Tag Archives: FreeIPA

ID range management in IPA


Local domain range

IPA is an identity management solution that allows to centrally define users and groups. As it operates in Linux environments, the users and groups are defined with a name and a POSIX ID (a numeric value), that are used for access control: each file belongs to a user and a group identified by their POSIX ID, sudo rules evaluation relies on POSIX IDs and so on.

When users and groups are created inside IPA, they can either be created with a provided id or the admin can let IPA assign an id. The range from which the ids can be picked is defined at the IPA level and is represented by a local ID range visible with the ipa idrange-find command:

[root@server ~]# ipa idrange-find
1 range matched
  Range name: IPA.TEST_id_range
  First Posix ID of the range: 936000000
  Number of IDs in the range: 200000
  Range type: local domain range
Number of entries returned 1

During the first IPA server installation, this ID range can either be provided through a base ID number (—idstart) and a max ID (—id max), or be picked randomly by the installer.

In the above example, the users and groups will get assigned IDs starting from 936000000, up to 936000000 + 200000 (not included).

When the ID range is depleted, the admin can extend the possible ID numbers by defining additional local ranges (ipa idrange-add --type ipa-local).

Other types of ranges

When IPA has configured a trust with an Active Directory forest, the users and groups defined in AD also need to have a POSIX ID for access control performed on IPA side. There are 2 different situations:

  • if AD has been extended with Identity Management for UNIX, and is also storing a uidNumber and a gidNumber for each user, and a gidNumber for each group, then IPA can directly re-use the POSIX IDs stored on AD side. The trust is established with a range type “Active Directory domain with POSIX attributes” (ipa-ad-trust-posix).
  • If AD doesn’t store POSIX IDs, IPA maps the unique SID value from AD users and groups to a POSIX ID based on settings defined for the trust. The trust is established with a range type “Active Directory domain” (ipa-ad-trust) and sets the first POSIX ID for the mapping.

As a summary, IPA manages 3 different types of ID ranges:

  • local domain
  • active directory domain
  • active directory domain with POSIX attributes

In any case, the various ranges must not overlap in order to guarantee that an ID corresponds to a unique user or group.

Next available ID

DNA range plugin

During the first server installation, the local ID range is set and defines the range from which IDs get picked for new IPA users and groups. This local ID range is used for the whole IPA deployment.

The server is then configured with the DNA range plugin (Dynamic Number Assignment), that provides a mechanism to automatically assign IDs but also ensure existing IDs are not re-used. The implementation is simple to understand: the DNA plugin stores the next available ID and assigns the IDs sequentially.

The existing DNA ranges can be seen using ipa-replica-manage dnarange-show. If the command is run when there is a single server, the output looks like the following:

[root@server ~]# ipa-replica-manage  dnarange-show
server.ipa.test: 936000000-936199999

The DNA range on the first server starts from the same value as the local domain ID range , and ends on first POSIX ID + number of IDs – 1. When the first user gets created, he is assigned a POSIX ID, and the DNA range plugin increments the next available value:

[root@server ~]# ipa user-add idmuser1 --first idm --last user1 
[root@server ~]# ipa-replica-manage  dnarange-show
server.ipa.test: 936000002-936199999

The above output shows that the available range has shrinked due to the new user taking one ID. Note that the first ID (936000000) is reserved for the admin user.

Splitting ranges between replicas

When additional servers (replicas) are set up, it is important to make sure that a given ID is not assigned at the same time by 2 different replicas to different users/groups. In order to avoid this type of conflict, each replica is also configured with the DNA range plugin (dynamic number assignment).

[root@server ~]# ipa-replica-manage  dnarange-show
server.ipa.test: 936000002-936199999
replica.ipa.test: No range set

The above command shows that the replica hasn’t created yet any user or group and didn’t request any DNA range. But as soon as the replica needs to assign an ID, it communicates with the server and grabs a sub-range:

[root@replica ~]# ipa user-add idmuser2 --first idm --last user2
[root@replica ~]# ipa-replica-manage dnarange-show
server.ipa.test: 936000002-936100499
replica.ipa.test: 936100501-936199999

The output shows that server.ipa.test abandoned part of its range to replica.ipa.test. From now on, server.ipa.test will be able to assign IDs up to 936100499, while replica.ipa.test will assign IDs starting from 936100501 (he assigned 936100500 to the new user).

The DNA range is configured locally to each replica, in a part of the configuration that is not replicated. The DNA range records the next available ID and the max available ID. Remember, the DNA range is constantly evolving: as soon as a replica assigns an ID to a new user, the next available ID is incremented and the range shrinks over time.

It is important to make sure that DNA ranges are not overlapping, and that each DNA range fits into local ID ranges.

Frequent issues

Issues can happen when a replica doesn’t have any assigned DNA range and fails to grab a range when it needs to (for instance because the only other server he knows is down).

In this case, manual remediation is possible using ldapmodify, by editing the DNA range plugin configuration on the replica. The DNA range plugin configuration can be seen within the following LDAP entry:

[root@replica ~]# ldapsearch -LLL -D "cn=directory manager" -W -o ldif-wrap=no -b "cn=Posix IDs,cn=Distributed Numeric Assignment Plugin,cn=plugins,cn=config" dnaMaxValue dnaNextValue 
Enter LDAP Password: 
dn: cn=Posix IDs,cn=Distributed Numeric Assignment Plugin,cn=plugins,cn=config
dnaMaxValue: 936199999
dnaNextValue: 936100501

Note that the DNA range plugin has different values on each replica, and the ranges must not overlap and must not include already assigned IDs.

Another type of issue arises when the ID ranges are depleted. In this case, a new local id range can be added with a new range of values.

The official documentation contains a whole chapter related to Adjusting ID ranges manually and is a recommended read. I would also like to point to Rob’s blog “FreeIPA and no DNA range” for more details.


