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Integrating FreeBSD w/ FreeIPA/SSSD


Integrating FreeBSD w/ FreeIPA/SSSD

One of my more recent projects was to integrate FreeBSD into a Kerberos-secured authentication and authorization system based on the FreeIPA architecture. This post is an aggregate HOWTO with information sourced from a couple public (and one private) websites and a mailing list in addition to my own personal experience. The architecture and infrastructure of the FreeIPA system are beyond the scope of this post and will not be covered here. The focus is installing and configuring a client to use the FreeIPA-based authentication and authorization system.

Prerequisites and Requirements

  1. Client must have A & PTR records in DNS
  2. Client hostname must be set to it’s FQDN
  3. Client host table must include a matching FQDN/IP address record
  4. Client should have a so-called break-glass UNIX account
  5. Binary package repository w/ packages supporting FreeIPA
  6. A Kerberos keytab for the client

It is unknown what behavior results due the lack of meeting requirements 1 – 3.

The break-glass account is a local, UNIX-based account on the client filtered via SSSD policy/config.  It will not use SSSD for authentication and it can be arbitrary in nature, so long as it is filtered.  This is useful when remote access is lost due to service outage or similar.  It is also useful to open a session to this user while this process is executed.

Client services won’t start and the client will not authenticate against FreeIPA without the modules installed with the binary packages without having a prepared repository.  This repository must contain the requisite packages compiled with the custom options as described below.

Finally, the host keytab file is generated in the FreeIPA infrastructure during host enrollment.  The keytab file can be retrieved from the IPA server using ipa-getkeytab.  Securely copy this file to the client with mode 0600 to /etc/krb5.keytab.


The end goal of this work is to integrate FreeBSD into the FreeIPA architecture utilizing remote ssh and sudo.  No other authentication or authorization methods were attempted.  Additionally, this post is being constructed from notes and memory.  Hopefully nothing has been missed and everything is accurate, but it is possible this is not the case.  Help me keep this correct, if necessary.

There are two high level tasks to be completed; Generate the binary package repository with FreeIPA-enabled packages and client installation/configuration. The binary package repository only needs to be done once. Ongoing maintenance of binary repositories is necessary to make newer versions available when necessary.

Building The Binary Package Repository

Execute this process to build a binary package repository containing the necessary packages w/ custom options enabled. It is assumed a pre-existing Poudriere build and distribution environment is available.

$jail_id is the Poudriere jail ID within which the repo is to be built

$portstree_id is the Poudrere Ports tree ID on which to execute the build

$ cat >> $jail_id-make.conf <EOF
$ cat > pkg_list <<EOF
$ poudriere options -c -n -p $portstree_id security/sssd security/sudo security/openssh-portable
$ poudriere bulk -f pkg_list -j $jail_id -p $portstree_id

Step 3 presents users with dialog boxes populated with various radio options. A null radio is an unselected option while options denoted by an “X” are selected. Configure options for each of the packages as described below:

security/sssd: Enable SMB (Builds and installs the IPA provider)
security/sudo: Enable SSSD backend
security/openssh-portable: Enable MIT Kerberos

Installing/Configuring The Client

The procedure below includes commands executed on the command line as well as descriptions of operations needed to be completed such as editing or creating a file. Several commands and/or files include hostnames inherently describing a dependency on DNS. Open a standby shell in order to maintain access to the system during this operation as access to the system can be halted in executing it.

$cblrserver is the hostname or IP of the  server from which to grab content.  This is simply an HTTP accessible resource.

$ipaserver is the hostname or IP of the IPA server with which to communicate

$domain is the domain of the target host

$hostname is the fully qualified hostname

1) Configure the binary package repository and install the required packages:

$ cat > /etc/pkg/ipa.conf <<-EOF
ipa: {
  url: "http://$cblrserver/cobbler/repo_mirror/freebsd-10_0-amd64-pkgs-ipa",
  mirror_type: "none",
  enabled: yes
$ pkg update -f
$ mkdir -p /etc/ipa /usr/compat/linux/proc /var/log/sssd /var/run/sss/private /var/db/sss
$ pkg install -y -r ipa cyrus-sasl-gssapi sssd sudo openssh-portable pam_mkhomedir

2) Configure Kerberos and SSSD

$ cat /etc/krb5.conf
  default_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
  default_keytab_name = FILE:/etc/krb5.keytab
  default_tkt_enctypes = aes256-cts des-cbc-crc aes128-cts arcfour-hmac
  default_tgs_enctypes = aes256-cts des-cbc-crc aes128-cts arcfour-hmac
  dns_lookup_realm = false
  dns_lookup_kdc = false
  rdns = false
  ticket_lifetime = 24h
  forwardable = yes

    kdc = $ipaserver:88
    master_kdc = $ipaserver:88
    admin_server = $ipaserver:749
    default_domain = $domain
    pkinit_anchors = FILE:/etc/ipa/ca.crt

  .example.com = EXAMPLE.COM

  kdc = FILE:/var/log/krb5/krb5kdc.log
  admin_server = FILE:/var/log/krb5/kadmin.log
  kadmin_local = FILE:/var/log/krb5/kadmin_local.log
  default = FILE:/var/log/krb5/krb5lib.log

$ cat /usr/local/etc/sssd/sssd.conf
#debug_level = 9
cache_credentials = True
krb5_store_password_if_offline = True
krb5_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
ipa_domain = $domain
id_provider = ipa
auth_provider = ipa
access_provider = ipa
ipa_hostname = $hostname
chpass_provider = ipa
ipa_server = _srv_, $ipaserver
ldap_tls_cacert = /etc/ipa/ca.crt
krb5_keytab = /etc/krb5.keytab

services = nss, pam, ssh, sudo
config_file_version = 2
domains = $domain

filter_users = root,smash
homedir_substring = /home




3) Configure NSS similarly to the below:

