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.

Application development

task Proposed Author Target Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Designing a new protocol, or extending existing one, to use GSS-API
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
  • A guide to GSS-API naming as compared to Kerberos principal naming
  • Using IAKERB
  • Delegating credentials
GH 2012-10-01
  • Available extensions
  • Thread safety
  • Validating the flags set on the connection to ensure things like mutual authentication, confidentiality, integrity, replay protection, and sequence protection
Krb5 library guide
  • 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
  • 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
Completed task Author Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Choosing security API
  • Acceptor naming - How to get servers to use any key in a keytab
GH 2012-03-01
  • Anonymous credentials
GH 2012-10-01
Developing plugins GH 2012-03-08
  • A guide to developing plugins
  • Overview of existing pluggable interfaces
ZT reviewed profile plugin
A more advanced introduction to using the Kerberos libraries for initial authentication, focusing on the authentication steps, validating initial credential TY 2012-04-27
MIT Kerberos features : quick facts ZT ongoing
How to build Kerberos from source ZT


task Proposed Author Target Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Introduction to Kerberos system
  • Man page
TH 2012-08-15 in progress
  • General overview
TH 2012-08-15
  • Intro for admins
TH 2012-08-15
  • Technical overview
TH 2012-07-15 in progress
Setting a new realm
  • Choosing backend: LDAP vs DB2
  • DNS configuration and SRV records - how they are used, in what order
Choosing encryption types for principals TY 2012-12-14 under review
Upgrading a Kerberos infrastructure (order, backward compatibility)
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
  • Configuration
  • Cross-realm and ssh
A guide to principal naming basics and structure ZT 2013-03-01
  • Troubleshooting errors
ZT ongoing
  • Realm renaming
  • Forgot Kerberos Master Key
Basic concepts (passwd policy, ticket )
Approaches to authorization -- centralized vs distributed, etc.

Completed task Author Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Replication ZT
Reverse DNS TY 2012-12-12
Selecting and configuring plugins GH 2012-03-15
Anonymity support GH 2012-10-01
Trace logging GH 2012-03-22
Using LDAP server for Kerberos backend ZT Ubuntu 10.4 (lucid)
Acceptable date and time formats ZT 2012-07-15
kadm5.acl man page ZT 2012-08-15


task Proposed Author Target Date Reviewer Reviewer Comments
Why Kerberos system is suitable for the internet, not only for the enterprise TY
Impact RC4 vulnerabilities on Kerberos TY

API documentation

Most commonly used API functions (in alphabetical order):

Tier 1 - Highest priority
Completed API Author Reviewer 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

We may want to have more examples for some of the common API functions.

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