This is driving me batty. I'm trying to setup an AD integrated Ubuntu 16.04 server to accept Kerberos tickets when logging in via SSH. I have a CentOS 7 server that accepts tickets without a problem after being joined to the AD domain, but I haven't gotten the config quite right on the Ubuntu server.

Here's the setup:

  • Windows 2012 AD Domain (realdomain.tld)
  • Fedora 25 Workstation (wksf25.realdomain.tld)
  • CentOS 7 Server (sc7.realdomain.tld)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Server (su16.realdomain.tld)

Everything was joined to AD via realm, and that works without problems. Everything also gets Kerberos tickets on login or via kinit just fine. SSHing from wksf25 to sc7 works just fine, and I'm able to login via SSH using the kerberos ticket I obtain on login to wkfs25.

Here is the setup steps for Ubuntu:

  1. Install the packages:

    apt install realmd oddjob oddjob-mkhomedir sssd sssd-tools adcli samba-common krb5-user chrony packagekit libpam-krb5
  2. Edit chrony.conf to use the AD DCs.
  3. Setup realmd.conf: vim /etc/realmd.conf

    default-home = /home/%D/%U
    fully-qualified-names = no
    manage-system = no
    automatic-id-mapping = yes
  4. Join the domain: realm join -vU domainuser realdomain.tld

  5. Allow logins: realm permit -R realdomain.tld -g linuxadmins
  6. Ubuntu specific - Setup pam to create homedir on login: `vim /etc/pam.d/common-session'

    session optional        pam_mkhomedir.so umask=0077
  7. Ubuntu specific - Enable GSSAPI authentication in OpenSSH: vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config

    GSSAPIAuthentiction yes
    GSSAPICleanupCredentials no
  8. Login with domain account and make sure everything is working. Everything works at this point minus passwordless SSH logins via Kerberos tickets on the Ubuntu server.

Here is what I get from realm list:

  type: kerberos
  realm-name: REALDOMAIN.TLD
  domain-name: realdomain.tld
  configured: kerberos-member
  server-software: active-directory
  client-software: sssd
  required-package: sssd-tools
  required-package: sssd
  required-package: libnss-sss
  required-package: libpam-sss
  required-package: adcli
  required-package: samba-common-bin
  login-formats: %U
  login-policy: allow-permitted-logins
  permitted-groups: linuxusers


domains = realdomain.tld
config_file_version = 2
services = nss, pam

ad_domain = realdomain.tld
krb5_realm = REALDOAMIN.TLD
realmd_tags = joined-with-adcli 
cache_credentials = True
id_provider = ad
krb5_store_password_if_offline = True
default_shell = /bin/bash
ldap_id_mapping = True
use_fully_qualified_names = False
fallback_homedir = /home/%d/%u
access_provider = simple
simple_allow_groups = linuxusers


    dns_lookup_realm = false
    ticket_lifetime = 24h
    renew_lifetime = 7d
    forwardable = true
    rdns = false
    default_ccache_name = KEYRING:persistent:%{uid}

    default_realm = REALDOMAIN.TLD


    realdomain.org = REALDOMAIN.TLD
    .realdomain.org = REALDOMAIN.TLD

What am I missing?

  • can you use kerberos from centos to Ubuntu? – Jacob Evans Feb 1 '17 at 21:44
  • Nope. The problem is the same problem. debug1: Next authentication method: gssapi-with-mic debug1: Unspecified GSS failure. Minor code may provide more information Server not found in Kerberos database – quinnr Feb 1 '17 at 22:45
  • bump your debug level in [domain/realdomain.tld] debug_level = 6 – Jacob Evans Feb 1 '17 at 22:53
  • also, can you kinit on Ubuntu, be sure to UPPERCASE your realm – Jacob Evans Feb 1 '17 at 22:54
  • @JacobEvans Yep, kninit works like a charm. It's part of my testing procedures that I didn't post. Let me see if upping the debug level shows anything. – quinnr Feb 2 '17 at 0:17

Fixed. realm join -vU domainuser --membership-software=samba --client-software=sssd realdomain.tld to join the AD domain on Ubuntu rather then letting realm use the defaults.

There was one little difference in the SSSD configs that I didn't think was pertinent, but it turned out it was.

Ubuntu: realmd_tags = joined-with-adcli

CentOS: realmd_tags = joined-with-samba

To get a different perspective on the problem, I spun up an OpenSUSE VM and started researching how SUSE does their AD integration. While I was figuring out how SUSE does things, I ran across a post which suggests Samba should be used to join Windows Server 2012+ AD instead of adcli.1 Add that to the difference in the configs above, and that was a clue to what was going on.

Leaving the domain and rejoining with the updated realm command fixed the issue, and everything has been stable for the last day.

I don't have an exact root cause as to the differences between the two methods, but that's going to require more research and is a fight for another day.

  • Thanks for this post. I'm having a similar problem on Ubuntu 16.04. Tried CentOS 7 based on your answer, and I had success. However, using --membership-software=samba on Ubuntu did not solve it for me. Furthermore, using --membership-software=adcli still works on CentOS! The true difference continues to elude me... – Patrick Jul 14 '17 at 16:28
  • No real progress, but I did notice that on Ubuntu, adcli (and Samba's net command) link to both MIT Kerberos and Heimdal Kerberos, which I find strange. On CentOS, only MIT Kerberos is present. – Patrick Jul 21 '17 at 4:56

We had a similar situation crop up coincident with adding an SSL certificate to support LDAPS (although I never reverted that change to determine if it was causal). I'm not sure if there's any reason to prefer adcli, but I found two options fixed realm join while still using adcli (on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04):

Solution 1 (Ubuntu 16.04 or 14.04)

Add two settings to our krb5.conf (neither alone helped):

    canonicalize = true
    rdns = false

Solution 2 (Ubuntu 14.04 only)

I subsequently stumbled upon this git issue that suggested another option that (alone) is also working for us on 14.04:

    dns_canonicalize_hostname = false


We actually have full control over our DNS and were unable to find any issues in our existing records -- or any changes that eliminated the need for these.

  • Does setting the host name in /etc/hosts change anything? server1.domain.tld server1 localhost Ubuntu sets to the hostname, but this seems to get ignored more often then not. – quinnr Apr 19 '17 at 17:34
  • Had no effect for me. In my case, kinit worked fine, but the realm join (with adcli) reported KDC reply did not match expectations. Your suggestion (as well as the flags mentioned) resolved the realm join issue. I had to put the GSSAPI issue on the back burner since it was taking too long to resolve. – claytond Apr 20 '17 at 19:33

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