Thank you all for your time and attention. Very simply I'm getting this error when invoking kinit to test kerberos authentication against my AD domain (which is hosted on a Server 2012 box).

The error: kinit: Cannot contact any KDC for realm 'MYDOMAIN.LOCAL' while getting initial credentials

Now, everything is fixed when I either explicitly set the KDC to an IP address instead of the host name in /etc/krb5.conf (e.g. kdc = vs kdc = ad0.mydomain.local and same with admin_server) and it also works when the KDC is set as the hostname in /etc/krb5.conf and the KDC also has an explicit entry in /etc/hosts. My real question is why is this necessary? The whole point of DNS is to not have to use these local hosts files and I don't want my config setup that way. Does anyone know why this works this way? All the usual network tools and the host -t SRV ... queries all seem to work correctly (details below) without these extra steps (/etc/krb5.conf lists host name and no entry in /etc/hosts).

So can anyone tell me why kinit seems to be ignoring my resolv.conf file?


  • local host IP is
  • Local hostname is ps
  • Local FQDN is ps.mydomain.local
  • AD host IP is
  • AD hostname is ad0
  • AD FQDN is ad0.mydomain.local
  • AD is primary DNS
  • domain is mydomain.local (I know .local is bad, working on it)
  • Network is


auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
  dns-search MYDOMAIN.LOCAL

/etc/hosts localhost ps.mydomain.local ps

# IPv6 stuff, don't think it's relevant to the problem
::1 localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

/etc/resolv.conf - automatically generated



  default_realm = MYDOMAIN.LOCAL
  dns_lookup_kdc = true
  dns_lookup_realm = true
  # tried dns_lookup_realm as both true and false, no change

    kdc = ad0.mydomain.local
    admin_server = ad0.mydomain.local
    default_domain = mydomain.local

  .opticonwa.local = OPTICONWA.LOCAL
  opticonwa.local = OPTICONWA.LOCAL

Not including smb.conf as this all works once kinit functions.


user@ps:~$ KRB5_TRACE=/dev/stdout kinit administrator
[1634] 1447281918.814976: Getting initial credentials for [email protected]
[1634] 1447281918.815297: Sending request (181 bytes) to MYDOMAIN.LOCAL
[1634] 1447281918.815346: Resolving hostname ad0.mydomain.local
[1634] 1447281923.817731: Resolving hostname ad0.mydomain.local
kinit: Cannot contact any KDC for realm 'MYDOMAIN.LOCAL' while getting initial credentials

user@ps:~$ host -t SRV _kerberos._udp.mydomain.local
_kerberos._udp.mydomain.local has SRV record 0 0 88 ad0.mydomain.local.
_kerberos._udp.mydomain.local has SRV record 0 100 88 ad0.mydomain.local.

user@ps:~$ host -t SRV _kerberos._tcp.mydomain.local
_kerberos._tcp.mydomain.local has SRV record 0 0 88 ad0.mydomain.local.
_kerberos._tcp.mydomain.local has SRV record 0 100 88 ad0.mydomain.local.

user@ps:~$ dig -x
; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.5-Ubuntu <<>> -x
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 19749
;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4000
;  IN  PTR

;; ANSWER SECTION: 1200 IN   PTR ad0.mydomain.local.

;; Query time: 2 msec
;; WHEN: Thu Nov 12 11:19:27 PST 2015
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 92

Not sure why I'm showing 2 SRV records as the server only has 1 (at least that I'm aware of).

output of gentent hosts ...

user@ps:~$ getent hosts ad0.mydonaim.local

user@ps:~$ getent hosts ad0.mydomain.local

So reverse lookups work when the hosts file does not contain an entry for the domain controller. Forward lookups do not. Both work when the entry is in hosts...

Output of nsswitch.conf unmodified from base install...

passwd:     files winbind
group:      files winbind
#passwd:         compat
#group:          compat
shadow:         compat

hosts:          files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns
networks:       files

protocols:      db files
services:       db files
ethers:         db files
rpc:            db files

netgroup:       nis

So can anyone tell me why kinit seems to ignore /etc/resolv.conf? Does it have to do with the incomplete DNS implementation for the admin_server stanza in /etc/krb5.conf? Or am I stuck in some kind of DNS catch-22 that I'm failing to notice? But why only Kerberos? As an add-on question, why does the local host name need to be in /etc/hosts anyway? Can someone point me to a thorough writeup on linux networking that would explain how this works on the back end?

Thanks again for your help. This is really bugging me.

  • Is reverse lookup for KDC working via DNS ? dig -x
    – VenkatC
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 17:46
  • updated post with dig output. Looks like yes though I'm not sure why the DNS server isn't showing as authoratative.
    – Arkaxandai
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 19:24
  • that seems ok, still issue seems related to name resolution. Does lookup via 'getent hosts' work fine as well? for both ad0.mydomain.local and (without /etc/hosts entry in place)
    – VenkatC
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 19:54
  • Updated with getent hosts output. Been a bit busy, sorry for my delay. And thanks again for your attention.
    – Arkaxandai
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 1:32
  • So, basically something is wrong with host lookup order, even though dig works, kinit uses gethostbyname/addr internally and 'getent hosts' should work for both forrward and reverse lookups. Check nsswitch.conf entries for 'hosts' and make sure it has dns for host lookup after files
    – VenkatC
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


For kinit/kerberos to work properly, host name lookups should work for both forward and reverse zones. On Linux hosts nsswitch.conf determines the sources to obtain name-service information. Each line in that file controls the database sources, for example hosts line determines what sources would be looked up for host name resolution.

With default setting of hosts

hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns

DNS will not be looked up at all and it would return if host record was not found in files (/etc/hosts) and mdns4_minimal (This source seem to be related to avahi-daemon multicast DNS, however it seems unable to resolve your kerberos host)

Removing [NOTFOUND=return] allowed host resolution process to contact dns servers in /etc/resolv.conf (which seem to be working as per dig requests seen above)

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