Red Hat released RHEL 6.2 on December 6th. From my point of view, the greatest news in the release is that IPA (or now called Identity Management) is now fully supported and available in the RHEL 6 base channel without additional subscription costs.
Upstream project is freeIPA and is available trough the default Fedora repos.
About central Identity Management
IPA stands for Identification, Auditing, Policy. The focus in this article is on identification of users.
In the past, there have been a lot of solutions available to centrally manage users and its access to services. Just to name a few: LDAP, Kerberos, PAM, MS Active Directory, Novell Directory Server and countless others. All of those solutions have one in common: They are very powerful and very complex to set up and maintain. Because they are so complex, a lot of system administrators just do not use them and distribute SSH-keys, user credentials etc. by script without real central management, the nightmare of every security officer.
What is IPA?
The missing solution was a glue of LDAP and Kerberos which is easy to install and maintain, redundant and scalable from small office environments up to large enterprise installations. here it comes: IPA, which makes system administrators and security managers friends again.
IPA comes with a powerful CLI and a web interface for people that are afraid of a shell.
One of the cool stuff in IPA is its multi-master replication feature and automatic fail over facility. The clients are able to look up IPA servers with SRV DNS records, which are – of course – handled by IPA.
Lets do some stuff
One thing is just writing about how cool IPA is, but lets set up a high available centrally managed identity management system. This guide is written for RHEL 6.2 IPA-Servers and clients but should also work with freeIPA and Fedora 15 and later (Let me know if you have some issues).
Requirements are straightforward:
- 1Gbyte of RAM
- approx. 6Gbyte of disk (including operating system)
- DNS entries for all IPA servers (including PTR records)
- Fully updated RHEL 6.2 GA
- Firefox on the IPA servers if you want to use the web interface
NTP is very important since Kerberos is quite picky about synchronized system time. Ensure it is configured and running on all involved servers.
- IP network is 192.168.100.0/24
- Domain is example.com
- Kerberos realm is EXAMPLE.COM
- IPA-Server 1 is ipa1.example.com
- IPA-Server 2 is ipa2.example.com
- IPA-Client 1 is ipa-client1.example.com
- IPA-Client 2 is ipa-client2.example.com
- All passwords used are “somepassword” (needles to tell you to choose your own passwords
- Main DNS is at 192.168.100.1
- IPA-Clients are using ipa1.example.com and ipa2.example.com as there DNS servers.
Installation of the first IPA Server
yum -y install ipa-server bind-dyndb-ldap firefox xorg-x11-xauth
You are now ready to set up IPA. There are just a couple of questions, the non-default answers for this example are in red.
[root@ipa1 ~]# ipa-server-install --setup-dns --forwarder=192.168.100.1 The log file for this installation can be found in /var/log/ipaserver-install.log ============================================================================== This program will set up the IPA Server. This includes: * Configure a stand-alone CA (dogtag) for certificate management * Configure the Network Time Daemon (ntpd) * Create and configure an instance of Directory Server * Create and configure a Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) * Configure Apache (httpd) * Configure DNS (bind) To accept the default shown in brackets, press the Enter key. Existing BIND configuration detected, overwrite? [no]: yes Enter the fully qualified domain name of the computer on which you're setting up server software. Using the form
. Example: master.example.com. Server host name [ipa1.example.com]: Warning: skipping DNS resolution of host ipa1.example.com The domain name has been calculated based on the host name. Please confirm the domain name [example.com]: The IPA Master Server will be configured with Hostname: ipa1.example.com IP address: 192.168.100.227 Domain name: example.com The kerberos protocol requires a Realm name to be defined. This is typically the domain name converted to uppercase. Please provide a realm name [EXAMPLE.COM]: Certain directory server operations require an administrative user. This user is referred to as the Directory Manager and has full access to the Directory for system management tasks and will be added to the instance of directory server created for IPA. The password must be at least 8 characters long. Directory Manager password: somepassword Password (confirm): somepassword The IPA server requires an administrative user, named 'admin'. This user is a regular system account used for IPA server administration. IPA admin password: somepassword Password (confirm): somepassword Do you want to configure the reverse zone? [yes]: Please specify the reverse zone name [100.168.192.in-addr.arpa.]: Using reverse zone 100.168.192.in-addr.arpa. The following operations may take some minutes to complete. Please wait until the prompt is returned. Configuring ntpd [1/4]: stopping ntpd [2/4]: writing configuration [3/4]: configuring ntpd to start on boot [4/4]: starting ntpd done configuring ntpd. Configuring directory server for the CA: Estimated time 30 seconds [1/3]: creating directory server user [2/3]: creating directory server instance [3/3]: restarting directory server done configuring pkids.
