Enabling Authentication with Kerberos
If you have enabled Kerberos authentication for Greenplum Database, you can set up Greenplum Command Center to accept connections from Kerberos-authenticated users.
Greenplum Database and Command Center include support for the Generic Security Service Applications Program Interface (GSS-API) standard. A related standard, Simple and Protected GSS-API Negotiation Mechanism (SPNEGO), describes the protocol GSS-API clients and servers use to agree on the method of authentication.
With a SPNEGO-compliant web application such as Command Center, the client and server agree on the authentication method on the client’s initial HTTP request. If Kerberos authentication is not supported on both ends of the connection the server falls back to basic authentication, and displays a login form requesting a user name and password. If a user has authenticated on the workstation with Kerberos and has a valid ticket granting ticket, the web browser offers the user’s credential to the Command Center web server. A Kerberos-enabled Command Center web server is configured to handle the authenticated user’s connection request in one of three modes, called strict, normal, or gpmon-only.
gpmonuser for database connections.
gpmondatabase role for all Greenplum Database connections. No client principals are needed in the Command Center’s keytab file.
If you have set up Kerberos authentication for Greenplum Database, most of the configuration required to enable Command Center Kerberos authentication has been done. The Command Center Kerberos configuration builds upon the Greenplum Database Kerberos setup.
Kerberos authentication can be enabled by responding to prompts when you set up a new Command Center instance with the
gpcmdr --setup command, or you can use the
gpcmdr --krbenable <instance-name> command to enable Kerberos for an existing Command Center instance.
Kerberos authentication must be enabled for Greenplum Database. See Using Kerberos Authentication for instructions. Make sure the following prerequisites are met before you continue:
krb5-workstationpackage and associated libraries (
libkrb5*) must be installed on the Greenplum master host and each client workstation.
- The date and time on the Greenplum master host and all client workstations must be synchronized with the KDC.
krb5.confconfiguration file must be the same on the KDC host, the Greenplum master host, and client workstations.
- The KDC database must have a service principal for Greenplum Database. The default service name for Greenplum Database is
postgres/<master-host>@<realm>. You can choose a service name other than
postgres, but it must match the value of the
krb_srvnameparameter in the
- A keytab file with the Greenplum Database principal must be installed on the Greenplum master host and identified by the
krb_server_keyfileparameter in the
- Each client workstation must have a keytab file containing their Kerberos principal,
Before you configure a Command Center instance for Kerberos authentication, you must create the required Kerberos principals. All of the principals used with Command Center are created in the Greenplum Database Kerberos realm. Command Center users can use the same Kerberos principal to log in to Command Center and Greenplum Database.
A service principal is needed for the Command Center web server. This principal has the format
HTTP/<host>@<realm>. For example, if users access Command Center at the URL
<host> part of the service key is
mdw.example.com and the
<realm> part is the Greenplum Database Kerberos realm, for example
Note that Kerberos authentication only works if Command Center users enter the host in the same format specified in the Kerberos service principal. If the principal specifies the FQDN, for example, using the host’s IP address in the browser URL will not work; the web server will fall back to basic authentication, presenting a login screen.
Command Center uses the
gpmon Greenplum role to access the
gpperfmon database, which contains data presented in the Command Center UI.
You can choose to authenticate the
gpmon user with Kerberos or with basic authentication. To use Kerberos, you must create a principal for the
If you choose to use basic authentication you do not need a Kerberos principal for the
gpmon user. The
gpmon user will authenticate with Greenplum Database using the password saved in the
~gpadmin/.pgpass file on the host running the Command Center instance. See Changing the gpmon Password for instructions to manage the
Add Kerberos principals for any Command Center users who do not already have principals in the KDC for Greenplum Database.
Adding Kerberos Principals
To add the required principals, perform the following steps as root on the KDC server.
Add a principal for the Command Center web service. Be sure to specify the
<gpcc-host>in the same format that users should enter the host in their browsers.
kadmin.local: addprinc HTTP/<gpcc-host>@<realm>
If you want the
gpmondatabase user to use Kerberos authentication, add a
kadmin.local: addprinc gpmon@<realm>
Add principals for any new Command Center users.
kadmin.local: addprinc cc_user1@<realm>
Repeat for each new Command Center user.
After you have created all of the Kerberos principals needed, you create and distribute keytab files. Keytab files contain Kerberos principals and encrypted keys based on the principals’ Kerberos passwords. Keytab files are needed for Greenplum Database, the Command Center instance, and each Command Center and database user.
The Command Center instance is usually installed on the Greenplum master and, when this is true, a single keytab file can be shared by Greenplum Database and the Command Center instance. Running Command Center on the Greenplum master is recommended, since it confines authentication with the database to a single host.
If you install the Command Center instance on a host other than the Greenplum master, you will need to create a separate keytab file. Make sure this keytab can be accessed by the operating system user running Greenplum Command Center.
You must also create a keytab file for each Greenplum Database or Command Center user containing just the user’s principal. This keytab file is installed on the user’s workstation to enable the user to authenticate to Kerberos.
