Fix for Cron Failing on VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.5

When trying to enable scheduled jobs via cron on VMware VCSA 6.5 I kept seeing the errors below, and my job would not run.

2017-04-19T09:56:01.996673-04:00 VCSA crond[104661]: PAM _pam_load_conf_file: unable to open config for password-auth
2017-04-19T09:56:01.996797-04:00 VCSA crond[104661]: PAM _pam_load_conf_file: unable to open config for password-auth
2017-04-19T09:56:01.996907-04:00 VCSA crond[104661]: PAM _pam_load_conf_file: unable to open config for password-auth
2017-04-19T09:56:01.997010-04:00 VCSA crond[104661]: (root) PAM ERROR (Permission denied)
2017-04-19T09:56:01.997116-04:00 VCSA crond[104661]: (root) FAILED to authorize user with PAM (Permission denied)

The contents of /etc/pam.d/crond had 3 references to “password-auth”, however there was no file in /etc/pam.d called “password-auth”.  I changed “password-auth” to “system-auth” in /etc/pam.d/crond, as seen below, and everything worked.

account required pam_access.so
account include system-auth
session required pam_loginuid.so
session include system-auth
auth include system-auth

Written By drew

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