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realmd-sssd (2) Versions 0.2.4

Joins a realm via realmd and configures SSSD

cookbook 'realmd-sssd', '~> 0.2.4', :supermarket
cookbook 'realmd-sssd', '~> 0.2.4'
knife supermarket install realmd-sssd
knife supermarket download realmd-sssd
Quality 17%


realmd is a DBus service that configures network authentication and domain membership in a standard way. It provides automatic realm or domain discovery and configures SSSD or winbind to do the actual network authentication and user account lookups.

SSSD (System Security Services Daemon) allows a local service to check with a local access/authentication cache in SSSD, but that cache may be taken from any variety of remote identity providers -- an LDAP directory, an Identity Management domain, Active Directory, possibly even a Kerberos realm.

An integrated realm furnished with the appropriate schema and attribute values provides a single management point from which to control authentication and authorization policies for an organization. See the Integration section below for examples.

Supported Platforms

  • Debian 8
  • CentOS 7
  • Fedora 23
  • Ubuntu 14


Attribute Type Default Description
['realmd-sssd']['join'] Boolean false Whether or not to join the domain.
['realmd-sssd']['debian-mkhomedir-umask'] String '0022' Octal representation of the home directory creation mask (Debian platform family specific).
['realmd-sssd']['packages'] Array varies by platform List of packages required for realmd to join the realm.
['realmd-sssd']['host-spn'] String node['fqdn'] given proper DNS, or node['machinename'] Alternate computer name to use when joining the domain (i.e.: ec2 instance ID)
['realmd-sssd']['password-auth'] Boolean false Enable OpenSSH server password authentication system-wide. Note that a value of false does not explicitly disable password authentication -- for that, refer to ['realmd-sssd']['ldap-key-auth'] attributes. A value of true will override ['openssh']['server']['password_authentication'] with 'yes'
['realmd-sssd']['ldap-key-auth']['enable'] Boolean false Enable OpenSSH server to retrieve public key information from LDAP only for listed networks. Enables password authentication on these networks as a fallback. Disables password authentication system-wide via a Match * directive.
['realmd-sssd']['ldap-key-auth']['cidr'] Array empty Array List of IPv4 or IPv6 CIDR blocks from which to allow SSH connections.
['realmd-sssd']['config'] Hash default SSSD configuration Hash Default SSSD configuration hash. You likely won't need to change this.
['realmd-sssd']['extra-config'] Hash emtpy Hash Extra configuration which will be merged and override the default SSSD configuration Hash. See Usage for an example.
['realmd-sssd']['vault-name'] String 'realmd-sssd' Name of the chef-vault with the vault item holding realm information required to join.
['realmd-sssd']['vault-item'] String 'realm' Name of the chef-vault item containing values for realm, username, password, and optionally computer-ou.


This cookbook relies on Chef Vault. Nodes will require at least one successful chef-client run before the Vault can be refreshed thus granting nodes access. This creates a chicken-or-egg scenario.

The widely-implemented organization base role/cookbook pattern helps with this situation. For details on how to implement this cookbook in a organization base role/cookbook, see the Supplying Attributes section.

First, create a Chef Vault item with a search query for your organization's base cookbook or role:

knife vault create realmd-sssd realm -S 'recipe:organization-base OR role:organization-base'

Example Vault item content with optional per-environment data:

  "id": "realm",
  "realm": "",
  "username": "ad-join",
  "password": "change42me",
  "computer-ou": "OU=Linux-Hosts,DC=example,DC=org",
  "prod-na": {
    "realm": "",
    "username": "ad-join-na",
    "password": "change4na2me",
    "computer-ou": "OU=Linux-Hosts,DC=NA,DC=example,DC=com"
  "prod-eu": {
    "realm": "",
    "username": "ad-join-eu",
    "password": "change4eu2me",
    "computer-ou": "OU=Linux-Hosts,DC=EU,DC=example,DC=com"

Note: any node not belonging to a specified environment will fall back to the global values.

