I have successfully installed Kerberos on debian wheezy and can perform service authentication (Apache, ssh) with Kerberos tickets from kinit.

I would like to use certificates for kinit (pkinit) instead of passwords.

I have followed the steps describes here.

I am trying to authenticate with this command:

kinit -C FILE:client.pem,client.key client@MAYTACAPAC.INC

which returns password incorrect.

I am quite sure the trouble comes from the server and not the client. From wireshark, client sends its certificate when using pkinit. Because no AS-REP is provided from the kdc, maybe the client ends up with a "password incorrect" generic error message, meaning it can't decipher its ticket (as none is ent).

I have end up with this server /etc/krb5.conf configuration:

  kdc             = kerberos.maytacapac.inc
  admin_server    = kerberos.maytacapac.inc
  default_domain  = maytacapac.inc
  detabase_module = openldap_ldapconf

  kdc_tcp_ports   = 88
  allow_pkinit    = yes 
  pkinit_identity = FILE:/root/pkinit/kdc.pem,/root/pkinit_wiki/kdc.key
  pkinit_anchors  = FILE:/root/pkinit/ca.pem
  module          = pkinit:/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/krb5/plugins/preauth/pkinit.so

Then I start krb5-kdc service, and there is this message in log file:

# systemctl -l status krb5-kdc
● krb5-kdc.service - Kerberos 5 Key Distribution Center
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/krb5-kdc.service; enabled)
Drop-In: /lib/systemd/system/krb5-kdc.service.d
Active: active (running) since Fri 2016-04-29 14:59:57 CEST; 1min 3s ago
Process: 1042 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/krb5kdc -P /var/run/krb5-kdc.pid $DAEMON_ARGS (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Main PID: 1043 (krb5kdc)
CGroup: /system.slice/krb5-kdc.service
       └─1043 /usr/sbin/krb5kdc -P /var/run/krb5-kdc.pid
Apr 29 14:59:57 kerberos krb5kdc[1042]: preauth pkinit failed to initialize: No realms configured correctly for pkinit support
Apr 29 14:59:57 kerberos krb5kdc[1042]: setting up network...
Apr 29 14:59:57 kerberos krb5kdc[1042]: listening on fd 8: udp (pktinfo)
Apr 29 14:59:57 kerberos krb5kdc[1043]: commencing operation

Which show that there is a problem on this side.

I have googled this error for a while without any success. kinit works still fine for password authentication.


I have put certificates in the default directory /var/lib/krb5kdc. The described error disappears from the logs when I restart the server.

However, now, there is an error when I attempt to get the TGT from the server on client side. I get in server logs:

preauth (pkinit) verify failure: Key parameter not accepted

I get this error message on client side:

kinit: krb5_get_init_creds: PREAUTH_FAILED

Wireshark show me this error as reply of the as-req:


I have setup pkinit_dh_min_bits = 1024 in client /etc/krb5.conf. This is working now and I get my ticket \o/

However, I would prefer using an at least 2048 bits long key for dh exchange, which i can't now (same last error appears).

It seems that client wants to use 1024 bits dh parameters and then servers refuses and closes the connection. I don't know how to force the client to provide >=2048 bits dh parameters, as pkinit_dh_min_bits = 2048 in client /etc/krb5.conf does not have any effect.

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