howtos windows AD authentication

Sebastian Walter edited this page Jun 20, 2018 · 4 revisions

The first step in configuring Active Directory-based authentication for the Rocks cluster requires setting up the frontend/head node as if it were any other Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS system. The second step is to configure 411-based file replication, and to join the compute nodes.

Note: These instructions require modifying some system files which are essential for login and name resolution purposes. I strongly suggest making backups of the original configuration files in case you need to restore default settings. While these settings work well for our system, I assume no responsibility for any problems or issues which may arise following use of these notes; they are provided merely for the sake of convenience.

I recommend also removing authconfig and nscd since these things may conflict with winbind. Personally, I disable SELinux too, but I understand that it's either required or desirable in certain settings, and so you may wish to leave it enabled instead.

Configure AD Authentication on the Rocks Head Node/Frontend

1. Remove nscd and authconfig unless necessary for some reason or other:

[root@mycluster ~]# yum remove authconfig nscd

authconfig is harmless unless actively used to modify configuration information, in which case it will wipe out settings suggested below. nscd is largely incompatible with winbind and will result in undesirable behavior if it is allowed to run on the same system.

2. Edit /etc/hosts to map the hostname to the machines non-loopback address, such as:               localhost.localdomain localhost       mycluster

3. Next, edit /etc/nsswitch.conf so that it resembles the text below -- be sure to make a copy of the original file as <code>/etc/nsswitch.conf.orig, just to be safe!

passwd:     files winbind
shadow:     files winbind
group:      files winbind

hosts:      files dns

bootparams: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files

ethers:     files
netmasks:   files
networks:   files
protocols:  files
rpc:        files
services:   files

netgroup:   files

publickey:  nisplus

automount:  files
aliases:    files nisplus

4. Edit /etc/krb.conf as needed. The example is provided to give a very rough idea of what this file might look like on your system; I make no assertions that I have prepared this file properly, although something similar to this works well on our system:

MYDOMAIN.ORG admin server
MYDOMAIN admin server

5. Edit /etc/krb5.conf as needed. A good place to start is chapter six of the Samba documentation.

Here's another sample file, in case it is helpful:

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

     default_realm = MYDOMAIN.ORG
     dns_lookup_realm = true
     dns_lookup_kdc = true
     ticket_lifetime = 24h
     forwardable = yes

      kdc =
      kdc =
      admin_server = dc1.MYDOMAIN.ORG:464
      default_domain = MYDOMAIN.ORG

[domain_realm] = MYDOMAIN.ORG
     mydomain = MYDOMAIN.ORG
     .mydomain = MYDOMAIN.ORG

       debug = false
       ticket_lifetime = 36000
       renew_lifetime = 36000
       forwardable = true
       krb4_convert = false

6. Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf to include the necessary settings and desired options. It's my understanding that the idmap_rid syntax is deprecated, so there's probably a better way than what's described here. This works well for us. Here's an example, though your eventual configuration will likely differ from this one:

       security = ads
       workgroup = MYDOMAIN
       netbios name = MYCLUSTER
       realm = MYDOMAIN.ORG
       allow trusted domains = no
       idmap backend = idmap_rid:MYDOMAIN=10000-100000000
       idmap uid = 10000-100000000
       idmap gid = 10000-100000000
       template shell = /bin/bash
       template homedir = /export/home/%U
       winbind use default domain = yes
       winbind offline logon = yes
       winbind enum users = yes
       winbind enum groups = yes
       winbind nested groups = yes
       preserve case = yes
       short preserve case = yes
       case sensitive = no
       encrypt passwords = yes
       passdb backend = tdbsam
       client use spnego = yes
       domain master = no

7. It's necessary to edit the pam.d/system-auth file to include the necessary winbind bits. Be extremely careful when editing this file! Mistakes in editing PAM configuration files may result in an unusable system which requires single user mode to access. Make a copy of the original file, and save it as system-auth.orig in case you munge this file somehow and need to restore it. You've been warned!

Edit /etc/pam.d/system-auth to look something like:

auth        required
auth        sufficient nullok try_first_pass
auth        requisite uid >= 500 quiet
auth        sufficient use_first_pass
auth        sufficient cached_login use_first_pass
auth        required

account     required broken_shadow
account     sufficient
account     sufficient uid < 500 quiet
account     [default=bad success=ok user_unknown=ignore]
account     [default=bad success=ok user_unknown=ignore] cached_login
account     required

password    requisite try_first_pass retry=3
password    sufficient md5 shadow nullok try_first_pass use_authtok
password    sufficient use_authtok
password    sufficient cached_login use_authtok
password    required

session     optional revoke
session     required
session     optional silent
session     [success=1 default=ignore] service in crond quiet use_uid
session     optional skel=/etc/skel umask=0644 silent
session     required
session     optional

8. Next, set the time server settings. Edit /etc/ntp.conf to look like:

server iburst
server iburst
driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift

9. Finally, join the frontend to your Windows domain. Execute the following commands:

[root@mycluster ~]# service ntpd restart
[root@mycluster ~]# net ads join -U <your ADS username>
[root@mycluster ~]# chkconfig winbind on
[root@mycluster ~]# service winbind restart

If the join succeeded, your Rocks frontend should be able to authenticate users via Active Directory! To be safe, perform a Kerberos test as well. Try to obtain a Kerberos ticket by using 'kinit' followed by your domain username. If a ticket can be obtained, destroy it with kdestroy and then proceed to attempt login via SSH. If SSH login with a domain username is successful, follow the next steps to join cluster compute nodes to the domain as well.

