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pam_systemd_loadkey - Read password from kernel keyring and set it as PAM authtok



pam_systemd_loadkey reads a NUL-separated password list from the kernel keyring, and sets the last password in the list as the PAM authtok.

The password list is supposed to be stored in the "user" keyring of the root user, by an earlier call to systemd-ask-password(1) with --keyname=. You can pass the keyname to pam_systemd_loadkey via the keyname= option.


The following options are understood:


Takes a string argument which sets the keyname to read. The default is "cryptsetup". During boot, systemd-cryptsetup@.service(8) stores a passphrase or PIN in the keyring. The LUKS2 volume key can also be used, via the link-volume-key option in crypttab(5).

Table 1.  Possible values for keyname.

Value Description
cryptsetup Passphrase or recovery key
fido2-pin Security token PIN
luks2-pin LUKS2 token PIN
tpm2-pin TPM2 PIN

Added in version 255.


The module will log debugging information as it operates.

Added in version 255.


This module is intended to be used when you use LUKS with a passphrase, enable autologin in the display manager, and want to unlock Gnome Keyring / KDE KWallet automatically. So in total, you only enter one password during boot.

You need to set the password of your Gnome Keyring/KWallet to the same as your LUKS passphrase. Then add the following lines to your display manager's PAM config under /etc/pam.d/ (e.g. sddm-autologin):

-auth       optional
-auth       optional
-session    optional auto_start
-session    optional auto_start

And add the following lines to your display manager's systemd service file, so it can access root's keyring:


In this setup, early during the boot process, systemd-cryptsetup@.service(8) will ask for the passphrase and store it in the kernel keyring with the keyname "cryptsetup". Then when the display manager does the autologin, pam_systemd_loadkey will read the passphrase from the kernel keyring, set it as the PAM authtok, and then pam_gnome_keyring and pam_kwallet5 will unlock with the same passphrase.

systemd 256.2