"error: Could not get shadow information for NOUSER"

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When a user entered his correct password on a Solaris 8 2/04 SPARC system running OpenSSH 4.7, he was unable to login. syslog logged the following error:

Aug 22 09:45:37 hostname sshd[2319]: [ID 800047 auth.error] error: Could not get shadow information for NOUSER

Running pwck showed the problem.

$ pwck
user:x:2203:14:User Name:/home/user:/bin/tcsh+
       Login directory not found
       Optional shell file not found

In this case, the user's default shell (/bin/tcsh+) did not exist on the system. Changing the default shell to a valid shell (or installing the missing shell) fixed the problem.

The "Login directory not found" is not a critical error; users are able to login without a valid home directory (they will be placed in /).

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