Demystifying the Certificate Authority component in FreeIPA

When I joined the FreeIPA team, I wanted to start by getting more familiar with the product from a user perspective and the first step was to install FreeIPA server.

I opened the Linux Domain Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide, tried to figure out which options would be useful and… I froze when I reached the section Determining which CA configuration to use. I had literally no idea what the documentation meant by “Server with an integrated IdM CA” or “Server without a CA“. But I had to choose something to start with.
In this blog post, I will explain what this choice really means, and what are the consequences of picking one over the other.

Basic requirement: HTTP and LDAP server certificates

First of all, FreeIPA is composed of many services accessed through the network, among which a LDAP server and an HTTP server. These 2 services can be accessed through a standard port (in clear) or through a SSL port, meaning that they both need a server certificate.

The HTTP and LDAP server certificates are needed during the installation, because the installer will put them in the right NSS database and configure their nickname and location for the HTTP and LDAP servers to find them. There are multiple ways to obtain server certificates, but one needs to understand first the basic notions around Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

I will use a comparison with the delivery of a passport: in order to have a passport issued with your name, you need to provide official documents (for instance a birth certificate and a photo) to the government agency that will validate the documents, make sure that you are who you claim to be, and then issue the passport. The server certificate can be compared to the passport, that will later prove your identity to whoever trusts the government agency, and the government agency can be compared to the Certificate Authority.

So in order to obtain server certificates, it is possible to:

  • request certificates to an official Certificate Authority. Many commercial or non-profit companies provide this type of service (Verisign, Let’sEncrypt, GoDaddy etc…)
  • request certificates to a home-made Certificate Authority. It is possible to create a home-made self-signed Certificate Authority with tools such as certutil or openssl. The main difference with the previous method is that people are less likely to trust your home-made CA (it’s like asking them to accept a passport that was issued by a newly founded country not recognized yet by the rest of the world). Self-signed here means that the Certificate Authority passport  is delivered by… the Certificate Authority itself!
  • install your own Certificate Authority with FreeIPA, that will sign the certificates needed by the HTTP and LDAP server.

The last option corresponds to a “Server with an integrated IdM CA” and has many advantages over the first options:

  • certificates have a limited lifetime and need to be renewed before they expire (otherwise the HTTP/LDAP servers stop working). The renewal process is time-consuming but also can be forgotten if the sysadmin does not carefully track the dates, leaving the deployment in a state where some services become unavailable.
    When FreeIPA is installed with an embedded Certificate Authority, FreeIPA automatically monitors the expiry dates of the certificates and triggers a renewal a few weeks before expiration, ensuring service continuity. This is the first advantage of the embedded CA, but not the only one.
  • FreeIPA with an embedded CA is also able to deliver certificates for the users, the hosts or the services managed by FreeIPA. Various certificates profiles can be defined, populating specific fields in each type of certificate (for instance extensions with the OCSP responder URL…)
    For more information on the embedded Certificate Authority, you can refer to Dogtag Certificate System documentation (the embedded CA in FreeIPA is a tailored version of Dogtag).

At this point, if you decide to install FreeIPA with an embedded Certificate Authority, there are 2 possible choices. The embedded CA can either be:

  • a self-signed CA: the Certificate Authority is created “from scratch” without the need for any external authority. It is the root CA, meaning that its own certificate was not delivered by anyone else but signed by itself.
  • a CA subordinate to an external CA. This means that FreeIPA CA certificate was signed by another CA, a sort of parent CA.


Corresponding installation options

CA-less installation

As said above, we need one certificate for the HTTP server and one for the LDAP server.  They have to be provided to ipa-server-install or ipa-replica-install with the options:

  • –http-cert-file / –http-pin: file containing the HTTP server certificate + private key and password protecting the file
  • –dirsrv-cert-file / –dirsrv-pin: file containing the LDAP server certificate + private key and password protecting the file

Installation with an embedded self-signed CA

FreeIPA CA is created during FreeIPA installation, and generates the HTTP and LDAP certificates. There is no need to provide any cert file! No options!

Installation with an externally-signed embedded CA

The installation is a 2-step process. In the first step, ipa-server-install must be called with –external-ca and generates a CSR file (Certificate Signing Request). This CSR file needs to be sent to the external CA that will perform a bunch of validations to authenticate the recipient of the certificate and issue a certificate for FreeIPA Certificate Authority.

In the second step, ipa-server-install is called with –external-cert-file to provide the certificate obtained from the external CA. The installer then configures FreeIPA certificate authority as a subCA of the external CA, and FreeIPA CA can issue the HTTP and LDAP server certificates.


What if…

I installed FreeIPA without any embedded CA but I change my mind?

FreeIPA allows to install an embedded CA at a later time, using ipa-ca-install. The tool provides the same options as ipa-server-install: you can either install a self-signed CA or an externally signed CA.

Important: installing an embedded CA with ipa-ca-install does not replace the HTTP and LDAP server certificates. If they were initially delivered by an external CA, they will not be automatically renewed.

I installed FreeIPA with a self-signed CA but I’d rather have an externally-signed CA?

FreeIPA allows to switch from self-signed CA to externally-signed CA using ipa-cacert-manage renew –external-ca. This is a 2-step process similar to ipa-server-install –external-ca, where the 1st step produces a CSR that needs to be supplied to an external CA. The external CA then issues a CA cert that is provided back to ipa-cacert-manage renew through the –external-cert-file option.

I installed FreeIPA with an externally signed CA but I’d rather have a self-signed CA?

FreeIPA allows to switch from externally signed CA to self-signed CA using ipa-cacert-manage renew –self-signed.

I want to replace HTTP and LDAP certificates with certificates signed by a third-party Certificate Authority?

FreeIPA provides the ipa-server-certinstall tool that will replace the current HTTP or LDAP certificates with the certs provided in the file.
Important: ipa-server-certinstall can be called to install externally signed certificates for HTTP and LDAP even if FreeIPA is installed with an embedded CA. In this case, FreeIPA CA still has the capability to issue certificates for users, hosts or services. The only difference is that HTTP and LDAP certificates are not issued by IPA CA.