Then, after nodes are created and bootstrapped with your organization's base cookbook/role, refresh the Vault:

knife vault refresh realmd-sssd realm

Finally, add realmd-sssd to your node's run_list:

# with Chef role
  "run_list": [
# with wrapper cookbook
  "run_list": [

Supplying Attributes

The example Chef role default attributes below demonstrate how to add and override sssd.conf values via the node['realmd-sssd']['extra-config'] attribute.

  "default_attributes": {
    "realmd-sssd": {
      "join": "true",
      "extra-config": {
        "[domain/]": {
          "realmd_tags": "managed by chef",
          "ad_access_filter": "(&(memberOf=CN=linux-users,OU=Groups,DC=example,DC=org)(objectCategory=user)(sAMAccountName=*))"
      "debian-mkhomedir-umask": "0077",
      "ldap-key-auth": {
        "enable": "true",
        "cidr": [

If wrapper cookbooks are preferred to Chef roles, below is an example organization-base::default recipe snippet:

node.default['realmd-sssd']['extra-config'] = {
  '[domain/]' =>  {
    'access_provider' =>  'simple',
    'ldap_sasl_mech' =>  'GSSAPI',
    'ldap_user_extra_attrs' =>  'altSecurityIdentities:altSecurityIdentities',
    'ldap_user_ssh_public_key' =>  'altSecurityIdentities',
    'simple_allow_groups' =>  [
    'realmd_tags' =>  'managed by Chef'
node.default['realmd-sssd']['join'] = true
node.default['realmd-sssd']['ldap-key-auth'] = {
  'enable' => true,
  'cidr' => [ '::1/128', '' ]

# do *not* include_recipe 'realmd-sssd' !

It's important to not include the realmd-sssd::default recipe in your organization's base role/cookbook due to the nature of Chef Vault. See the Usage section for details.

Merge Behavior

Note that values supplied in the the extra-config Hash will merge if data types allow, and overwrite if not. For example, when given a String: "realmd_tags": "managed by chef" the default realmd_tags will be replaced, but given an Array "realmd_tags": [ "managed by chef" ] the default realmd_tags are appended.


See [.kitchen.yml](.kitchen.yml) and .kitchen.driver.yml ([openstack](.kitchen.openstack.yml), [vagrant](.kitchen.vagrant.yml)) for examples.

First, create a kitchen.local.yml:

cp .kitchen.vagrant.yml .kitchen.local.yml

Then create the local data bag required by the Test Kitchen join-realm suite:

# Assuming ChefDK
chef exec bundle install --with development
knife solo data bag create realmd-sssd realm -c .chef/solo.rb

Example Vault item with optional integration environment data for serverspec testing:

  "id": "realm",
  "realm": "",
  "username": "testuser",
  "password": "change42me",
  "computer-ou": "OU=Linux-Hosts,DC=example,DC=org",
  "integration": {
    "realm": "",
    "username": "testdevuser",
    "password": "change4dev2me",
    "computer-ou": "OU=dev,OU=Linux-Hosts,DC=example,DC=com"

Finally, run the serverspec tests:

kitchen test --destroy never

Integration testing SUTs will not automagically leave the domain and clean up after themselves when destroyed.

For the purposes of integration testing, Chef Vault will fall back to reading plaintext data bag contents. In a production deployment, please consider setting ['chef-vault']['databag_fallback'] to false.


LDAP SSH public keys

Public SSH keys must be present via sshPublicKey or another attribute in LDAP. The key must begin with the key-type prefix or a custom SSH AuthorizedKeysCommand must be specified (i.e. if querying the attribute returns "SSHKey: ssh-rsa AAAA..." instead of "ssh-rsa AAAA...").

