MIT Kerberos V5-1.16.1

Introduction to MIT Kerberos V5

MIT Kerberos V5 is a free implementation of Kerberos 5. Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. It centralizes the authentication database and uses kerberized applications to work with servers or services that support Kerberos allowing single logins and encrypted communication over internal networks or the Internet.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.3 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 848e9b80d6aaaa798e3f3df24b83c407

  • Download size: 9.0 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 104 MB (add 25 MB for tests)

  • Estimated build time: 0.5 SBU (using parallelism=4; add 4.2 SBU for tests)

MIT Kerberos V5 Dependencies


DejaGnu-1.6.1 (for full test coverage), GnuPG-2.2.9 (to authenticate the package), keyutils-1.5.10, OpenLDAP-2.4.46, Python-2.7.15 (used during the testsuite), rpcbind-0.2.4 (used during the testsuite), and Valgrind-3.13.0 (used during the test suite)



Some sort of time synchronization facility on your system (like ntp-4.2.8p12) is required since Kerberos won't authenticate if there is a time difference between a kerberized client and the KDC server.

User Notes:

Installation of MIT Kerberos V5

Build MIT Kerberos V5 by running the following commands:

cd src &&
sed -i -e 's@\^u}@^u cols 300}@' tests/dejagnu/config/default.exp     &&
sed -i -e '/eq 0/{N;s/12 //}'    plugins/kdb/db2/libdb2/test/run.test &&

./configure --prefix=/usr            \
            --sysconfdir=/etc        \
            --localstatedir=/var/lib \
            --with-system-et         \
            --with-system-ss         \
            --with-system-verto=no   \
            --enable-dns-for-realm &&

To test the build, issue as the root user: make -k check. You need at least Tcl-8.6.8, which is used to drive the testsuite. Furthermore, DejaGnu-1.6.1 must be available for some of the tests to run. If you have a former version of MIT Kerberos V5 installed, it may happen that the test suite pick up the installed versions of the libraries, rather than the newly built ones. If so, it is better to run the tests after the installation. The t_ccselect test is known to fail.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

for f in gssapi_krb5 gssrpc k5crypto kadm5clnt kadm5srv \
         kdb5 kdb_ldap krad krb5 krb5support verto ; do

    find /usr/lib -type f -name "lib$f*.so*" -exec chmod -v 755 {} \;    
done          &&

mv -v /usr/lib/*        /lib &&
mv -v /usr/lib/*    /lib &&
mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib &&

ln -v -sf ../../lib/        /usr/lib/        &&
ln -v -sf ../../lib/    /usr/lib/    &&
ln -v -sf ../../lib/ /usr/lib/ &&

mv -v /usr/bin/ksu /bin &&
chmod -v 755 /bin/ksu   &&

install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/krb5-1.16.1 &&
cp -vfr ../doc/*  /usr/share/doc/krb5-1.16.1

Command Explanations

The first sed increases the width of the virtual terminal used for some tests to prevent some spurious text in the output which is taken as a failure. The second sed removes a test that is known to fail.

--localstatedir=/var/lib: This option is used so that the Kerberos variable run-time data is located in /var/lib instead of /usr/var.

--with-system-et: This switch causes the build to use the system-installed versions of the error-table support software.

--with-system-ss: This switch causes the build to use the system-installed versions of the subsystem command-line interface software.

--with-system-verto=no: This switch fixes a bug in the package: it does not recognize its own verto library installed previously. This is not a problem, if reinstalling the same version, but if you are updating, the old library is used as system's one, instead of installing the new version.

--enable-dns-for-realm: This switch allows realms to be resolved using the DNS server.

--with-ldap: Use this switch if you want to compile the OpenLDAP database backend module.

mv -v /usr/lib/libk... /lib and ln -v -sf ../../lib/libk... /usr/lib/libk...: Move critical libraries to the /lib directory so that they are available when the /usr filesystem is not mounted.

find /usr/lib -type f -name "lib$f*.so*" -exec chmod -v 755 {} \;: This command changes the permisison of installed libraries.

mv -v /usr/bin/ksu /bin: Moves the ksu program to the /bin directory so that it is available when the /usr filesystem is not mounted.

Configuring MIT Kerberos V5

Config Files

/etc/krb5.conf and /var/lib/krb5kdc/kdc.conf

Configuration Information

Kerberos Configuration


You should consider installing some sort of password checking dictionary so that you can configure the installation to only accept strong passwords. A suitable dictionary to use is shown in the CrackLib-2.9.6 instructions. Note that only one file can be used, but you can concatenate many files into one. The configuration file shown below assumes you have installed a dictionary to /usr/share/dict/words.

