Using Kerberos Authentication

Note: The following steps for enabling Kerberos are not required if you install HAWQ using Ambari.

You can control access to HAWQ with a Kerberos authentication server.

HAWQ supports the Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (GSSAPI) with Kerberos authentication. GSSAPI provides automatic authentication (single sign-on) for systems that support it. You specify the HAWQ users (roles) that require Kerberos authentication in the HAWQ configuration file pg_hba.conf. The login fails if Kerberos authentication is not available when a role attempts to log in to HAWQ.

Kerberos provides a secure, encrypted authentication service. It does not encrypt data exchanged between the client and database and provides no authorization services. To encrypt data exchanged over the network, you must use an SSL connection. To manage authorization for access to HAWQ databases and objects such as schemas and tables, you use settings in the pg_hba.conf file and privileges given to HAWQ users and roles within the database. For information about managing authorization privileges, see Managing Roles and Privileges.

For more information about Kerberos, see

Requirements for Using Kerberos with HAWQ

The following items are required for using Kerberos with HAWQ:

  • Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) server using the krb5-server library
  • Kerberos version 5 krb5-libs and krb5-workstation packages installed on the HAWQ master host
  • System time on the Kerberos server and HAWQ master host must be synchronized. (Install Linux ntp package on both servers.)
  • Network connectivity between the Kerberos server and the HAWQ master
  • Java 1.7.0_17 or later is required to use Kerberos-authenticated JDBC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x
  • Java 1.6.0_21 or later is required to use Kerberos-authenticated JDBC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.x or 5.x

Enabling Kerberos Authentication for HAWQ

Complete the following tasks to set up Kerberos authentication with HAWQ:

  1. Verify your system satisfies the prequisites for using Kerberos with HAWQ. See Requirements for Using Kerberos with HAWQ.
  2. Set up, or identify, a Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) server to use for authentication. See Install and Configure a Kerberos KDC Server.
  3. Create and deploy principals for your HDFS cluster, and ensure that kerberos authentication is enabled and functioning for all HDFS services. See your Hadoop documentation for additional details.
  4. In a Kerberos database on the KDC server, set up a Kerberos realm and principals on the server. For HAWQ, a principal is a HAWQ role that uses Kerberos authentication. In the Kerberos database, a realm groups together Kerberos principals that are HAWQ roles.
  5. Create Kerberos keytab files for HAWQ. To access HAWQ, you create a service key known only by Kerberos and HAWQ. On the Kerberos server, the service key is stored in the Kerberos database.

    On the HAWQ master, the service key is stored in key tables, which are files known as keytabs. The service keys are usually stored in the keytab file /etc/krb5.keytab. This service key is the equivalent of the service’s password, and must be kept secure. Data that is meant to be read-only by the service is encrypted using this key.

  6. Install the Kerberos client packages and the keytab file on HAWQ master.

  7. Create a Kerberos ticket for gpadmin on the HAWQ master node using the keytab file. The ticket contains the Kerberos authentication credentials that grant access to the HAWQ.

With Kerberos authentication configured on the HAWQ, you can use Kerberos for PSQL and JDBC.

Set up HAWQ with Kerberos for PSQL

Set up HAWQ with Kerberos for JDBC

Install and Configure a Kerberos KDC Server

Steps to set up a Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) server on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux host for use with HAWQ.

Follow these steps to install and configure a Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) server on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux host.

  1. Install the Kerberos server packages:

    sudo yum install krb5-libs krb5-server krb5-workstation
  2. Edit the /etc/krb5.conf configuration file. The following example shows a Kerberos server with a default KRB.EXAMPLE.COM realm.