Configuring AD Authentication with Rocks Compute Nodes

1. If you're unfamiliar with the 411 service used by the Rocks cluster, the following notes may be very helpful:

Rocks 411 Service

2. The second step is to verify that the samba-common RPM is available on the compute nodes. Just because a package is installed on the frontend by default (like samba-common), does not mean it's available on the compute hosts. Log via SSH from the frontend (a.k.a. tukey) into one of those hosts, say compute-0-0, and check to see if it's installed:

rpm -qa samba-common

If the prompt reappears and you don't see the package name and version appear, it's not installed.

If samba-common is not available, you will need to follow the Rocks instructions for adding a new package for those hosts via the extend-compute.xml Kickstart file and rebuild the nodes so that they include this package. Otherwise, you will be unable to join the compute nodes with winbind to the AD domain, and subsequently users will successfully authenticate to the frontend only to find that they cannot run any jobs on compute nodes.

3. Once those elements are working, edit the list of files 411 replicates on the compute nodes; this file is located on the frontend:

vim /var/411/

Add the following lines to the end of the file:

FILES += /etc/nsswitch.conf
FILES += /etc/krb.conf
FILES += /etc/krb5.conf
FILES += /etc/samba/smb.conf
FILES += /etc/pam.d/system-auth
FILES += /etc/ntp.conf

4. The next step is to make the 411 database; if all goes well, it will look something like this:

[root@mycluster ~]# cd /var/411
[root@mycluster 411]# make -C /var/411
make: Entering directory `/var/411'
/opt/rocks/sbin/411put --comment="#" /etc/krb.conf
411 Wrote: /etc/411.d/etc.krb..conf
Size: 871/464 bytes (encrypted/plain)
Alert: sent on channel with master

/opt/rocks/sbin/411put --comment="#" /etc/krb5.conf
411 Wrote: /etc/411.d/etc.krb5..conf
Size: 1961/1273 bytes (encrypted/plain)
Alert: sent on channel with master

/opt/rocks/sbin/411put --comment="#" /etc/samba/smb.conf
411 Wrote: /etc/411.d/etc.samba.smb..conf
Size: 1560/978 bytes (encrypted/plain)
Alert: sent on channel with master

/opt/rocks/sbin/411put --comment="#" /etc/pam.d/system-auth
411 Wrote: /etc/411.d/etc.pam..d.system-auth
Size: 2978/2029 bytes (encrypted/plain)
Alert: sent on channel with master

/opt/rocks/sbin/411put --comment="#" /etc/ntp.conf
411 Wrote: /etc/411.d/etc.ntp..conf
Size: 697/340 bytes (encrypted/plain)
Alert: sent on channel with master

make: Leaving directory `/var/411'

5. Now 411 is aware of the appropriate configuration files; the next step is to replicate them. This generally happens on an hourly basis, but you can force the synchronization on all nodes with the following command:

[root@mycluster 411]# rocks run host compute '411get --all'

Be patient; there will be a slight pause, and if all is successful, you'll see the following reported for each node in the cluster:

Wrote: /etc/group
Wrote: /etc/krb5.conf
Wrote: /etc/nsswitch.conf
Wrote: /etc/shadow
Wrote: /etc/auto.smb
Wrote: /etc/auto.misc
Wrote: /etc/auto.master
Wrote: /etc/passwd
Wrote: /etc/samba/smb.conf
Wrote: /etc/krb.conf
Wrote: /etc/ntp.conf
Wrote: /etc/auto.home
Wrote: /etc/
Wrote: /etc/pam.d/system-auth
Wrote: /etc/auto.share

6. Proceed with joining the host to the AD domain, as with RHEL or CentOS:

service ntpd restart
net ads join -U <your ADS username>
chkconfig winbind on
service winbind restart

Log in to the box (via SSH/XWindows) and test authentication. It's probably a good idea to test obtaining a Kerberos ticket by using 'kinit' followed by a domain username. If a ticket can be obtained, destroy it with kdestroy and then proceed to attempt login via SSH.


We tried the setup with a current Rocks 7 base and in general, the setup worked. The main issues were that we also had to adapt the /etc/pam.d/password-auth file.

One remaining issue is that with the current setup in smb.conf (template homedir = /export/home/%U) we get error messages when logging in to Compute nodes (cannot create dir in /export/home/<user></user>). So we changed the template homedir to /home/%U but of course, then the mkhomedir doesn't work anymore.

You can’t perform that action at this time.
You signed in with another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session. You signed out in another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session.
Press h to open a hovercard with more details.