OpenSUSE :: Cron (Cannot Make / Remove Entry For PAM Session)

Jun 28, 2011

I run a virtual server with a standard minimal openSUSE 11.4 installation (Strato image) and all recent updates installed.
$ uname -a
Linux servername 2.6.18-028stab089.1 #1 SMP Thu Apr 14 13:46:04 MSD 2011 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

A few days into running the server I found that although /usr/sbin/cron was running it didn't execute the cron scripts. Instead, I find this:

$ tail -n 3 /var/log/messages
Jun 28 18:00:01 servername /usr/sbin/cron[28590]: pam_warn(crond:session): function=[pam_sm_open_session] service=[crond] terminal=[cron] user=[root] ruser=[<unknown>] rhost=[<unknown>]
Jun 28 18:00:01 servername /usr/sbin/cron[28590]: (root) PAM ERROR (Cannot make/remove an entry for the specified session)
Jun 28 18:00:01 servername /usr/sbin/cron[28590]: (root) FAILED to open PAM security session (Cannot make/remove an entry for the specified session) repeated every 20 minutes.

I have this:
$ cat /etc/pam.d/crond
# The PAM configuration file for the cron daemon
# No PAM authentication called, auth modules not needed
auth sufficient
account sufficient item=user sense=allow file=/etc/cron.allow onerr=succeed quiet
auth include common-auth
account include common-account
password include common-password

As per the standard installation and /etc/cron.allow doesn't exist (I tested if it made a difference if it existed with the single line root in it, but there was no effect). I need cron to execute because I want zypper to auto-update my server. On my home openSUSE 11.4 installation the problem doesn't exist. Is it perhaps related to the settings in the yast security center?

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[sudo] password for alex:
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Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
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