     default = FILE:/var/log/krb5libs.log
     kdc = FILE:/var/log/krb5kdc.log
     admin_server = FILE:/var/log/kadmind.log
     default_realm = KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
     dns_lookup_realm = false
     dns_lookup_kdc = false
     ticket_lifetime = 24h
     renew_lifetime = 7d
     forwardable = true
     default_tgs_enctypes = aes128-cts des3-hmac-sha1 des-cbc-crc des-cbc-md5
     default_tkt_enctypes = aes128-cts des3-hmac-sha1 des-cbc-crc des-cbc-md5
     permitted_enctypes = aes128-cts des3-hmac-sha1 des-cbc-crc des-cbc-md5
      kdc = kerberos-gpdb:88
      admin_server = kerberos-gpdb:749
      default_domain = kerberos-gpdb
     .kerberos-gpdb = KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
     kerberos-gpdb = KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
     pam = {
        debug = false
        ticket_lifetime = 36000
        renew_lifetime = 36000
        forwardable = true
        krb4_convert = false

    The kdc and admin_server keys in the [realms] section specify the host (kerberos-gpdb) and port where the Kerberos server is running. IP numbers can be used in place of host names.

    If your Kerberos server manages authentication for other realms, you would instead add the KRB.EXAMPLE.COM realm in the [realms] and [domain_realm] section of the kdc.conf file. See the Kerberos documentation for information about the kdc.conf file.

  3. To create a Kerberos KDC database, run the kdb5_util.

    kdb5_util create -s

    The kdb5_utilcreate option creates the database to store keys for the Kerberos realms that are managed by this KDC server. The -s option creates a stash file. Without the stash file, every time the KDC server starts it requests a password.

  4. Add an administrative user to the KDC database with the kadmin.local utility. Because it does not itself depend on Kerberos authentication, the kadmin.local utility allows you to add an initial administrative user to the local Kerberos server. To add the user gpadmin as an administrative user to the KDC database, run the following command:

    kadmin.local -q "addprinc gpadmin/admin"

    Most users do not need administrative access to the Kerberos server. They can use kadmin to manage their own principals (for example, to change their own password). For information about kadmin, see the Kerberos documentation.

  5. If needed, edit the /var/kerberos/krb5kdc/kadm5.acl file to grant the appropriate permissions to gpadmin.

  6. Start the Kerberos daemons:

    /sbin/service krb5kdc start
    /sbin/service kadmin start
  7. To start Kerberos automatically upon restart:

    /sbin/chkconfig krb5kdc on
    /sbin/chkconfig kadmin on

Create HAWQ Roles in the KDC Database

Add principals to the Kerberos realm for HAWQ.

Start kadmin.local in interactive mode, then add two principals to the HAWQ Realm.

  1. Start kadmin.local in interactive mode:

  2. Add principals:

    kadmin.local: addprinc gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb@KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
    kadmin.local: addprinc postgres/

    The addprinc commands prompt for passwords for each principal. The first addprinc creates a HAWQ user as a principal, gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb. The second addprinc command creates the postgres process on the HAWQ master host as a principal in the Kerberos KDC. This principal is required when using Kerberos authentication with HAWQ.

  3. Create a Kerberos keytab file with kadmin.local. The following example creates a keytab file gpdb-kerberos.keytab in the current directory with authentication information for the two principals.

    kadmin.local: xst -k gpdb-kerberos.keytab

    You will copy this file to the HAWQ master host.

  4. Exit kadmin.local interactive mode with the quit command:kadmin.local: quit

Install and Configure the Kerberos Client

Steps to install the Kerberos client on the HAWQ master host.

Install the Kerberos client libraries on the HAWQ master and configure the Kerberos client.

  1. Install the Kerberos packages on the HAWQ master.

    sudo yum install krb5-libs krb5-workstation
  2. Ensure that the /etc/krb5.conf file is the same as the one that is on the Kerberos server.

  3. Copy the gpdb-kerberos.keytab file that was generated on the Kerberos server to the HAWQ master host.

  4. Remove any existing tickets with the Kerberos utility kdestroy. Run the utility as root.

    sudo kdestroy
  5. Use the Kerberos utility kinit to request a ticket using the keytab file on the HAWQ master for gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb@KRB.EXAMPLE.COM. The -t option specifies the keytab file on the HAWQ master.

