GSSAPI Authentication (Enterprise)

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CockroachDB supports the Generic Security Services API (GSSAPI) with Kerberos authentication. Although CockroachDB does not support communicating directly with an LDAP service, GSSAPI with Kerberos can be configured to communicate with your LDAP service to authenticate users.

Note:

This is an enterprise-only feature. Request a 30-day trial license to try it out.

Requirements

  • A working Active Directory or Kerberos environment
  • A Service Principal
  • A GSSAPI-compatible PostgreSQL Client (psql, etc.)
  • A client machine with a Kerberos client installed and configured

Configure KDC for CockroachDB

To use Kerberos authentication with CockroachDB, configure a Kerberos service principal name (SPN) for CockroachDB and generate a valid keytab file with the following specifications:

  • Set the SPN to the name specified by your client driver. For example, if you use the psql client, set SPN to postgres.
  • Create SPNs for all DNS addresses that a user would use to connect to your CockroachDB cluster (including any TCP load balancers between the user and the CockroachDB node) and ensure that the keytab contains the keys for every SPN you create.

Active Directory

For Active Directory, the client syntax for generating a keytab that maps a service principal to the SPN is as follows:

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ktpass -out {keytab_filename} \
  -princ {Client_SPN}/{NODE/LB_FQDN}@{DOMAIN} \
  -mapUser {Service_Principal}@{DOMAIN} \
  -mapOp set -pType KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL +rndPass \
  -crypto AES256-SHA1

Example:

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ktpass -out postgres.keytab \
  -princ postgres/loadbalancer1.cockroach.industries@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES \
  -mapUser pguser@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES \
  -mapOp set -pType KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL +rndPass \
  -crypto AES256-SHA1

Copy the resulting keytab to the database nodes. If clients are connecting to multiple addresses (more than one load balancer, or clients connecting directly to nodes), you will need to generate a keytab for each client endpoint. You may want to merge your keytabs together for easier management. You can do this using the ktpass command, using the following syntax:

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ktpass -out {new_keytab_filename} \
  -in {old_keytab_filename} \
  -princ {Client_SPN}/{NODE/LB_FQDN}@{DOMAIN} \
  -mapUser {Service_Principal}@{DOMAIN} \
  -mapOp add \
  -pType KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL +rndPass \
  -crypto AES256-SHA1

Example (adds loadbalancer2 to the above example):

ktpass -out postgres_2lb.keytab \
  -in postgres.keytab \
  -princ postgres/loadbalancer2.cockroach.industries@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES \
  -mapUser pguser@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES \
  -mapOp add \
  -pType KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL +rndPass \
  -crypto AES256-SHA1

MIT KDC

In MIT KDC, you cannot map a service principal to an SPN with a different username, so you will need to create a service principal that includes the SPN for your client.

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create-user: kadmin.local -q "addprinc {SPN}/{CLIENT_FQDN}@{DOMAIN}" -pw "{initial_password}"
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create-keytab: kadmin.local -q "ktadd -k keytab {SPN}/{CLIENT_FQDN}@{DOMAIN}"

Example:

kadmin.local -q "addprinc postgres/client2.cockroach.industries@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES" -pw "testing12345!"
kadmin.local -q "ktadd -k keytab postgres/client2.cockroach.industries@COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES"

Copy the resulting keytab to the database nodes. If clients are connecting to multiple addresses (more than one load balancer, or clients connecting directly to nodes), you will need to generate a keytab for each client endpoint. You may want to merge your keytabs together for easier management. The ktutil command can be used to read multiple keytab files and output them into a single output here.

Configure the CockroachDB node

  1. Copy the keytab file to a location accessible by the cockroach binary.

  2. Create certificates for inter-node and root user authentication:

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    mkdir certs my-safe-directory
    
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    cockroach cert create-ca \
      --certs-dir=certs \
      --ca-key=my-safe-directory/ca.key
    
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    cockroach cert create-node \
      localhost \
      $(hostname) \
      --certs-dir=certs \
      --ca-key=my-safe-directory/ca.key
    
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    cockroach cert create-client root \
    --certs-dir=certs \
    --ca-key=my-safe-directory/ca.key
    
  3. Provide the path to the keytab in the KRB5_KTNAME environment variable.

    Example: export KRB5_KTNAME=/home/cockroach/postgres.keytab

  4. Start a CockroachDB node:

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    cockroach start --certs-dir=certs --listen-addr=0.0.0.0
    
  5. Connect to CockroachDB as root using the root client certificate generated above:

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    cockroach sql --certs-dir=certs
    
  6. Enable an Enterprise license.

    Note:
    You need the Enterprise license if you want to use the GSSAPI feature. However, if you only want to test that the GSSAPI setup is working, you do not need to enable an Enterprise license.

  7. Enable GSSAPI authentication:

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    SET cluster setting server.host_based_authentication.configuration = 'host all all all gss include_realm=0';
    

    Setting the server.host_based_authentication.configuration cluster setting to this particular value makes it mandatory for all non-root users to authenticate using GSSAPI. The root user is always an exception and remains able to authenticate using a valid client cert or a user password.

    The include_realm=0 option is required to tell CockroachDB to remove the @DOMAIN.COM realm information from the username. We do not support any advanced mapping of GSSAPI usernames to CockroachDB usernames right now. If you want to limit which realms' users can connect, you can also add one or more krb_realm parameters to the end of the line as an allowlist, as follows: host all all all gss include_realm=0 krb_realm=domain.com krb_realm=corp.domain.com

    The syntax is based on the pg_hba.conf standard for PostgreSQL which is documented here. It can be used to exclude other users from Kerberos authentication.

  8. Create CockroachDB users for every Kerberos user. Ensure the username does not have the DOMAIN.COM realm information. For example, if one of your Kerberos users has a username carl@realm.com, then you need to create a CockroachDB user with the username carl:

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    CREATE USER carl;
    

    Grant privileges to the user:

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    GRANT ALL ON DATABASE defaultdb TO carl;
    

Configure the client

  1. Install and configure your Kerberos client:

    For CentOS/RHEL systems, run:

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    yum install krb5-user
    

    For Ubuntu/Debian systems, run:

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    apt-get install krb5-user
    

    Edit the /etc/krb5.conf file to include:

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           [libdefaults]
             default_realm = {REALM}
    
           [realms]
             {REALM} = {
              kdc = {fqdn-kdc-server or ad-server}
              admin_server = {fqdn-kdc-server or ad-server}
              default_domain = {realm-lower-case}
            }
    

    Example:

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           [libdefaults]
             default_realm = COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES
    
           [realms]
             COCKROACH.INDUSTRIES = {
              kdc = ad.cockroach.industries
              admin_server = ad.cockroach.industries
              default_domain = cockroach.industries
            }
    
  2. Get a ticket for the db user:

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    kinit carl
    
  3. Verify if a valid ticket has been generated:

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    klist
    
  4. Connect to the cluster using the cockroach sql command as the Kerberos user:

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    cockroach sql --certs-dir=certs -U carl
    
  5. If you specified an Enterprise license earlier, the command succeeds. This indicates that the GSSAPI authentication was successful. Otherwise, the error ERROR: use of GSS authentication requires an Enterprise license is shown.

See also


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