The [integration key](extras/ must be present in the test user's LDAP public key attribute for the integration tests to succeed. For example:$ ldapsearch -LLL -H ldap:// -Y GSSAPI -b 'DC=example,DC=org' 'CN=Test User' altSecurityIdentities
SASL/GSSAPI authentication started
SASL username: testuser@EXAMPLE.ORG
SASL data security layer installed.
dn: CN=Test User,CN=Users,DC=example,DC=org
altSecurityIdentities: ecdsa-sha2-nistp521 AAAAE2VjZHNhLXNoYTItbmlzdHA1MjEAAAA
 m1CpZn5WHS2HePyS1+2OEalX+JZsStCVwZKlVTHJw== Test Kitchen realmd-sssd integrat
 ion key

LDAP sudoers

The sudo source code has relevant LDAP schemas under doc/. LDAP sudoRole objects can define sudoers policy for users and groups.$ ldapsearch -LLL -H ldap:// -Y GSSAPI -b 'DC=example,DC=org' 'CN=linux-admins' member name object{Category,Class} sudo{Command,Host,Option,User}
SASL/GSSAPI authentication started
SASL username: testuser@EXAMPLE.ORG
SASL data security layer installed.
dn: CN=Linux-Admins,OU=SSSD-Integration,DC=example,DC=org
objectClass: top
objectClass: group
member: CN=Test User,CN=Users,DC=example,DC=org
name: Linux-Admins
objectCategory: CN=Group,CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=example,DC=org

dn: CN=Linux-Admins,OU=Sudoers,OU=SSSD-Integration,DC=example,DC=org
objectClass: top
objectClass: sudoRole
name: Linux-Admins
objectCategory: CN=sudoRole,CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=example,DC=org
sudoHost: ALL
sudoUser: %Linux-Admins
sudoOption: !authenticate
sudoCommand: ALL

License and Authors

Author:: John Bartko (

Copyright:: 2016 John Bartko

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

apt >= 0.0.0
chef-vault >= 0.0.0
openssh ~> 1.6.0
selinux >= 0.0.0
selinux_policy ~> 0.9.3
yum ~> 3.9.0

Contingent cookbooks

There are no cookbooks that are contingent upon this one.


  • serverspec now leverages shared examples between suites


  • better documentation
  • better attribute handling
  • add per-environment Vault data
  • support SELinux-enabled operating systems (Thanks Nitzan Raz)
  • gitignore fixup


  • fix supported platform versions in metadata


  • add supported platforms to metadata


  • serverspec integration tests leverage solo data bag contents
  • 7 new serverspec resources, 14 new matchers
  • better documentation
  • add support for Ubuntu 14 and Fedora 23
  • add ability to enforce SSH password authentication for only approved networks/hosts
  • more robust logic around ensuring the domain is properly joined and SSSD services meet all requirements for LDAP/Kerberos integration.
  • update openssh cookbook dependency to help mitigate CVE-2016-0777 / CVE-2016-0778 OpenSSH client bug
  • update yum cookbook to support Test Kitchen on FC23
  • attribute 'net-password-auth' renamed to 'ldap-key-auth'


  • Fix host SPN creation


Initial fork of realmd-sssd from localytics/chef-sssd

  • entirely code-driven sssd.conf template
  • programmatic hooks into configuring OpenSSH server
  • move to Chef Vault from encrypted data bags
  • simplified realm joining process
  • support for specifying destination OU

Collaborator Number Metric

0.2.4 failed this metric

Failure: Cookbook has 0 collaborators. A cookbook must have at least 2 collaborators to pass this metric.

Contributing File Metric

0.2.4 failed this metric

Failure: To pass this metric, your cookbook metadata must include a source url, the source url must be in the form of, and your repo must contain a file

Foodcritic Metric

0.2.4 failed this metric

FC066: Ensure chef_version is set in metadata: realmd-sssd/metadata.rb:1
FC069: Ensure standardized license defined in metadata: realmd-sssd/metadata.rb:1
FC109: Use platform-specific package resources instead of provider property: realmd-sssd/recipes/default.rb:48
Run with Foodcritic Version 16.3.0 with tags metadata,correctness ~FC031 ~FC045 and failure tags any

No Binaries Metric

0.2.4 passed this metric

Testing File Metric

0.2.4 failed this metric

Failure: To pass this metric, your cookbook metadata must include a source url, the source url must be in the form of, and your repo must contain a file

Version Tag Metric

0.2.4 failed this metric

Failure: To pass this metric, your cookbook metadata must include a source url, the source url must be in the form of, and your repo must include a tag that matches this cookbook version number