VMware agentless restores fail for Linux VMs with pluggable authentication modules

Article ID: VMW0031 To perform agentless restores for Linux VMs that include pluggable authentication modules (PAMs), add rules in vmtoolsd for auth and account modules.


For Linux VMs that use pluggable authentication modules (PAMs), agentless restores fail with authentication errors. 


The vmtoolsd service must be configured to provide the same authentication credentials as sshd. 


  1. Modify the /etc/pam.d/vmtoolsd file to use the same rules as sshd.

    The following example shows a file with the required modifications:

    auth required pam_sepermit.so
    auth substack password-auth
    auth include postlogin
    account required pam_nologin.so
    account include password-auth 

  2. Run the following command to restart the vmtoolsd service:
    service vmtoolsd restart