Other FreeIPA commands related to certificates

When an embedded CA is installed, its certificate must be present in various files or NSS databases on all the FreeIPA hosts (master, replicas and clients) so that any FreeIPA machine trusts the certificates delivered by the embedded CA.

In addition to that, the HTTP and LDAP server certificates can be issued either by IPA CA or by an external CA, and the issuer can even be changed over time. In the external CA case, this means that the external CA needs to be trusted by all the FreeIPA machines for the IPA commands to work (the CLI communicates with the HTTP server using the https port, and this requires to trust the CA that issued the HTTP server certificate). Yet another CA certificate to add to files and databases on all the FreeIPA machines…

To ease this configuration, the tool ipa-certupdate is able to retrieve the CA certificates stored in LDAP (the embedded FreeIPA CA or the external CA certs), and install them in all the relevant files and NSS databases. It needs to be called when the CA cert is manually renewed or when a new external CA cert is added.

ipa-cacert-manage install is used to add a new external CA certificate in the LDAP store. It does not replace FreeIPA embedded CA but rather declares another certificate authority as trusted. This is useful when the HTTP and LDAP server certificates need to be replaced by certs signed by a new CA, not yet known by FreeIPA. After calling ipa-cacert-manage install (that puts the new CA in LDAP store), you need to call ipa-certupdate on all FreeIPA machines (to get the CA from the LDAP store and put it in the local NSS databases).

ipa cert-request is used to request new certificates for users, hosts or services. The certificate is signed by FreeIPA embedded CA (meaning that this command is available only when an embedded CA is configured).


By now you should be able to pick a deployment option and understand the differences between CA-less or with embedded CA, and self-signed CA or externally-signed CA.

You should also be aware that your choice is not definitive and that it is possible to install a CA at a later time or change your certificate chain from self-signed to externally-signed and vice-versa.

Troubleshooting FreeIPA: pki-tomcatd fails to start

When performing the upgrade of FreeIPA, you may encounter an issue with pki-tomcatd failing to start. At first this issue looks related to the upgrade, but often reveals a latent problem and gets detected only because the upgrade triggers a restart of pki-tomcatd.

So how to troubleshoot this type of issue?


Upgrade logs

The upgrade is using /var/log/ipaupgrade.log and may contain a lot of useful information. In this specific case, I could see:

[...] DEBUG The ipa-server-upgrade command failed,
exception: ScriptError: CA did not start in 300.0s
[...] ERROR CA did not start in 300.0s
[...] ERROR The ipa-server-upgrade command failed. See
/var/log/ipaupgrade.log for more information


CA debug logs

The first step is to understand why pki-tomcatd refuses to start. This process is launched inside Tomcat and corresponds to the CA component of FreeIPA. It is logging into /var/log/pki/pki-tomcat/ca/debug:

[...][localhost-startStop-2]: ============================================
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: ===== DEBUG SUBSYSTEM INITIALIZED =======
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: ============================================
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: restart at autoShutdown? false
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: autoShutdown crumb file path? /var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/autoShutdown.crumb
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: about to look for cert for auto-shutdown support:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: found cert:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: done init id=debug
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initialized debug
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initSubsystem id=log
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: ready to init id=log
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: Creating RollingLogFile(/var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/ca/signedAudit/ca_audit)
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: Creating RollingLogFile(/var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/ca/system)
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: Creating RollingLogFile(/var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/ca/transactions)
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: restart at autoShutdown? false
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: autoShutdown crumb file path? /var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/autoShutdown.crumb
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: about to look for cert for auto-shutdown support:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: found cert:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: done init id=log
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initialized log
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initSubsystem id=jss
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: ready to init id=jss
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: restart at autoShutdown? false
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: autoShutdown crumb file path? /var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/logs/autoShutdown.crumb
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: about to look for cert for auto-shutdown support:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: found cert:auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: done init id=jss
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initialized jss
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: initSubsystem id=dbs
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: CMSEngine: ready to init id=dbs
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: DBSubsystem: init() mEnableSerialMgmt=true
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: Creating LdapBoundConnFactor(DBSubsystem)
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapBoundConnFactory: init
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapBoundConnFactory:doCloning true
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapAuthInfo: init()
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapAuthInfo: init begins
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapAuthInfo: init ends
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: init: before makeConnection errorIfDown is true
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: makeConnection: errorIfDown true
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: TCP Keep-Alive: true
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: SSLClientCertificateSelectionCB: Setting desired cert nickname to: subsystemCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: LdapJssSSLSocket: set client auth cert nickname subsystemCert cert-pki-ca
[...][localhost-startStop-2]: SSL handshake happened
Could not connect to LDAP server host ipaserver.ipadomain.com port 636 Error netscape.ldap.LDAPException: Authentication failed (49)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.ldapconn.LdapBoundConnFactory.makeConnection(LdapBoundConnFactory.java:205)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.ldapconn.LdapBoundConnFactory.init(LdapBoundConnFactory.java:166)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.ldapconn.LdapBoundConnFactory.init(LdapBoundConnFactory.java:130)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.dbs.DBSubsystem.init(DBSubsystem.java:654)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.apps.CMSEngine.initSubsystem(CMSEngine.java:1172)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.apps.CMSEngine.initSubsystems(CMSEngine.java:1078)
 at com.netscape.cmscore.apps.CMSEngine.init(CMSEngine.java:570)
 at com.netscape.certsrv.apps.CMS.init(CMS.java:188)
 at com.netscape.certsrv.apps.CMS.start(CMS.java:1621)
 at com.netscape.cms.servlet.base.CMSStartServlet.init(CMSStartServlet.java:114)
 at javax.servlet.GenericServlet.init(GenericServlet.java:158)
 at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
 at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:62)
 at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:43)
 at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:498)
 at org.apache.catalina.security.SecurityUtil$1.run(SecurityUtil.java:288)
 at org.apache.catalina.security.SecurityUtil$1.run(SecurityUtil.java:285)
 at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
 at javax.security.auth.Subject.doAsPrivileged(Subject.java:549)
 at org.apache.catalina.security.SecurityUtil.execute(SecurityUtil.java:320)
 at org.apache.catalina.security.SecurityUtil.doAsPrivilege(SecurityUtil.java:175)
 at org.apache.catalina.security.SecurityUtil.doAsPrivilege(SecurityUtil.java:124)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapper.initServlet(StandardWrapper.java:1270)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapper.loadServlet(StandardWrapper.java:1195)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapper.load(StandardWrapper.java:1085)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext.loadOnStartup(StandardContext.java:5318)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext.startInternal(StandardContext.java:5610)
 at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:147)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.addChildInternal(ContainerBase.java:899)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.access$000(ContainerBase.java:133)
 at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase$PrivilegedAddChild.run(ContainerBase.java:156)