Lot of output omitted
Configuring named: [1/9]: adding DNS container [2/9]: setting up our zone [3/9]: setting up reverse zone [4/9]: setting up our own record [5/9]: setting up kerberos principal [6/9]: setting up named.conf [7/9]: restarting named [8/9]: configuring named to start on boot [9/9]: changing resolv.conf to point to ourselves done configuring named. ============================================================================== Setup complete Next steps: 1. You must make sure these network ports are open: TCP Ports: * 80, 443: HTTP/HTTPS * 389, 636: LDAP/LDAPS * 88, 464: kerberos * 53: bind UDP Ports: * 88, 464: kerberos * 53: bind * 123: ntp 2. You can now obtain a kerberos ticket using the command: 'kinit admin' This ticket will allow you to use the IPA tools (e.g., ipa user-add) and the web user interface. Be sure to back up the CA certificate stored in /root/cacert.p12 This file is required to create replicas. The password for this file is the Directory Manager password [root@ipa1 ~]#
You now need to get a Kerberos ticket:
[root@ipa1 ~]# kinit admin Password for admin@EXAMPLE.COM: [root@ipa1 ~]#
Fire up firefox and point it to https://ipa1.example.com and follow the link provided in the error message. You will see the instructions needed to use Kerberos as authentication method. When importing the cert into Firefox, REALLY check all three boxes!
Afterwards you are automatically logged in, if you got your Kerberos ticket before (kinit admin)
Setting up a Recplica
For now, we one IPA server. If it failes, no one can log in to any system anymore. This is of course unacceptable and needs to be changed. So lets set up a replica to add high availability to our central identity management system.
Log in to ipa1.example.com and fire up ipa-replica-prepare to collect the data needed for the replica.
Non-default answers are coloured red
[root@ipa1 ~]# ipa-replica-prepare ipa2.example.com Directory Manager (existing master) password: somepassword Preparing replica for ipa2.example.com from ipa1.example.com Creating SSL certificate for the Directory Server Creating SSL certificate for the dogtag Directory Server Creating SSL certificate for the Web Server Exporting RA certificate Copying additional files Finalizing configuration Packaging replica information into /var/lib/ipa/replica-info-ipa2.example.com.gpg [root@ipa1 ~]#
/var/lib/ipa/replica-info-ipa2.example.com.gpg keeps all the information needed to set up the replica. You need to copy it by i.e scp to ipa2.example.com.
Now log in to ipa2.example.com and fire up ipa-replica-install
[root@ipa2 ~]# ipa-replica-install --setup-dns --forwarder=192.168.100.1 replica-info-ipa2.example.com.gpg Directory Manager (existing master) password: somepassword Run connection check to master Check connection from replica to remote master 'ipa1.example.com': Directory Service: Unsecure port (389): OK Directory Service: Secure port (636): OK Kerberos KDC: TCP (88): OK Kerberos KDC: UDP (88): OK Kerberos Kpasswd: TCP (464): OK Kerberos Kpasswd: UDP (464): OK HTTP Server: port 80 (80): OK HTTP Server: port 443(https) (443): OK Connection from replica to master is OK. Start listening on required ports for remote master check Get credentials to log in to remote master admin@EXAMPLE.COM password: Execute check on remote master Check connection from master to remote replica 'ipa2.example.com': Directory Service: Unsecure port (389): OK Directory Service: Secure port (636): OK Kerberos KDC: TCP (88): OK Kerberos KDC: UDP (88): OK Kerberos Kpasswd: TCP (464): OK Kerberos Kpasswd: UDP (464): OK HTTP Server: port 80 (80): OK HTTP Server: port 443(https) (443): OK Connection from master to replica is OK. Connection check OK Configuring ntpd [1/4]: stopping ntpd [2/4]: writing configuration [3/4]: configuring ntpd to start on boot [4/4]: starting ntpd done configuring ntpd. Configuring directory server: Estimated time 1 minute
Lot of output omitted
Using reverse zone 100.168.192.in-addr.arpa. Configuring named: [1/8]: adding NS record to the zone [2/8]: setting up reverse zone [3/8]: setting up our own record [4/8]: setting up kerberos principal [5/8]: setting up named.conf [6/8]: restarting named [7/8]: configuring named to start on boot [8/8]: changing resolv.conf to point to ourselves done configuring named. [root@ipa2 ~]#
On ipa2, you need a Kerberos Ticket as well:
root@ipa2 ~]# kinit admin
Unfortunately the default shell for new users is /bin/sh, which should probably be changed.
ipa config-mod --defaultshell=/bin/bash
Testing the replication
Log in to ipa1.example.com and add a new user:
ipa user-add tester1 ipa passwd tester1
You now can check if the user is really available on both servers by firing a ldapsearch command:
ldapsearch -x -b "dc=example, dc=com" uid=tester1
Compare the results of both servers. If they are the same, you have been successfully set up you two-node replicated high available IPA server.
