclaim:        17824 kB
    KernelStack:        2880 kB
    PageTables:         9588 kB
    NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
    Bounce:                0 kB
    WritebackTmp:          0 kB
    CommitLimit:    23303584 kB
    Committed_AS:     622192 kB
    VmallocTotal:   34359738367 kB
    VmallocUsed:      117704 kB
    VmallocChunk:   34359614368 kB
    HardwareCorrupted:     0 kB
    AnonHugePages:     45056 kB
    CmaTotal:              0 kB
    CmaFree:               0 kB
    HugePages_Total:       0
    HugePages_Free:        0
    HugePages_Rsvd:        0
    HugePages_Surp:        0
    Hugepagesize:       2048 kB
    DirectMap4k:       96720 kB
    DirectMap2M:     1939456 kB
    DirectMap1G:    14680064 kB
    Any ideas or other things to check? I may have to shut down the postfix services and move the mbox contents over to the other server temporarily. It'll just throw connection erros on all of the clients until I get it resolved.

    Thanks, in advance, for any help in this matter.
    Last edited by lisati; April 19th, 2016 at 01:16 AM. Reason: Added [CODE] and [/CODE] to aid readability

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Beans
    3

    Re: dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort

    Sorry I can't be more useful, but I'm seeing the exact same thing as of this morning. I haven't even logged into this server in weeks so it's no change on my part. I'm also running 14.04.

    I trued an apt-get dist-upgrade and a reboot and same problems.

    Looking at /var/log/apt/history.log I see that some pam modules were auto-upgraded overnight. That seems like a red flag.

    Start-Date: 2016-04-18 06:56:25
    Install: libarchive13:amd64 (3.1.2-7ubuntu2.1, automatic), libnettle4:amd64 (2.7.1-1ubuntu0.1, automatic)
    Upgrade: libpam-smbpass:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), python-samba:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), winbind:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), tdb-tools:amd64 (1.2.12-1, 1.3.8-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), samba:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), python-tdb:amd64 (1.2.12-1, 1.3.8-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), libtevent0:amd64 (0.9.19-1, 0.9.26-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), samba-dsdb-modules:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), libnss-winbind:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), samba-common-bin:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), libldb1:amd64 (1.1.16-1ubuntu0.1, 1.1.24-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), libtdb1:amd64 (1.2.12-1, 1.3.8-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), samba-libs:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), samba-doc:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), smbclient:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), libtalloc2:amd64 (2.1.0-1, 2.1.5-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), python-talloc:amd64 (2.1.0-1, 2.1.5-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), libpam-winbind:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), libwbclient0:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), samba-vfs-modules:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), python-ldb:amd64 (1.1.16-1ubuntu0.1, 1.1.24-0ubuntu0.14.04.1), samba-common:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2), libsmbclient:amd64 (4.1.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2.14.04.13, 4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu0.14.04.2)
    End-Date: 2016-04-18 06:58:21

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Beans
    3

    Re: dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort

    Yup, the samba pam modules are what was causing the problem. Removing those two and dovecot is happy again.
    > dpkg --purge libpam-winbind libpam-smbpass

    Considering I'll never use those authentication plugins I'm fine with them being gone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Beans
    3

    Re: dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Beans
    2

    Re: dovecot: auth-worker ... pam_start() failed: Critical error - immediate abort

    That was it. Thanks for identifying it. I purged those two as well and it all is honky dory. Hope the bug gets resolved before I update my other server, as it does use samba pam.

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