The exception shows that LDAP authentication failed with return code 49: invalid credentials.


Communication between pki-tomcatd and the LDAP server

We can see that pki-tomcatd is trying to open a LDAP connection through SSL but fails to authenticate. Within FreeIPA, pki-tomcat is storing data in the 389-ds LDAP server and needs to communicate through LDAP with this server.

The configuration of this communication channel can be read in /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/ca/CS.cfg:

internaldb.ldapauth.bindDN=cn=Directory Manager
internaldb.ldapauth.clientCertNickname=subsystemCert cert-pki-ca

The connection is using port 636 (SSL port) with SSL Client authentication (authtype=SslClientAuth). This means that pki-tomcatd provides a user certificate to the LDAP server, and the LDAP server maps a user to this certificate in order to authenticate the communications.

Note: Authtype can either be SslClientAuth or BasicAuth (authentication with username and password).

In this case, the SSL client authentication is done with the certificate named ‘subsystemCert cert-pki-ca‘ that is stored in /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias. So what could be causing the authentication to fail? We need to check that the certificate is available in /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias and that pki-tomcat is able to use the associated private key, and that the LDAP server is able to map this certificate to a user.


Check the subsystemCert cert-pki-ca

The first step consists in making sure that this certificate is present in /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias:

$ sudo certutil -L -d /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias -n 'subsystemCert cert-pki-ca'
 Version: 3 (0x2)


Then make sure that the private key can be read using the password found in /var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/conf/password.conf (with the tag internal=…)

$ sudo grep internal /var/lib/pki/pki-tomcat/conf/password.conf | cut -d= -f2 > /tmp/pwdfile.txt
$ sudo certutil -K -d /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias -f /tmp/pwdfile.txt -n 'subsystemCert cert-pki-ca'
certutil: Checking token "NSS Certificate DB" in slot "NSS User Private Key and Certificate Services"
< 0> rsa 86a7fe00cc2a01ad085f35d4ed3e84e7b82ab4f5 subsystemCert cert-pki-ca

At this point we know that pki-tomcat is able to access the certificate and the private key. So the issue is likely to be on the LDAP server side.

Note: depending on your version, the nickname of the certificate may also be prefixed with ‘NSS Certificate DB:’. In this case, run the following command:

$ sudo certutil -K -d /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias -f /tmp/pwdfile.txt -n 'NSS Certificate DB: subsystemCert cert-pki-ca'


LDAP server configuration

The LDAP configuration describes how a certificate can be mapped to a user in /etc/dirsrv/slapd-IPADOMAIN-COM/certmap.conf:

$ sudo cat /etc/dirsrv/slapd-IPADOMAIN-COM/certmap.conf 
certmap default default
default:FilterComps uid
certmap ipaca CN=Certificate Authority,O=IPADOMAIN.COM
ipaca:CmapLdapAttr seeAlso
ipaca:verifycert on

This means that when the LDAP server receives an authentication request with a certificate issued by the CA CN=Certificate Authority,O=IPADOMAIN.COM, it will look for users that contain a seeAlso attribute equal to the subject of the certificate, and the user entry must contain the certificate in the usercertificate attribute (verifycert: on).

With a default config, the ‘subsystemCert cert-pki-ca‘ is mapped to the user uid=pkidbuser,ou=people,o=ipaca. So let’s compare the user entry and the certificate:

$ ldapsearch -LLL -D 'cn=directory manager' -W -b uid=pkidbuser,ou=people,o=ipaca userCertificate description seeAlso
Enter LDAP Password: 
dn: uid=pkidbuser,ou=people,o=ipaca
userCertificate:: MIID...uwab3
description: 2;4;CN=Certificate Authority,O=IPADOMAIN.COM;CN=CA Subsystem,O=IPADOMAIN.COM
seeAlso: CN=CA Subsystem,O=IPADOMAIN.COM

$ sudo certutil -L -d /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias -n 'subsystemCert cert-pki-ca' -a

The certificate in the userCertificate attribute is different from the one in the NSS database! This can also be seen by comparing the serial number with the value from the ldap entry (in description: 2;<serial>;<issuer>;<subject>):

$ sudo certutil -L -d /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias -n 'subsystemCert cert-pki-ca' | grep Serial
 Serial Number: 1341718541 (0x4ff9000d

This explains why pki-tomcat could not authenticate to the LDAP server. The fix consists in updating the LDAP entry with the right certificate (and do not forget to update the description attribute with the right serial number!):

$ cat updatecert.ldif
dn: uid=pkidbuser,ou=people,o=ipaca
changetype: modify
replace: usercertificate
usercertificate::MII... <here put the new cert in a single line. The double colon :: is important as the format is binary>
replace: description
description: 2;<here put the new serial number>;CN=Certificate Authority,O=IPADOMAIN.COM;CN=CA Subsystem,O=IPADOMAIN.COM

$ ldapmodify -D "cn=directory manager" -W -f updatecert.ldif

But we still do not know the root cause for the inconsistency between the NSS database /etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias and the user entry for uid=pkidbuser. This could be described in another blog post (for the impatients, the automatic renewal of the certificate failed to update the LDAP server entry…)

Troubleshooting: mapping between a SmartCard certificate and an IdM user

Authentication with a SmartCard may fail when the SmartCard certificate is not linked to any IdM user, or to a user different from the one specified on the console.

