External Authentication (httpd)

This document describes the steps needed to enable External Authentication (httpd) on the Appliance against an IPA Server.

Once external authentication is enabled, users will be able to login to the Appliance using their IPA Server credentials. User accounts will be automatically created on the Appliance and relevant information imported from the IPA Server.

To allow IPA server defined users to login to the Appliance, they must be members of at least one group on the IPA server which needs to be defined in the Appliance under Configure->Configuration->Access Control->Groups with the appropriate role assigned to that group.

The Appliance comes pre-loaded with the necessary IPA Client software to be able to connect to the IPA Server. The software is just not configured by default.

Enabling External Authentication is done by first enabling it in the Appliance Web UI then via the Appliance Console. Disabling External Authentication and returning to Internal Database Authentication also needs to be done in both the Appliance Web UI and then the Appliance Console.


Appliance Requirements

  • For an Appliance to leverage an IPA Server on the network, the Appliance must have time synchronization enabled. This can be done by either configuring NTP in the Appliance UI, from Configure->Configuration->Zone->Server->NTP Settings or by using the Virtual Machine’s hosting provider’s Advanced Setting to Synchronize Time. Both Appliance and IPA Server must have their clocks synchronized otherwise Kerberos and LDAP based authentication will fail.

  • The IPA Server needs to be known by DNS and accessible by name. If DNS is not configured accordingly, the hosts files need to be updated to reflect both IPA server and the Appliance on both virtual machines.


Configuring Appliance for External Authentication:

  • Appliance UI
    1. Login to the Appliance via an administrative account
    2. Select Configure->Configuration
    3. Click on Authentication
    4. In the Authentication section, set Mode to External (httpd)
    5. In the Role Settings section, select the Get User Groups from External Authentication (https)
    6. Click on Save
  • Appliance Console
    1. Login via the admin Username
    2. Summary screen should show External Auth as not configured, Press any key
    3. From the Advanced Setting menu, select the menu item Configure External Authentication (httpd)
    4. Enter the Fully qualified Hostname of the IPA Server, i.e. ipaserver.test.company.com
    5. Enter the IPA Server domain, i.e. test.company.com
    6. Enter the IPA Server Realm, i.e. TEST.COMPANY.COM
    7. Press enter to select the default IPA Server Principal, i.e. admin
    8. Enter the Password of the IPA Server Principal
    9. Review details, and Enter y to proceed.

    Note: If any of the following conditions are true, the Configuration will fail:

    • The IPA server is not reachable by its FQDN
    • The IPA Server cannot reach the appliance by its FQDN
    • The time is not synchronized between the Appliance and the IPA Server
    • The IPA server admin password specified is incorrect

Configuring Appliance back to Internal Database Authentication:

  • Appliance UI
    1. Login to the Appliance via an administrative account
    2. Select Configure->Configuration
    3. Click on Authentication
    4. In the Authentication section, set Mode to Database
    5. Click on Save
  • Appliance Console
    1. Login via the admin Username
    2. Summary screen should have External Auth showing the fully qualified host name of the IPA server, Press any key
    3. select the menu item Configure External Authentication (httpd)
    4. Configure External Authentication (httpd) would show the currently configured IPA Server Hostname and Domain.
    5. Enter y to Un-Configure the IPA Client
    6. Enter n to not proceed with the Re-Configuration.

Optional Configuration via the Appliance Console CLI

In addition to using the Appliance Console, External Authentication can be optionally configured and un-configured via the Appliance Console Command Line Interface.

Appliance Console CLI command and relevant options include:

/bin/appliance_console_cli --host <appliance_fqdn>
                           --ipaserver <ipa_server_fqdn>
                           --ipadomain <domain_of_ipa_server>
                           --iparealm <realm_of_ipa_server>
                           --ipaprincipal <ipa_server_principal>
                           --ipapassword <ipa_server_password>
                           --uninstall-ipa

Note:

  • specifying --host will update the hostname of the appliance. If this step was already performed via the Appliance Console and the necessary updates made to /etc/hosts if DNS is not properly configured, the --host option can be omitted.
  • --ipadomain will be based on the appliance domain name if not specified.
  • --iparealm will be based on the domain name of the ipaserver if not specified.
  • --ipaprincipal will default to admin if not specified.

Configuring External Authentication Example:

$ ssh root@appliance.test.company.com
appliance# /bin/appliance_console_cli --host appliance.test.company.com \
                                      --ipaserver ipaserver.test.company.com \
                                      --ipadomain test.company.com \
                                      --iparealm TEST.COMPANY.COM \
                                      --ipaprincipal admin \
                                      --ipapassword smartvm1

Un-Configuring External Authentication Example:

$ ssh root@appliance.test.company.com
appliance# /bin/appliance_console_cli --uninstall-ipa

Manual Configuration

The following Instructions are for informational purposes and describe how to manually install the necessary packages and configure the External Authentication (i.e. what is currently done behind the scene via the Appliance Console):

  • Installing the required packages - Installation
    • The packages required for enabling External Authentication are installed by default on the Appliance so these steps are intended to assist when building an appliance from scratch.
    • The installation instructions are targeted for the CentOS 6.x based ManageIQ Appliance.
  • Enabling External Authentication - Configuration