In cases where you have to disable the login to all users,except root, for example when you have to do a backup, you have to use pam_nologin.so (man nologin).
1) Edit the pam file for the service you want to control, in this example i modify ssh pam control file, located in /etc/pam.d/sshd
Add this line
account required pam_nologin.so
2) Create the /etc/nologin file, just do “touch /etc/nologin”
This should disable the login from ssh. If you want to disable the login from terminal, modify the /etc/pam.d/login file.
3) To re-enable the login just remove /etc/nologin