In order to find which user is associated to a given SmartCard certificate, you can run the following command:

ipaclient$ ipa certmap-match cert.pem
1 user matched
 User logins: demosc1
Number of entries returned 1

If the result is not what you were expecting, you need first to check how certificates are mapped to users.

By default, a certificate is associated to a user when the user entry contains the full certificate in its usercertificate attribute. But this behavior can be modified by defining certificate mapping rules:

ipaclient$ ipa certmaprule-find
1 Certificate Identity Mapping Rule matched
 Rule name: rulesmartcard
 Mapping rule: (ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn}<S>{subject_dn})
 Matching rule: <ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG
 Enabled: FALSE
Number of entries returned 1


Mapping with full certificate content

When the mapping is based on the full certificate content, you can check if the user entry contains the certificate:

root@ipaclient$ ipa user-show demosc1
 User login: demosc1
Certificate: MIIC...

If it is not the case, associate the certificate with the user entry using:

ipaclient$ CERT=`cat cert.pem | tail -n +2 | head -n -1 | tr -d '\r\n'`
ipaclient$ ipa user-add-cert demosc1 --certificate $CERT

Once this is done, you may need to clear sssd cache to force SSSD to reload the entries before retrying ipa certmap-match:

ipaclient$ sudo sss_cache -E


Flexible mapping with certificate identity mapping rule

When the mapping is based on certificate mapping rules, the same tool ipa certmap-match can be used to check which user entry is associated to a certificate. When the result is not what you expect, you can enable sssd domain logs by adding the following in /etc/sssd/sssd.conf on IdM master:

debug_level = 9

then restart sssd with

root@ipaserver$ systemctl restart sssd

The logs will be located in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ipadomain.log.


Check that the certificate identity mapping rules are properly loaded

When sssd is restarted, it reads the mapping rules and should print the following in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ipadomain.log:

[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sss_certmap_init] (0x0040): sss_certmap initialized.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [ipa_certmap_parse_results] (0x4000): Trying to add rule [rulesmartcard][-1][<ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG][(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn!nss_x500}<S>{subject_dn!nss_x500})].

If the rule has an invalid syntax, you will see instead:

[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sss_certmap_init] (0x0040): sss_certmap initialized.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [ipa_certmap_parse_results] (0x4000): Trying to add rule [rulesmartcard][-1][<ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG][(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn!x509}<S>{subject_dn})].
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [parse_template] (0x0040): Parse template invalid.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [parse_ldap_mapping_rule] (0x0040): Failed to add template.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [parse_mapping_rule] (0x0040): Failed to parse LDAP mapping rule.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [ipa_certmap_parse_results] (0x0020): sss_certmap_add_rule failed for rule [rulesmartcard], skipping. Please check for typos and if rule syntax is supported.
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [ipa_subdomains_certmap_done] (0x0040): Unable to parse certmap results [22]: Invalid argument
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [ipa_subdomains_refresh_certmap_done] (0x0020): Failed to read certificate mapping rules [22]: Invalid argument

The log shows that the rule named rulesmartcard is invalid. Check the rule (see man page for sss-certmap for the supported syntax) and fix if needed:

ipaclient$ ipa certmaprule-show rulesmartcard
 Rule name: rulesmartcard
 Mapping rule: (ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn!x509}<S>{subject_dn})
 Matching rule: <ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG
 Enabled: TRUE
ipaclient$ ipa certmaprule-mod rulesmartcard --maprule '(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn}<S>{subject_dn})'


Check that the matching rule corresponds to the certificate

When SSSD tries to associate the certificate to a user, it starts by finding which rule can be applied based on the matching rule (for instance rulesmartcard applies to all certificates issued by CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG because its matching rule is <ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG).

If no matching rule applies to the certificate, SSSD will not be able to associate the certificate with a user, and will display the following in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ipadomain.log:

[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sss_cert_derb64_to_ldap_filter] (0x0040): Certificate does not match matching-rules.

In this case, you need to create or modify an identity mapping rule, so that the match rule applies to your certificate. See sss-certmap man page for the supported syntax of the –matchrule option of ipa certmaprule-add command.

Check that the expected certificate identity mapping rule is used

When SSSD tries to find the user associated to the certificate, you will see the following logs in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ipadomain.log:

[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [dp_get_account_info_handler] (0x0200): Got request for [0x14][BE_REQ_BY_CERT][cert=MII..]
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_search_user_next_base] (0x0400): Searching for users with base [cn=accounts,dc=ipadomain,dc=com]
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_print_server] (0x2000): Searching
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_get_generic_ext_step] (0x0400): calling ldap_search_ext with [(&(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>O=EXAMPLE.ORG,CN=Smart Card CA<S>CN=test,O=EXAMPLE.ORG)(objectclass=posixAccount)(uid=*)(&(uidNumber=*)(!(uidNumber=0))))][cn=accounts,dc=ipadomain,dc=com].
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_search_user_process] (0x0400): Search for users, returned 0 results.

The logs show the LDAP search performed by SSSD: IP address of the LDAP server, base and search filter. Carefully review this information and compare with what you would expect.

