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Installing Kerberos on UNIX

Kerberos comes with most current UNIX systems, but it may be available as optional packages and it may require configuration before it can be used. Provided here is a summary of the steps to consider when setting up a system to use Kerberos and specific instructions for common UNIX operating systems. Microsoft Windows is not covered here. Mac OS X administrators may want to read on, but Mac OS X is not specifically discussed. Windows and Mac OS X desktop users should install Kerberos for Windows or the Kerberos Configuration Tool for Macintosh, which you can get via Essential Stanford Software.

For additional information about Kerberos aimed at system administrators, see the sysadmin guide.

There are three cumulative steps of installing Kerberos on a system. For some systems, one may wish to only do the first, or only the first and second. The guides below provide information about all three steps.

  1. Install Kerberos clients and basic configuration
  2. Allow Kerberos authentication for remote logins
  3. Allow Kerberos authentication for local logins

The first step is equivalent to the capabilities provided for Windows and Mac OS X systems by Stanford Desktop Tools. On many systems, Kerberos already comes with the operating system and all that's required is to download Stanford's krb5.conf and install it as /etc/krb5.conf.

We have guides for the following operating systems:

Note: Before Kerberos became widespread, University IT used to provide Kerberos installation kits for a wide variety of types of UNIX. Now that most versions of UNIX come with Kerberos, this is no longer necessary and usually not desired. It's generally better to use the version of Kerberos that comes with the operating system.

Last modified December 10, 2015