    # kinit -k -t gpdb-kerberos.keytab gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb@KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
  6. Use the Kerberos utility klist to display the contents of the Kerberos ticket cache on the HAWQ master. The following is an example:

    # klist
    Ticket cache: FILE:/tmp/krb5cc_108061
    Default principal: gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb@KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
    Valid starting     Expires            Service principal
    03/28/13 14:50:26  03/29/13 14:50:26  krbtgt/KRB.EXAMPLE.COM     @KRB.EXAMPLE.COM
        renew until 03/28/13 14:50:26

Set up HAWQ with Kerberos for PSQL

Configure a HAWQ to use Kerberos.

After you have set up Kerberos on the HAWQ master, you can configure HAWQ to use Kerberos. For information on setting up the HAWQ master, see Install and Configure the Kerberos Client.

  1. Create a HAWQ administrator role in the database template1 for the Kerberos principal that is used as the database administrator. The following example uses gpamin/kerberos-gpdb.

    $ psql template1 -c 'CREATE ROLE "gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb" LOGIN SUPERUSER;'

    The role you create in the database template1 will be available in any new HAWQ that you create.

  2. Modify hawq-site.xml to specify the location of the keytab file. For example, adding this line to the hawq-site.xml specifies the folder /home/gpadmin as the location of the keytab filegpdb-kerberos.keytab.

  3. Modify the HAWQ file pg_hba.conf to enable Kerberos support. Then restart HAWQ (hawq restart -a). For example, adding the following line to pg_hba.conf adds GSSAPI and Kerberos support. The value for krb_realm is the Kerberos realm that is used for authentication to HAWQ.

    host all all gss include_realm=0 krb_realm=KRB.EXAMPLE.COM

    For information about the pg_hba.conf file, see The pg_hba.conf file in the Postgres documentation.

  4. Create a ticket using kinit and show the tickets in the Kerberos ticket cache with klist.

  5. As a test, log in to the database as the gpadmin role with the Kerberos credentials gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb:

    $ psql -U "gpadmin/kerberos-gpdb" -h master.test template1

    A username map can be defined in the pg_ident.conf file and specified in the pg_hba.conf file to simplify logging into HAWQ. For example, this psql command logs into the default HAWQ on mdw.proddb as the Kerberos principal adminuser/mdw.proddb:

    $ psql -U "adminuser/mdw.proddb" -h mdw.proddb

    If the default user is adminuser, the pg_ident.conf file and the pg_hba.conf file can be configured so that the adminuser can log in to the database as the Kerberos principal adminuser/mdw.proddb without specifying the -U option:

    $ psql -h mdw.proddb

    The pg_ident.conf file defines the username map. This file is located in the HAWQ master data directory (identified by the hawq_master_directory property value in hawq-site.xml):

    mymap       /^(.*)mdw\.proddb$     adminuser

    The map can be specified in the pg_hba.conf file as part of the line that enables Kerberos support:

    host all all krb5 include_realm=0 krb_realm=proddb map=mymap

    For more information about specifying username maps see Username maps in the Postgres documentation.

  6. If a Kerberos principal is not a HAWQ user, a message similar to the following is displayed from the psql command line when the user attempts to log in to the database:

    psql: krb5_sendauth: Bad response

    The principal must be added as a HAWQ user.

Set up HAWQ with Kerberos for JDBC

Enable Kerberos-authenticated JDBC access to HAWQ.

You can configure HAWQ to use Kerberos to run user-defined Java functions.

  1. Ensure that Kerberos is installed and configured on the HAWQ master. See Install and Configure the Kerberos Client.
  2. Create the file .java.login.config in the folder /home/gpadmin and add the following text to the file:

    pgjdbc { required
  3. Create a Java application that connects to HAWQ using Kerberos authentication. The following example database connection URL uses a PostgreSQL JDBC driver and specifies parameters for Kerberos authentication:


    The parameter names and values specified depend on how the Java application performs Kerberos authentication.

  4. Test the Kerberos login by running a sample Java application from HAWQ.