Check that the mapping rule defines a valid search filter

If the rule cannot be transformed to a valid search filter, you will see in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ipadomain.log:

[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_get_generic_ext_step] (0x0400): calling ldap_search_ext with [(&(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>O=EXAMPLE.ORG,CN=Smart Card CA<S>CN=test,O=EXAMPLE.ORG(objectclass=posixAccount)(uid=*)(&(uidNumber=*)(!(uidNumber=0))))][cn=accounts,dc=ipadomain,dc=com].
[sssd[be[ipadomain.com]]] [sdap_get_generic_ext_step] (0x0080): ldap_search_ext failed: Bad search filter

If it is the case, you need to fix the certmap rule using

ipaclient$ ipa certmaprule-mod rulesmartcard –maprule …



Troubleshooting: authentication to the system console or Gnome Desktop Manager of an IdM host with a SmartCard

IdM allows to authenticate to an IdM enrolled-host by providing a SmartCard certificate instead of a username/password. The below steps are based on system console authentication but the process is similar when using Gnome desktop  login authentication.

When the authentication fails, the issue usually comes from a wrong configuration of the IdM system for SmartCard, or of PKINIT.


Configuration of the IdM host for SmartCard authentication

If the console does not even prompt for the SmartCard PIN, chances are high that the system was not properly configured for SmartCard authentication.

SSSD configuration for smart card

Check that /etc/sssd.conf contains

pam_cert_auth = True

If you need to update the file, do not forget to restart sssd with

root@ipaclient$ systemctl restart sssd


SmartCard CA must be trusted

Check that the SmartCard CA is trusted in the /etc/pki/nssdb database:

root@ipaclient$ certutil -L -d /etc/pki/nssdb/

Certificate Nickname Trust Attributes     SSL,S/MIME,JAR/XPI

SmartCardCA                               CT,C,C

If the CA is not present, add it using:

root@ipaclient$ certutil -A -d /etc/pki/nssdb -n SmartCardCA -t CT,C,C -i ca.pem


IdM host PKCS#11 module

Check that the IdM host is properly configured for Smart Cards. The opensc package must be installed, the the SmartCard daemon must be running, and the PKCS#11 module must be loaded

root@ipaclient$ dnf install opensc
root@ipaclient$ systemctl start pcscd.service pcscd.socket
root@ipaclient$ modutil -dbdir /etc/pki/nssdb -add "OpenSC" -libfile /usr/lib64/opensc-pkcs11.so


Configuration for PKINIT

If the console prompts for the SmartCard PIN but displays

ipaclient login: demosc1
Pin for PIV Card:
Login incorrect

it is possible that the authentication fails trying to acquire a Kerberos ticket with PKINIT. In this case, login with username/password to the IdM host and try to manually perform kinit in order to get more information:

root@ipaclient$ kinit -X X509_user_identity='PKCS11:opensc-pkcs11.so' demosc1


If  the command outputs the following:

kinit: Pre-authentication failed: Failed to verify own certificate (depth 1): self signed certificate in certificate chain while getting initial credentials

then check the content of /etc/krb5.conf on the IdM host. The realms section must contain a configuration for ipadomain with pkinit_anchors:

 pkinit_anchors = FILE:/var/lib/ipa-client/pki/kdc-ca-bundle.pem
 pkinit_pool = FILE:/var/lib/ipa-client/pki/ca-bundle.pem


The file defined in pkinit_anchors must exist, be readable and contain the certificate of the CA which signed the SmartCard certificate. If it is not the case, run the following commands on any IPA server:

root@ipaserver$ ipa-cacert-manage install -n SmartCardCA -t CT,C,C -p $DM_PWD ca.pem
root@ipaserver$ ipa-certupdate

And run the ipa-certupdate command on all IdM hosts in order to download the certificate.

If the kinit command output the following:

kinit: Certificate mismatch while getting initial credentials

check that the SmartCard certificate is associated to the username provided in the console (see mapping between a SmartCard certificate and an IdM user).

Troubleshooting: ssh to an IdM host with a SmartCard

IdM allows to perform ssh from a non-enrolled host into an IdM enrolled host, using Smart Card authentication instead of ssh authorized keys. The ssh command would be the following to log as demosc1 into the host ipaclient.ipadomain.com:

localuser@localhost$ ssh -I /usr/lib64/opensc-pkcs11.so -l demosc1 ipaclient.ipadomain.com
Enter PIN for 'PIV_II (PIV Card Holder pin)':

The -I option specifies a PKCS#11 shared library, and -l the username on the remote host.


Configuration of the local host

First check that the local host is properly configured for Smart Cards. The opensc package must be installed, and the the SmartCard daemon must be running.

localuser@localhost$ sudo dnf install opensc
localuser@localhost$ sudo systemctl start pcscd.service pcscd.socket


Configuration of the remote (IdM) host

When IdM is properly configured, ssh will prompt for the SmartCard PIN and authenticate the user. If there is an issue with the certificate, ssh will revert to another authentication type (private keys or username/password).

In this case, enable debug logs for ssh authentication on IdM host. Edit /etc/sssd/sssd.conf and add the following line in [ssh] section:

debug_level = 9

then restart sssd using

root@ipaclient$ systemctl restart sssd

The logs will be located on the IdM host in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ssh.log.


The Smart Card CA is not trusted by SSSD

If you see the following in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ssh.log:

[sssd[ssh]] [cert_to_ssh_key] (0x0020): CERT_VerifyCertificateNow failed [-8179].
[sssd[ssh]] [get_valid_certs_keys] (0x0040): cert_to_ssh_key failed, ignoring.

then it means that the CA that signed the Smart Card certificate is not trusted. The trusted certs are stored in /etc/pki/nssdb and can be found using:

root@ipaclient$ certutil -L -d /etc/pki/nssdb

Certificate Nickname Trust Attributes     SSL,S/MIME,JAR/XPI

SmartCardCA                               CT,C,C


If the CA cert is missing, add it using

root@ipaclient$ certutil -A -d /etc/pki/nssdb -n SmartCardCA -t CT,C,C -i ca.pem


The user is not an IdM user

If the ssh operation does not log any line in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ssh.log, it probably means that the supplied user name is not a user defined in IdM. You can check with:

root@ipaclient$ ipa user-find demosc1
0 users matched
Number of entries returned 0

Check that you provided the right user name, or define an IdM user and associate the SmartCard certificate with this user.


