Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd

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OS: AIX 4.3.2

I downloaded openssh. from and installed it
using SMIT.

Please note: I have not been able to shutdown the machine - not sure if this
is one of those times when it is required.

I proceed to run /etc/rc.openssh start and get the following

Starting OpenSSH daemon on port 22
Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd
Symbol setauthdb in sshd is undefined
Error was: Exec format error
rc.openssh: CMD: error detected in '/usr/local/sbin/sshd -f
/etc/openssh/sshd_config -h /etc/openssh/ssh_host_key'

My /etc/openssh directory has:


running from the command line  /usr/local/sbin/sshd -f
/etc/openssh/sshd_config -h /etc/openssh/ssh_host_key gives me the following

exec(): 0509-036 Cannot load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd because of the
following errors:
        0509-023 Symbol setauthdb in sshd is not defined.
        0509-026 System error: Cannot run a file that does not have a valid

I have searched and searched relevant sites and the Web for more info on
"setauthdb" and know it is a function within a .c library (libc.a).

I have a suspicion that LDAP is somehow related as it creeps out from time
to time in articles or posts I read.

Anybody seen this? Any pointers? - All appreciated.

Peter Brown

Re: Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd

Peter Brown wrote:
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Errors like this usually mean that the executable was compiled on a
later version of AIX than the one you are trying to run it on.
Sometimes programs built on a particular patch level of AIX 4.3.3 will
not run on earlier patch levels of 4.3.3, for example; I have had that
happen to me specifically with OpenSSH.

In this case, it looks like AIX introduced a new libc function named
setauthdb at some point, OpenSSH was built to use that function, and the
function does not exist yet on your AIX oslevel.

Solutions?  (1) Get an earlier version/build of OpenSSH; (2) Build it
yourself on your AIX 4.3.2 system; (3) upgrade AIX.


Re: Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd

Hi Dan,

Thank you for the insight - I have been so buried in try this - try that,
tweak this, tweak that, that your suggestion never occurred to me. Thanks
for pulling my head out of the hole ;-)

I will go ahead and try an earlier version.

Peter Brown
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Re: Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd

Follow up:

For my version of OS AIX 4.3.2 the openssh- from the bullfreeware
site works find.

Peter Brown
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Re: Could not load program /usr/local/sbin/sshd

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Starting in OpenSSH 3.7p1, sshd will use setauthdb *if* it's detected on
the build system at build time.  This fixes some problems with recording
logins when the user's password registry is non-local (eg LDAP).

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The last case of that was probably strsep(), which IBM introduced in
one of the AIX 4.3.3 maintenance levels.  OpenSSH would detect and use
strsep if built on a later-level 4.3.3 box, and fail when run on an
earlier 4.3.3 ML.

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or (4) Get a current binary compiled on an earlier version of AIX.
Coincidentally, I have one available[1] :-).  Note that versions earlier
than 3.7.1p1 have a potential security problem[2].

[1] /

Darren Tucker (dtucker at
GPG key 8FF4FA69 / D9A3 86E9 7EEE AF4B B2D4  37C9 C982 80C7 8FF4 FA69
    Good judgement comes with experience. Unfortunately, the experience
usually comes from bad judgement.

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