$ cat /etc/nsswitch.conf
group: files sss
group_compat: nis
hosts: files dns
networks: files
passwd: files sss
passwd_compat: nis
shells: files
services: compat
services_compat: nis
protocols: files
rpc: files
sudoers: files sss
netgroup: files

4) Configure and mount the linproc filesystem

# echo "linproc /usr/compat/linux/proc linprocfs rw 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
# mount -a

5) Configure rc.conf and domainname

$ cat /etc/rc.conf
$ sudo domainname example.com

6) Configure openssl-portable similarly to:

$ cat /usr/local/etc/ssh/sshd_config
GSSAPIAuthentication yes
GSSAPICleanupCredentials yes
PasswordAuthentication yes

7) Download the CA certificate

$ wget -O /etc/ipa/ca.crt http://$ipaserver/ipa/config/ca.crt

8) Configure PAM according to these configs:

$ cat /etc/pam.d/sshd
# auth
auth sufficient pam_opie.so no_warn no_fake_prompts
auth requisite pam_opieaccess.so no_warn allow_local
#auth sufficient pam_krb5.so no_warn try_first_pass
#auth sufficient pam_ssh.so no_warn try_first_pass
auth sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so use_first_pass
auth required pam_unix.so no_warn try_first_pass

# account
account required pam_nologin.so
#account required pam_krb5.so
account required pam_login_access.so
account sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so ignore_unknown_user
account required pam_unix.so

# session
#session optional pam_ssh.so want_agent
session required /usr/local/lib/pam_mkhomedir.so
session required pam_permit.so

# password
#password sufficient pam_krb5.so no_warn try_first_pass
password sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so
password required pam_unix.so no_warn try_first_pass
$ cat /etc/pam.d/system
# auth
auth sufficient pam_opie.so no_warn no_fake_prompts
auth requisite pam_opieaccess.so no_warn allow_local
#auth sufficient pam_krb5.so no_warn try_first_pass
#auth sufficient pam_ssh.so no_warn try_first_pass
auth sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so
auth required pam_unix.so no_warn try_first_pass nullok

# account
#account required pam_krb5.so
account sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so ignore_unknown_user
account required pam_login_access.so
account required pam_unix.so

# session
#session optional pam_ssh.so want_agent
session required pam_lastlog.so no_fail

# password
#password sufficient pam_krb5.so no_warn try_first_pass
password sufficient /usr/local/lib/pam_sss.so
password required pam_unix.so no_warn try_first_pass

9) Create /etc/netgroup with the following script. Set this script to run via cron to rebuild the file periodically.

This script is ported from one of the references internally to update /etc/netgroup locally on FreeBSD hosts. LDAPSRV is the hostname or IP of the LDAP server to query. This is generally the same as the IPA servers internally. Executing this script via cron will keep the file updated.

# Construct a netgroup file from LDAP hostgroup definitions.
# This is a hack for FreeBSD IPA clients because they can't get netgroup
# data through LDAP or sssd backends (lacking nsswitch/nsdb support).

export PATH

progname=$(basename $0)

trap "rm -f $tmpf" EXIT

ldapsearch -LLLx -H ldap://${LDAPSRV} \
  -b 'dc=example,dc=com' \
  '(objectClass=$netgroup)' cn $netgroupobj \
| while read line; do
# new line between records; this means a record ended.
if [ "$line" = "" ]; then
  # output netgroup line if we have members.
  if [ "$members" != "" ]; then
    echo "$groupname \\" >>$tmpf
    for host in $members; do
      echo "$host \\" >>$tmpf
    echo "" >>$tmpf

# reset data

# parse "key: value" from LDAP
key=${line%%: *}
value=${line##*: }

if [ "$key" = "dn" ]; then
elif [ "$key" = "cn' ]; then
elif [ "$key" = "$netgroupobj" ]; then
  members="$members $host"

if [ ! -s "$tmpf" ]; then
  echo "$progname: refusing to install an empty file, bailing" >&2
  exit 1

install -m 0644 -o root -g wheel $tmpf /etc/netgroup
if [ $rc -ne 0 ]; then
  echo "$progname: error installing /etc/netgroup (rc = $rc)" >&2
  exit 2

exit 0

10) Restart services or reboot

$ sudo service sssd start
$ sudo service sshd stop &amp;amp;&amp;amp; sudo service openssh start

Upon completion of this procedure, the target host has been configured to communicate with the authentication and authorization frameworks. Reboot is not required, but certainly recommended.


  1. The FreeBSD Forums
  2. Opposite Blog
  3. FreeIPA-USERS Mailing List


Data and information described on this blog are for informational purposes only. The author of this blog provides no warranty/guarantee, expressed or implied, that this data and information will function as described here. Readers are expected to exercise due diligence when researching, developing, and deploying techniques and methods for use within their environments.

Comments posted are the explicit opinions of the comment poster themselves and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the author of this blog.

Categories: FreeBSD
  1. April 12, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    To follow up on this post…

    It was discovered that some hosts, despite being installed from the same distribution, were failing with respect to sudo. The behavior exhibited was symptomatic of a PAM configuration problem.

    To resolve, /etc/pam.d/su was cp’d to /etc/pam.d/sudo. An entry for each facility in this service was added specifying the pam_sss.so module.

    It is also recommended to remove the module argument “use_first_pass” from the “auth” facility of each of the PAM configuration files.

  1. March 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM

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