The certificate is not mapped to the IdM user

If you see the following in /var/log/sssd/sssd_ssh.log:

Found 1 entries in domain ipadomain.com

but the authentication fails, check that the SmartCard certificate is associated to the provided username (refer to mapping between a SmartCard certificate and an IdM user)

FreeIPA: troubleshooting SmartCard authentication

RHEL 7.4 beta is now available, delivering a new version of IPA which contains the support for Smart Card authentication. This feature allows to use a certificate contained in a SmartCard in order to login to IdM WebUI, to ssh to an IdM-enrolled host, or to login to the console or Gnome Desktop Manager of an IdM-enrolled host.

This feature is really powerful but may also seem difficult to troubleshoot. I will explain where to look for additional information when authentication fails, and how to fix the most common issues.

The information is split into posts specific to each authentication method:



Using Certmonger to track certificates

When FreeIPA is installed with an integrated IdM CA, it is using certmonger to track and renew its certificates. But what does this exactly mean?

When the certificates are reaching their expiration date, certmonger detects that it needs to renew them and takes care of the renewal (request a renewed certificate, then install the new certificate at the right location and finally restart the service so that it picks up the new certificate). It means that the system administrator does not need to bother anymore with renewals!

Well… When everything works well it is really a great functionality. But sometimes a small problem can prevent the renewal and FreeIPA ends up with expired certificates and HTTP or LDAP services refusing to start. In this case, it is really difficult to understand what has gone wrong, and how to fix the issue.

In this post, I will explain what is happening behind the scene with certmonger, so that you understand where to look for if you need to troubleshoot.

Certmonger concepts

Certmonger daemon and CLI

Certmonger provides 2 main components:

  • the certmonger daemon that is the “engine” tracking the list of certificates and launching renewal commands
  • the command-line interface: getcert, that allows to send commands to the certmonger daemon (for instance request a new certificate, list the tracked certificates, start or stop tracking a certificate, renew a certificate…)

Certificate Authority

Certmonger provides a generic interface allowing to communicate with various certificate systems, such as Dogtag, FreeIPA… A simple definition for Certificate System would be a software solution able to deliver certificates. This allows to use the same certmonger command independently of the Certificate System that will actually handle the request. The getcert command just reads the additional argument -c to know with which Certificate authority to interface.

Then certmonger needs to know how to interface with each type of Certificate System. This is done by defining Certificate Authorities that can be listed with:

$ getcert list-cas
CA 'SelfSign':
 is-default: no
 next-serial-number: 01
 is-default: no
 ca-type: EXTERNAL
 helper-location: /usr/libexec/certmonger/ipa-submit

Each section starting with ‘CA’ defines a type of Certificate Authority that certmonger knows to handle. The output of the command also shows a helper-location, which is the command that certmonger will call to discuss with the Certificate Authority. For instance:

$ getcert list-cas -c IPA
 is-default: no
 ca-type: EXTERNAL
 helper-location: /usr/libexec/certmonger/ipa-submit

shows that certmonger will run the command “/usr/libexec/certmonger/ipa-submit” when interfacing with IPA certificate authority.

Each helper command is following an interface imposed by certmonger. For instance, environment variables are set by certmonger to provide the operation to execute, the CSR etc…

Certificate tracking

List of tracked certificates

In order to know the list of certificates currently tracked by certmonger, the command getcert list can be used. It shows a lot of information:

  • the certificate location (for instance HTTP server cert is stored in the NSS database /etc/httpd/alias)
  • the certificate nickname
  • the file storing the pin
  • the Certificate Authority that will be used to renew the certificate
  • the expiration date
  • the status of the certificate (MONITORING when it is tracked and not expired)

For instance, to list all the tracking requests for certificates with a nickname “Server-Cert” stored in the NSS db /etc/httpd/alias:

$ getcert list -n Server-Cert -d /etc/httpd/alias/
Number of certificates and requests being tracked: 8.
Request ID '20161122101308':
 stuck: no
 key pair storage: type=NSSDB,location='/etc/httpd/alias',nickname='Server-Cert',token='NSS Certificate DB',pinfile='/etc/httpd/alias/pwdfile.txt'
 certificate: type=NSSDB,location='/etc/httpd/alias',nickname='Server-Cert',token='NSS Certificate DB'
 issuer: CN=Certificate Authority,O=DOMAIN.COM
 subject: CN=ipaserver.domain.com,O=DOMAIN.COM
 expires: 2018-11-23 10:09:34 UTC
 key usage: digitalSignature,nonRepudiation,keyEncipherment,dataEncipherment
 eku: id-kp-serverAuth,id-kp-clientAuth
 pre-save command: 
 post-save command: /usr/lib64/ipa/certmonger/restart_httpd
 track: yes
 auto-renew: yes

Certificate renewal

When a certification is near its expiration date, certmonger daemon will automatically issue a renewal command using the CA helper, obtain a renewed certificate and replace the previous cert with the new one.

It is also possible to manually renew a certificate in advance by using the command getcert resubmit -i <id>, where <id> is the Request ID displayed by getcert list for the targetted certificate. This command will renew the certificate using the right helper command.

Start/Stop tracking a certificate

The commands getcert start-tracking and getcert stop-tracking enable or disable the monitoring of a certificate. It is important to understand that they do not manipulate the certificate (stop-tracking does not delete it or remove it from the NSS database) but simply add/remove the certificate to/from the list of monitored certificates.