Create the Kerberos configuration file with the following commands issued by the root user:

cat > /etc/krb5.conf << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/krb5.conf

    default_realm = <EXAMPLE.ORG>
    encrypt = true

    <EXAMPLE.ORG> = {
        kdc = <>
        admin_server = <>
        dict_file = /usr/share/dict/words

    .<> = <EXAMPLE.ORG>

    admin_server = SYSLOG:INFO:AUTH

# End /etc/krb5.conf

You will need to substitute your domain and proper hostname for the occurrences of the <belgarath> and <> names.

default_realm should be the name of your domain changed to ALL CAPS. This isn't required, but both Heimdal and MIT recommend it.

encrypt = true provides encryption of all traffic between kerberized clients and servers. It's not necessary and can be left off. If you leave it off, you can encrypt all traffic from the client to the server using a switch on the client program instead.

The [realms] parameters tell the client programs where to look for the KDC authentication services.

The [domain_realm] section maps a domain to a realm.

Create the KDC database:

kdb5_util create -r <EXAMPLE.ORG> -s

Now you should populate the database with principals (users). For now, just use your regular login name or root.

kadmin.local: add_policy dict-only
kadmin.local: addprinc -policy dict-only <loginname>

The KDC server and any machine running kerberized server daemons must have a host key installed:

kadmin.local: addprinc -randkey host/<>

After choosing the defaults when prompted, you will have to export the data to a keytab file:

kadmin.local: ktadd host/<>

This should have created a file in /etc named krb5.keytab (Kerberos 5). This file should have 600 (root rw only) permissions. Keeping the keytab files from public access is crucial to the overall security of the Kerberos installation.

Exit the kadmin program (use quit or exit) and return back to the shell prompt. Start the KDC daemon manually, just to test out the installation:


Attempt to get a ticket with the following command:

kinit <loginname>

You will be prompted for the password you created. After you get your ticket, you can list it with the following command:


Information about the ticket should be displayed on the screen.

To test the functionality of the keytab file, issue the following command:

ktutil: rkt /etc/krb5.keytab
ktutil: l

This should dump a list of the host principal, along with the encryption methods used to access the principal.

At this point, if everything has been successful so far, you can feel fairly confident in the installation and configuration of the package.

Additional Information

For additional information consult the documentation for krb5-1.16.1 on which the above instructions are based.

Systemd Unit

If you want to start Kerberos services at boot, install the krb5.service unit included in the blfs-systemd-units-20180105 package using the following command:

make install-krb5


Installed Programs: gss-client, gss-server, k5srvutil, kadmin, kadmin.local, kadmind, kdb5_ldap_util (optional), kdb5_util, kdestroy, kinit, klist, kpasswd, kprop, kpropd, kproplog, krb5-config, krb5kdc, krb5-send-pr, ksu, kswitch, ktutil, kvno, sclient, sim_client, sim_server, sserver, uuclient, and uuserver
Installed Libraries:,,,,,,, (optional),,,,,, and some plugins under the /usr/lib/krb5 tree
Installed Directories: /usr/include/{gssapi,gssrpc,kadm5,krb5}, /usr/lib/krb5, /usr/share/{doc/krb5-1.16.1,examples/krb5}, /var/lib/krb5kdc, and /var/lib/run/krb5kdc

Short Descriptions


is a GSSAPI test client.


is a GSSAPI test server.


is a host keytable manipulation utility.


is an utility used to make modifications to the Kerberos database.


is an utility similar to kadmin, but if the database is db2, the local client kadmin.local, is intended to run directly on the master KDC without Kerberos authentication.


is a server for administrative access to a Kerberos database.

kdb5_ldap_util (optional)

allows an administrator to manage realms, Kerberos services and ticket policies.


is the KDC database utility.


removes the current set of tickets.


is used to authenticate to the Kerberos server as a principal and acquire a ticket granting ticket that can later be used to obtain tickets for other services.


reads and displays the current tickets in the credential cache.


is a program for changing Kerberos 5 passwords.


takes a principal database in a specified format and converts it into a stream of database records.


receives a database sent by kprop and writes it as a local database.


displays the contents of the KDC database update log to standard output.


gives information on how to link programs against libraries.


is the Kerberos 5 server.


sends a problem report (PR) to a central support site.


is the super user program using Kerberos protocol. Requires a properly configured /etc/shells and ~/.k5login containing principals authorized to become super users.


makes the specified credential cache the primary cache for the collection, if a cache collection is available.


is a program for managing Kerberos keytabs.


prints keyversion numbers of Kerberos principals.


is used to contact a sample server and authenticate to it using Kerberos 5 tickets, then display the server's response.


is a simple UDP-based sample client program, for demonstration.


is a simple UDP-based server application, for demonstration.


is the sample Kerberos 5 server.


is another sample client.


is another sample server.

contains the Generic Security Service Application Programming Interface (GSSAPI) functions which provides security services to callers in a generic fashion, supportable with a range of underlying mechanisms and technologies and hence allowing source-level portability of applications to different environments.

contains the administrative authentication and password checking functions required by Kerberos 5 client-side programs.

contains the administrative authentication and password checking functions required by Kerberos 5 servers.

is a Kerberos 5 authentication/authorization database access library.

contains the internal support library for RADIUS functionality.

is an all-purpose Kerberos 5 library.

Last updated on 2018-08-20 13:08:58 -0700