Projects/Documentation Tasks

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This is an early stage project for MIT Kerberos. It is being fleshed out by its proponents. Feel free to help flesh out the details of this project. After the project is ready, it will be presented for review and approval.


To keep track of the various tasks that need to be documented such as function documentation, administration, troubleshooting etc.

Matrix of Document-Type VS Intended Readership
Doc-type/Reader Architectural Guide Setup & Config of Kerberos Admin & Operations of Kerberos Custom Build API Description API Details
System Admins
Application Developers
GSSAPI Developers
Kerberos Developers

Application development

task Proposed Author Target Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Designing a new protocol, or extending existing one, to use GSS-API NW
Choosing security API
  • GSS-API vs SASL vs KRB5
  • A guide to the similarities and differences between Heimdal and MIT Kerberos API
  • A basic introduction to GSS-API, making use of the sample client and server, with special attention paid to Kerberos-related GSS-API issues
  • How to tell the GSS-API library on the client side where the existing Kerberos ticket cache is
  • How to write mechanism-independent GSS-API code
  • Acceptor naming - How to get servers to use any key in a keytab
GH 2012-03-01 ready for review
  • A guide to GSS-API naming as compared to Kerberos principal naming
  • Using IAKERB
  • Anonymous credentials
  • Delegating credentials
  • Available extensions
  • Thread safety
  • Validating the flags set on the connection to ensure things like mutual authentication, confidentiality, integrity, replay protection, and sequence protection
Developing plugins GH 2012-03-08 ready for review
  • A guide to developing plugins
  • Overview of existing pluggable interfaces
Krb5 library guide
  • A more advanced introduction to using the Kerberos libraries for initial authentication, focusing on the authentication steps, validating initial credential
TY 2012-04-27
  • Kerberos prompter behavior
  • An introduction to ticket caches and keytabs and their corresponding APIs
KR under review
  • An advanced guide to the pre-auth mechanisms, FAST
  • An advanced guide to the principal manipulation and parsing
TY 2012-05-04
  • Thread safety
  • Password change including the automatic internal support for password change on expired passwords if a prompter is provided
  • krb5_appdefault_* functions and their alternatives
MIT Kerberos features : quick facts ZT ongoing
How to build Kerberos from source ZT ready for review


task Proposed Author Target Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Introduction to Kerberos system
  • Man page
  • General overview
Setting a new realm
  • Choosing backend: LDAP vs DB2
  • Replication
ZT ready for review
  • DNS configuration and SRV records - how they are used, in what order
Integration Kerberos with Login System
  • Difference between real Kerberos authentication, Kerberos password verification on the server side, and "LDAP authentication" in a Kerberos environment
  • Validating Kerberos tickets
  • Clear text password over HTTPS
  • Configuring with pam_krb5 module
  • Storing/locating keytab
  • cross-realm interaction with AD
  • Transitive trust
  • Referrals
  • Performance tuning tips
  • Performance tradeoffs
kadmin interface
  • Keying workstation/ host key setting
Using Smartcard with PKINIT
Kerberized ssh NW
  • Configuration
  • Cross-realm and ssh
Selecting and configuring plugins GH 2012-03-15 ready for review
Anonymity support
A guide to principal naming basics and structure
  • Troubleshooting errors
ZT ongoing
  • Trace logging
GH 2012-03-22 ready for review
  • Realm renaming
Using LDAP server for Kerberos backend ZT Ubuntu 10.4 (lucid)
Basic concepts (passwd policy, ticket )
Approaches to authorization -- centralized vs distributed, etc.

API documentation

Most commonly used API functions (in alphabetical order)