Pre and post-save commands

When a certificate is tracked by certmonger, it can be useful to define pre-save and post-save commands that certmonger will call during the renewal process. For instance:

$ getcert list -n Server-Cert -d /etc/httpd/alias/
Number of certificates and requests being tracked: 8.
Request ID '20161122101308':
 stuck: no
 key pair storage: type=NSSDB,location='/etc/httpd/alias',nickname='Server-Cert',token='NSS Certificate DB',pinfile='/etc/httpd/alias/pwdfile.txt'
 certificate: type=NSSDB,location='/etc/httpd/alias',nickname='Server-Cert',token='NSS Certificate DB'
 pre-save command: 
 post-save command: /usr/lib64/ipa/certmonger/restart_httpd
 track: yes
 auto-renew: yes

shows that the renewal of HTTPd Server Cert:

  • will be handled by IPA Certificate Authority. Remember, we can find the associated helper using getcert list-cas -c IPA
  • will also launch the command restart_httpd

This is useful when a service needs to be restarted in order to pick up the new certificate.


 Certmonger logs

Certmonger uses the journal log. For instance, when a certificate is near its expiration date, the journal will show:

$ sudo journalctl -xe -t certmonger | more
Nov 05 11:35:47 ipaserver.domain.com certmonger[59223]: Certificate named "auditSigningCert cert-pki-ca" in token "NSS Certificate DB" in database "/etc/pki/pki-tomcat/alias" will not be valid after 20161115150822.

And when the certificate has been automatically renewed, the journal will show:

$ journalctl -t certmonger | more
Nov 24 12:23:15 ipaserver.domain.com certmonger[36674]: Certificate named "ipaCert" in token "NSS Certificate DB" in database "/etc/httpd/alias" issued by CA and saved.

Output of getcert list

It is possible to check the status for each certificate using getcert list:

  • when the certificate is still valid, the status should be MONITORING.
  • when the certificate is near its expiration date, certmonger will request its renewal and the status will change from MONITORING to SUBMITTING and finally back to MONITORING (you may also see intermediate status PRE_SAVE_CERT and POST_SAVE_CERT).

When the renewal fails, getcert list will also show an error message. It will help determine which phase failed, and from there you will need to check the logs specific to the CA helper or to the pre-save or post-save commands.

In the next post, I will detail the errors that can arise with the helpers used with FreeIPA.

Using a Dogtag instance as external CA for FreeIPA installation

A FreeIPA user recently had issues installing FreeIPA with an external CA. He was using Dogtag certificate system as external CA and FreeIPA installation was failing, complaining about the certificate provided by Dogtag.

So I decided to try the same deployment and share my findings in this post.

A little background…

FreeIPA server can be configured to act as a Certificate Authority inside FreeIPA IDM domain. It will then be able to create the certificates used by the LDAP server, the Apache server used for the Web GUI or the users and hosts.

This CA can be set-up in different ways:

  • The CA is a root CA, meaning that its certificate is self-signed
  • or the CA is subordinate to an external, 3rd-party CA, meaning that its certificate is signed by the 3rd party CA.

There are a wide range of products that can be used as 3rd-party CAs, among which Dogtag certificate system. In this blog post, I will explain how Dogtag can provide the certificate for IPA CA.


The following instructions apply to Fedora 24. They will:

  1. run the 1st step of ipa-server-install to generate a CSR
  2. submit the CSR to Dogtag and have Dogtag issue a certificate for FreeIPA server
  3. run the 2nd step of ipa-server-install with the certificate obtained in step 2.

For instructions to setup the Dogtag server, you can refer to this post: Dogtag installation.


FreeIPA server installation – step 1

In order to install FreeIPA with an externally-signed CA, we must use the –external-ca option of ipa-server-install. The installation is then a multi-step install, where:

  • ipa-server-install produces a CSR
  • we need to submit this CSR to the external CA, that will in return provide a certificate and certificate chain
  • we need to run ipa-server-install a 2nd time, with different options and providing the certificates obtained in the previous step.

So let’s run the first step of ipa-server-install:

root@ipaserver$ ipa-server-install --setup-dns \
 --auto-forwarders \
 --auto-reverse \
 -n ipadomain.com \
 -p Secret123 -a Secret123 \
 --external-ca \
Configuring certificate server (pki-tomcatd). Estimated time: 3 minutes 30 seconds
 [1/8]: creating certificate server user
 [2/8]: configuring certificate server instance
The next step is to get /root/ipa.csr signed by your CA and re-run /sbin/ipa-server-install as:
/sbin/ipa-server-install --external-cert-file=/path/to/signed_certificate --external-cert-file=/path/to/external_ca_certificate


Generation of the certificate using Dogtag

We then need to copy this CSR on the Dogtag instance and submit the CSR, approve it and export the certificate.

The submission is an important step as it allows to specify a profile. Basically, if we pick caCACert profile, we signal our intent to use the produced certificate as a Certificate Authority in our FreeIPA deployment, and the resulting certificate will contain the required extensions:

root@dogtag$ pki ca-cert-request-submit --profile caCACert --request-type pkcs10 --csr-file ipa.csr
Submitted certificate request
 Request ID: 7
 Type: enrollment
 Request Status: pending
 Operation Result: success

Note the Request ID as we will need it in order to approve the submission:

root@dogtag$ pki -c Secret123 -d /root/.dogtag/nssdb/ -n "PKI Administrator for example.com" cert-request-review 7 --action approve
Approved certificate request 7
 Request ID: 7
 Type: enrollment
 Request Status: complete
 Operation Result: success
 Certificate ID: 0x7

Note the Certificate ID as we will need it to export the certificate into a file ipa.cert:

root@dogtag$ pki -c Secret123 -d /root/.dogtag/nssdb/ -n "PKI Administrator for example.com" cert-show 7 --encoded --output ipa.cert

We will also need the dogtagca certificate chain:

root@dogtag$ pki ca-cert-show 1 --encoded --output dogtagca.cert

At this point, we have a new certificate and chain (ipa.cert and dogtagca.cert), that we need to copy on FreeIPA server. We can resume FreeIPA installation.

FreeIPA server installation – step 2

In order to resume FreeIPA installation, we will follow the instructions provided in step 1:

root@ipaserver$ /sbin/ipa-server-install --external-cert-file=ipa.cert --external-cert-file=dogtagca.cert


The installation will resume and use the ipa.cert for IPA Certificate Authority. That’s it!