If the Greenplum Command Center web server is running on the Greenplum Database master host, Command Center can share the Greenplum Database keytab file. You need to create a keytab file that contains the following principals:
- Service key for the
postgresprocess on the Greenplum Database master host, for example
- Service key created for Command Center in the previous section, for example
- A principal for every Kerberos-authenticated Greenplum Database or Command Center user.
All service keys and principals should be in the Greenplum Database realm.
To create a keytab file for Greenplum Database and Command Center, perform perform the following steps as root on the KDC server.
Create a keytab file and add the Greeplum Database service key, the command center service key, and all database and Command Center users.
kadmin.local: ktadd -k gpdb-kerberos.keytab postgres/mdw.example.com@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM HTTP/mdw.example.com@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM
You can enter one or more principals with each
ktaddcommand. You can specify a wildcard using the
-globoption. For example this command adds all principals in the
GPDB.EXAMPLE.COMrealm, including service principals and admin users.
kadmin.local: ktadd -k gpdb-kerberos.keytab -glob *@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM
Copy the keytab you created to the Greenplum Database master host, replacing the old keytab file. The location of the file is given by the
krb_server_keyfileparameter in the
$MASTER_DATA_FILE/postgresql.conffile. Set the permissions on the file so that it can be read only by the
Update any entries required for new Greenplum Database principals in the
pg_ident.conffiles. See Update the Greenplum Database pg_hba.conf File for details.
If the Command Center web server is on a different host than the Greenplum Database master, you need separate keytab files for Greenplum Database and Command Center. The keytab file for Greenplum Database may not require any updates, but you will need to create a keytab file for Command Center.
- The Greenplum Database keytab file must contain the Greenplum Database service key and all principals for users with database access.
- The Command Center keytab file contains the Command Center service key and principals for users that have Command Center access. Users with Command Center access must also have Greenplum Database access, so user principals in the Command Center keytab file must also be in the Greenplum Database keytab file.
Update the Greenplum Database keytab if you created new database roles and principals for Command Center. For example, if you want to use Kerberos authentication for the
gpmon user, you must create a principal and add it to both the Greenplum Database and Command Center keytab files.
To create the keytab file for Command Center, perform the following steps as root on the KDC host.
Create a keytab file and add the Command Center service key.
kadmin.local: ktadd -k gpcc-kerberos.keytab HTTP/mdw.example.com@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM
If you want to authenticate the
gpmonuser with Kerberos, add the
kadmin.local: ktadd -k gpcc-kerberos.keytab gpmon@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM
Add principals for all Command Center users:
kadmin.local: ktadd -k gpcc-kerberos.keytab cc_user1@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM cc_user2@GPDB.EXAMPLE.COM
You can enter one or more principals with each
Copy the keytab you created to the the host running Command Center, for example:
$ scp gpcc-kerberos.keytab gpadmin@<host-name>:/home/gpadmin
Update any entries required for new principals in the
pg_ident.conffiles on the Greenplum master. See Update the Greenplum Database pg_hba.conf File.
The Greenplum Database
$MASTER_DATA_DIRECTORY/pg_hba.conf configuration file determines which authentication methods to use to allow database access.
If you created new Command Center users, you may need to add an entry to allow access via Command Center. The entry for an individual user has this format:
host database <user-name> <gpcc CIDR> gss [options]
Authentication for the
gpmon user needs to be set up in the
pg_hba.conf file in one of the following ways.
/home/gpadmin/.gpass file contains the password for
gpmon to use. See Changing the gpmon Password for details. An entry in the
pg_hba.conf file specifies the md5 authentication method for
local all gpmon md5
On the Greenplum Database host only, the
gpmon user can access databases without authentication:
local all gpmon trust
/home/gpadmin/.pgpass file is not needed.
A Kerberos principal has been created for the
gpmon user and added to the Greenplum Database and Command Center keytab files.
host all gpmon <gpcc CIDR>] gss [options]
Remove any existing reject rules for
host all gpmon <auth-method> reject
See Using Kerberos Authentication for more information about the
Set up the Command Center instance to use the Command Center keytab file you created.
If you are creating a new Command Center instance with the
gpcmdr --setup command, answer
Y to the prompt
Enable kerberos login for this intance?, and enter the Command Center host name and path to the keytab file at the prompts. See Create the Greenplum Command Center Instance for complete instructions.
If you are adding Kerberos authentication to an existing Command Center instance, use the
gpcmdr --krbenable <instance-name> command. For example, if your Command Center instance is named
my-gpcc enter this command:
$ gpcmdr --krbenable my-gpcc
Enter the Command Center host name and path to the keytab file at the prompts. See the gpcmdr Reference for more information.
To use Kerberos Command Center authentication, the user must have authenticated with Kerberos using the
kinit command-line tool.
The user then accesses the Command Center web server with a URL containing the host name in the format specified in the Command Center service principal and the port number, for example
The web browser must be configured to use the SPNEGO protocol so that it offers the user’s Kerberos principal to the web browser. The method for configuring web browsers varies with different browsers and operating systems. Search online to find instructions to set up your browser and OS.