Tier 1 - Highest priority
API Proposed Author Reviewer Target Date Reviewer Comments
krb5_build_principal [1] ZT GH
krb5_build_principal_alloc_va [2] ZT GH
krb5_build_principal_ext [3] ZT GH
krb5_cc_close [4] ZT GH
krb5_cc_default [5] ZT GH
krb5_cc_default_name [6] ZT GH
krb5_cc_destroy [7] ZT GH
krb5_cc_dup [8] ZT GH
krb5_cc_get_name [9] ZT GH
krb5_cc_get_principal [10] ZT GH
krb5_cc_get_type [11] ZT GH
krb5_cc_initialize [12] ZT GH
krb5_cc_new_unique [13] ZT GH
krb5_cc_resolve [14] ZT GH
krb5_change_password [15] ZT GH
krb5_free_context [16] ZT GH
krb5_free_error_message [17] ZT GH
krb5_free_principal [18] ZT GH
krb5_fwd_tgt_cred [19] ZT GH Needs example
krb5_get_default_realm [20] ZT GH
krb5_get_error_message [21] ZT GH
krb5_get_host_realm [22] ZT GH
krb5_get_credentials [23] ZT GH
krb5_get_fallback_host_realm [24] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_keytab [25] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_alloc [26] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_free [27] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_get_fast_flags [28] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_init [29] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_address_list [30] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_anonymous [31] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_canonicalize [32] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_change_password_prompt [33] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_etype_list [34] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_expire_callback [35] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_fast_ccache [36] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_fast_ccache_name [37] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_fast_flags [38] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_forwardable [39] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_out_ccache [40] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_pa [41] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_preauth_list [42] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_proxiable [43] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_renew_life [44] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_salt [45] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_opt_set_tkt_life [46] ZT GH
krb5_get_init_creds_password [47] ZT GH
krb5_get_profile [48] ZT GH
krb5_get_prompt_types [49] ZT GH
krb5_get_renewed_creds [50] ZT GH
krb5_get_validated_creds [51] ZT GH
krb5_init_context [52] ZT GH
krb5_init_secure_context [53] ZT GH
krb5_is_config_principal [54] ZT GH
krb5_is_thread_safe [55] ZT GH
krb5_kt_close [56] ZT GH
krb5_kt_default [57] ZT GH
krb5_kt_default_name [58] ZT GH
krb5_kt_get_name [59] ZT GH
krb5_kt_get_type [60] ZT GH
krb5_kt_resolve [61] ZT GH
krb5_kuserok [62] ZT GH
krb5_parse_name [63] ZT GH
krb5_parse_name_flags [64] ZT GH
krb5_principal_compare [65] ZT GH
krb5_principal_compare_any_realm [66] ZT GH
krb5_principal_compare_flags [67] ZT GH
krb5_prompter_posix [68] ZT GH
krb5_realm_compare [69] ZT GH
krb5_recvauth [70] ZT GH
krb5_recvauth_version [71] ZT GH
krb5_set_default_realm [72] ZT GH
krb5_set_password [73] ZT GH
krb5_set_password_using_ccache [74] ZT GH
krb5_set_principal_realm [75] ZT GH
krb5_set_trace_callback [76] ZT GH
krb5_set_trace_filename [77] ZT GH
krb5_sname_to_principal [78] ZT GH
krb5_unparse_name [79] ZT GH
krb5_unparse_name_ext [80] ZT GH
krb5_unparse_name_flags [81] ZT GH
krb5_unparse_name_flags_ext [82] ZT GH
krb5_us_timeofday [83] ZT GH
krb5_verify_authdata_kdc_issued [84] ZT GH

Manpage proofreading

manpage original reviewer comments
k5identity.5 src/gen-manpages/k5identity.M GH
k5login.5 src/gen-manpages/k5login.M GH
k5srvutil.1 src/kadmin/cli/k5srvutil.M GH
kadmin.1 src/kadmin/cli/kadmin.M GH
kadmind.8 src/kadmin/server/kadmind.M GH
kdb5_ldap_util.8 src/plugins/kdb/ldap/ldap_util/kdb5_ldap_util.M GH
kdb5_util.8 src/kadmin/dbutil/kdb5_util.M GH
kdc.conf.5 src/config-files/kdc.conf.M GH
kdestroy.1 src/clients/kdestroy/kdestroy.M GH
kinit.1 src/clients/kinit/kinit.M GH
kpasswd.1 src/clients/kpasswd/kpasswd.M GH
kprop.8 src/slave/kprop.M GH
kpropd.8 src/slave/kpropd.M GH
kproplog.8 src/slave/kproplog.M GH
krb5-send-pr.1 src/util/send-pr/send-pr.1 copyright issues. Removed from the documentation
krb5.conf.5 src/config-files/krb5.conf.M GH
krb5kdc.8 src/kdc/krb5kdc.M GH
ksu.1 src/clients/ksu/ksu.M GH needs rewrite
kswitch.1 src/clients/kswitch/kswitch.M GH
kvno.1 src/clients/kvno/kvno.M GH
sclient.1 src/appl/sample/sclient/sclient.M GH
sserver.8 src/appl/sample/sserver/sserver.M GH


abbreviation full names?
GH Greg Hudson
KR Ken Raeburn
NW Nico Williams
TH Thomas Hardjono
TY Tom Yu
ZT Zhanna Tsitkov