pam_env − PAM module to set/unset environment variables

SYNOPSIS [debug] [conffile=conf−file] [envfile=env−file] [readenv=0|1] [user_envfile=env−file] [user_readenv=0|1]


The pam_env PAM module allows the (un)setting of environment variables. Supported is the use of previously set environment variables as well as PAM_ITEMs such as PAM_RHOST.

By default rules for (un)setting of variables is taken from the config file /etc/security/pam_env.conf if no other file is specified.

This module can also parse a file with simple KEY=VAL pairs on separate lines (/etc/environment by default). You can change the default file to parse, with the envfile flag and turn it on or off by setting the readenv flag to 1 or 0 respectively.

Since setting of PAM environment variables can have side effects to other modules, this module should be the last one on the stack.


Indicate an alternative pam_env.conf style configuration file to override the default. This can be useful when different services need different environments.


A lot of debug information is printed with syslog(3).


Indicate an alternative environment file to override the default. This can be useful when different services need different environments.


Turns on or off the reading of the file specified by envfile (0 is off, 1 is on). By default this option is on.


Indicate an alternative .pam_environment file to override the default. This can be useful when different services need different environments. The filename is relative to the user home directory.


Turns on or off the reading of the user specific environment file. 0 is off, 1 is on. By default this option is on.

The auth and session module types are provided.


Not all relevant data or options could be gotten.


Memory buffer error.


No pam_env.conf and environment file was found.


Environment variables were set.


Default configuration file


Default environment file


User specific environment file

(5), pam.d(5), pam(8).

pam_env was written by Dave Kinchlea <>.


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