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FreeIPA is an open-source Identity, Policy and Audit (IPA) suite, sponsored by RedHat, which provides services similar to Microsoft's Active Directory

Configure as IPA client

Make sure your clocks are synchronized. Kerberos will not work otherwise. NTP is recommended.

Follow the LDAP auth instructions to setup SSSD. Use a SSSD configuration similar to the following, substituting the requisite fields:

config_file_version = 2
services = nss, pam, sudo, ssh
domains = EXAMPLE.COM
#debug_level = 9

#debug_level = 9
cache_credentials = true
krb5_store_password_if_offline = true
id_provider = ipa
auth_provider = ipa
access_provider = ipa
chpass_provider = ipa  # Optional if you set SRV records in DNS  # Optional if you set SRV records in DNS

Configure pam in similar way to LDAP, replacing with

Create an /etc/krb5.conf file for your domain:

        default_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
        dns_lookup_realm = false
        dns_lookup_kdc = false
        rdns = false
        ticket_lifetime = 24h
        fowardable = yes
        #allow_weak_crypto = yes  # Only if absolutely necessary. Currently FreeIPA supports strong crypto.

        EXAMPLE.COM = {
                admin_server =
                kdc =
                default_admin =

[domain_realm] = EXAMPLE.COM = EXAMPLE.COM

        default = FILE:/var/log/krb5libs.log
        kdc = FILE:/var/log/krb5kdc.log
        admin_server = FILE:/var/log/kadmin.log

Add the client to the IPA server (From Fedora documentation):

  1. Login and request and admin session kinit admin
  2. Create a host entry ipa host-add --force --ip-address=
    (if the host does not have a static IP, use ipa host-add
  3. Set the client to be managed by IPA ipa host-add-managedby
  4. Generate keytab for the client ipa-getkeytab -s -p host/ -k /tmp/client1.keytab

Install the keytab on the client:

$ scp krb5.keytab
# mv krb5.ketab /etc/krb5.keytab

SSH integration


You can configure SSHD to fetch users SSH public key from the LDAP directory by uncommenting those lines in /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

 AuthorizedKeysCommand /usr/bin/sss_ssh_authorizedkeys
 AuthorizedKeysCommandUser nobody

Then restart sshd.

You can add your ssh key to your FreeIPA user account through the web interface or use the -sshpubkey='ssh-rsa AAAA...' argument to the ipa user-mod or ipa user-create commands.

Test it:

 sudo -u nobody sss_ssh_authorizedkeys <username>

You should see your ssh public key on standard output and no error message on standard error.


You can configure SSH to fetch hosts public key information from their directory entries in FreeIPA by adding those lines in /etc/ssh/ssh_config:

 GlobalKnownHostsFile /var/lib/sss/pubconf/known_hosts
 ProxyCommand /usr/bin/sss_ssh_knownhostsproxy -p %p %h

See Also