What if ipa1.example.com is not available when I need to add a new user?
Simple answer: There is one way to find out….
Shut down ipa1.example.com
Log in to ipa2.example.com and add a new user:
root@ipa2 ~]# ipa user-add tester2
Start up ipa1.example.com again and run a ldapsearch again:
ldapsearch -x -b "dc=example, dc=com" uid=tester2
Set up a IPA-Client
Whats a centrally managed Identity Management server worth without a client? Nada! Lets set up a RHEL 6.2 server as a client:
[root@ipaclient1 ~]# yum install ipa-client
After installation the setup program needs to be fired up. Non-default answers are coloured red
[root@ipaclient1 ~]# ipa-client-install -p admin Discovery was successful! Hostname: ipaclient1.example.com Realm: EXAMPLE.COM DNS Domain: example.com IPA Server: ipa1.example.com BaseDN: dc=example,dc=com Continue to configure the system with these values? [no]: yes Synchronizing time with KDC... Password for admin@EXAMPLE.COM: somepassword Enrolled in IPA realm EXAMPLE.COM Created /etc/ipa/default.conf Configured /etc/sssd/sssd.conf Configured /etc/krb5.conf for IPA realm EXAMPLE.COM Warning: Hostname (ipaclient1.example.com) not found in DNS DNS server record set to: ipaclient1.example.com -> 192.168.100.253 SSSD enabled NTP enabled Client configuration complete. [root@ipaclient1 ~]#
Testing the login
Log in to your client, you will need to change your password first:
[luc@bond ~]$ ssh 192.168.100.253 -l tester1 firstname.lastname@example.org's password: Password expired. Change your password now. WARNING: Your password has expired. You must change your password now and login again! Changing password for user tester1. Current Password: New password: Retype new password: passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully. Connection to 192.168.100.253 closed. [luc@bond ~]$ ssh 192.168.100.253 -l tester1 email@example.com's password: Last login: Sat Dec 17 19:40:10 2011 from bond.home.delouw.ch Could not chdir to home directory /home/tester1: No such file or directory -bash-4.1$
In this case we do not have a home directory for the user tester1. NFS automount of home directories will be discussed in Part II oder III of this guide.
Now log out of ipaclient1.example.com and shut down ipa1.example.com to check if it is working when one IPA server failed. Needless to say that it is working… (okay, there is a delay of a few seconds)
IPA is not that powerful like MS Active Directory or Novell Directory. There is no support (and most probably there will never be) for multiple and or custom LDAP schemata to keep it simple and easily maintainable, this actually makes the drawbacks into a feature . If you need such features like custom LDAP schemata, you may have a look to RHDS.
Never in the past of information technology is was easier to set up and maintain a centrally managed identity management system. In just a few minutes of work you will have a basic set up of a highly available fault tolerant and scalable identity management server.
Outlook to Part II of this guide
IPA does not only allow users to be authenticated, but also to restrict them to use particular services only an particular systems. Thanks to Kerberos, it also provides single-sign-on capabilities without providing a password.
As soon as I get some time I’ll write about the following topics:
- Passwordless (and key-less) SSH logins
- Kerberized web applications
- Centralized sudo management
Yes definitively , I have fun with IPA, and as a Linux consultant I expect a lot of work waiting for me.
4 thoughts on “Identity Management with IPA Part I”
Thanks for this post. It seems to contain all the necessary info to get going.
I’ll need an IPA server for user management when I deploy RHEV 3.0 next year and I’ll definitely have a look at the other features to.
It’s also nice that this is available in the default subscription…
Yes, it integrates very well in RHEV-M 3. just fire rhevm-manage-domains -action=add -domain=’ipa.example.com’ -user=’admin’ -password=’supersecret’ 🙂
What I need to find out how to make IPA redundant for RHEV.
Years later and this is still a great piece.
Did you ever write up the follow up articles?
I wrote a lot of follow ups but did not named the articles Part II or Part III. To get an overview about all IPA/IdM related articles, use the tags -> https://blog.delouw.ch/tag/ipa/