Under Fedora Core 4, /etc/pam.d/system-auth says not to edit that file by hand because authconfig overwrites it. However, "man authconfig" doesn't say how to turn on pam_tally.so, and neither does the authconfig GUI. Can you tell me how to turn the pam_tally.so on? This is with regards to your article, "Account locking for Linux via PAM."
Sorry I should have addressed this as part of my tip. I am afraid there is no clean and easy way around this. I tend not to use the authconfig command (or the associated GUI) to configure systems. But if I have to run authconfig, I make copies of the system-auth file before running authconfig. That way I can add back in previous changes made to the file.
I also recommend the use of a central configuration manager like cfengine or puppet to keep files like this up to date from a central point.
This was first published in February 2007