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man pages section 8: System Administration Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

saslauthd (8)


saslauthd - sasl authentication server


saslauthd -a authmech [-Tvdchlr] [-O option] [-m mux_path] [-n threads]
[-s size] [-t timeout]


SASLAUTHD(8)              BSD System Manager's Manual             SASLAUTHD(8)

     saslauthd - sasl authentication server

     saslauthd -a authmech [-Tvdchlr] [-O option] [-m mux_path] [-n threads]
               [-s size] [-t timeout]

     saslauthd is a daemon process that handles plaintext authentication
     requests on behalf of the SASL library.

     The server fulfills two roles: it isolates all code requiring superuser
     privileges into a single process, and it can be used to provide proxy
     authentication services to clients that do not understand SASL based

     saslauthd should be started from the system boot scripts when going to
     multi-user mode. When running against a protected authentication database
     (e.g. the shadow mechanism), it must be run as the superuser.

     Options named by lower-case letters configure the server itself.
     Upper-case options control the behavior of specific authentication mecha-
     nisms; their applicability to a particular authentication mechanism is
     described in the AUTHENTICATION MECHANISMS section.

     -a authmech
             Use authmech as the authentication mechanism. (See the
             AUTHENTICATION MECHANISMS section below.) This parameter is

     -O option
             A mechanism specific option (e.g. rimap hostname or config file

     -H hostname
             The remote host to be contacted by the rimap authentication mech-
             anism. (Deprecated, use -O instead)

     -m path
             Use path as the pathname to the named socket to listen on for
             connection requests. This must be an absolute pathname, and MUST
             NOT include the trailing "/mux".  Note that the default for this
             value is "/var/state/saslauthd" (or what was specified at compile
             time) and that this directory must exist for saslauthd to func-

     -n threads
             Use threads processes for responding to authentication queries.
             (default: 5)  A value of zero will indicate that saslauthd should
             fork an individual process for each connection.  This can solve
             leaks that occur in some deployments.

     -s size
             Use size as the table size of the hash table (in kilobytes)

     -t timeout
             Use timeout as the expiration time of the authentication cache
             (in seconds)

     -T      Honour time-of-day login restrictions.

     -h      Show usage information

     -c      Enable caching of authentication credentials

     -l      Disable the use of a lock file for controlling access to

     -r      Combine the realm with the login (with an '@' sign in between).
             e.g.  login: "foo" realm: "bar" will get passed as login:
             "foo@bar".  Note that the realm will still be passed, which may
             lead to unexpected behavior for authentication mechanisms that
             make use of the realm, however for mechanisms which don't, such
             as getpwent, this is the only way to authenticate domain-specific
             users sharing the same userid.

     -v      Print the version number and available authentication mechanisms
             on standard error, then exit.

     -d      Debugging mode.

     saslauthd logs its activities via syslogd using the LOG_AUTH facility.

     saslauthd supports one or more "authentication mechanisms", dependent
     upon the facilities provided by the underlying operating system.  The
     mechanism is selected by the -a flag from the following list of choices:

     dce        (AIX)

                Authenticate using the DCE authentication environment.

     getpwent   (All platforms)

                Authenticate using the getpwent() library function. Typically
                this authenticates against the local password file. See your
                system's getpwent(3) man page for details.

     kerberos4  (All platforms)

                Authenticate against the local Kerberos 4 realm. (See the
                NOTES section for caveats about this driver.)

     kerberos5  (All platforms)

                Authenticate against the local Kerberos 5 realm.

     pam        (Linux, Solaris)

                Authenticate using Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM).

     rimap      (All platforms)

                Forward authentication requests to a remote IMAP server. This
                driver connects to a remote IMAP server, specified using the
                -O flag, and attempts to login (via an IMAP `LOGIN' command)
                using the credentials supplied to the local server. If the
                remote authentication succeeds the local connection is also
                considered to be authenticated. The remote connection is
                closed as soon as the tagged response from the `LOGIN' command
                is received from the remote server.

                The option parameter to the -O flag describes the remote
                server to forward authentication requests to.  hostname can be
                a hostname (imap.example.com) or a dotted-quad IP address
                ( The latter is useful if the remote server is
                multi-homed and has network interfaces that are unreachable
                from the local IMAP server. The remote host is contacted on
                the `imap' service port. A non-default port can be specified
                by appending a slash and the port name or number to the
                hostname argument.

                The -O flag and argument are mandatory when using the rimap

     shadow     (AIX, Irix, Linux, Solaris)

                Authenticate against the local "shadow password file".  The
                exact mechanism is system dependent.  saslauthd currently
                understands the getspnam() and getuserpw() library routines.
                Some systems honour the -T flag.

     sasldb     (All platforms)

                Authenticate against the SASL authentication database.  Note
                that this is probably not what you want to use, and is even
                disabled at compile-time by default.  If you want to use
                sasldb with the SASL library, you probably want to use the
                pwcheck_method of "auxprop" along with the sasldb auxprop plu-
                gin instead.

     ldap       (All platforms that support OpenLDAP 2.0 or higher)

                Authenticate against an ldap server.  The ldap configuration
                parameters are read from /usr/local/etc/saslauthd.conf.  The
                location of this file can be changed with the -O parameter.
                See the LDAP_SASLAUTHD file included with the distribution for
                the list of available parameters.

     sia        (Digital UNIX)

                Authenticate using the Digital UNIX Security Integration
                Architecture (a.k.a.  "enhanced security").

     The kerberos4 authentication driver consumes considerable resources. To
     perform an authentication it must obtain a ticket granting ticket from
     the TGT server on every authentication request. The Kerberos library rou-
     tines that obtain the TGT also create a local ticket file, on the reason-
     able assumption that you will want to save the TGT for use by other Ker-
     beros applications. These ticket files are unusable by saslauthd , how-
     ever there is no way not to create them. The overhead of creating and
     removing these ticket files can cause serious performance degradation on
     busy servers. (Kerberos was never intended to be used in this manner,

     /var/run/saslauthd/mux  The default communications socket.

             The default configuration file if using -a ldap with saslauthd
              (the preferred method for Solaris is -a shadow, which uses
              naming services instead.)

     passwd(1), getpwent(3), getspnam(3), getuserpw(3), sasl_checkpass(3)

CMU-SASL                          12 12 2005                          CMU-SASL

See for descriptions of the following attributes:

|Availability   | system/library/security/libsasl2 |
|Stability      | Pass-through volatile            |

Source code for open source software components in Oracle Solaris
can be found  at  https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/so-

This    software    was    built   from   source   available   at
https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original  commu-
nity  source  was downloaded from  ftp://ftp.cyrusimap.org/cyrus-

Further information about this software can be found on the  open
source community website at https://www.cyrusimap.org/sasl/.