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Chapter 30. Using and Caching Credentials with SSSD

The System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) provides access to different identity and authentication providers. SSSD is an intermediary between local clients and any configured data store. The local clients connect to SSSD and then SSSD contacts the external providers. This brings a number of benefits for administrators:
  • Reducing the load on identification/authentication servers. Rather than having every client service attempt to contact the identification server directly, all of the local clients can contact SSSD which can connect to the identification server or check its cache.
  • Permitting offline authentication. SSSD can optionally keep a cache of user identities and credentials that it retrieves from remote services. This allows users to authenticate to resources successfully, even if the remote identification server is offline or the local machine is offline.
  • Using a single user account. Remote users frequently have two (or even more) user accounts, such as one for their local system and one for the organizational system. This is necessary to connect to a virtual private network (VPN). Because SSSD supports caching and offline authentication, remote users can connect to network resources simply by authenticating to their local machine and then SSSD maintains their network credentials.
The System Security Services Daemon does not require any additional configuration or tuning to work with the Authentication Configuration Tool. However, SSSD can work with other applications, and the daemon may require configuration changes to improve the performance of those applications.

30.1. About the sssd.conf File

SSSD services and domains are configured in a .conf file. The default file is /etc/sssd/sssd.conf, although alternative files can be passed to SSSD by using the -c option with the sssd command:
# sssd -c /etc/sssd/customfile.conf
Both services and domains are configured individually, in separate sections on the configuration identified by [type/name] divisions, such as [domain/LDAP]. The configuration file uses simple key = value lines to set the configuration. Comment lines are set by either a hash sign (#) or a semicolon (;)
For example:
# Comment line
key1 = val1
key10 = val1,val2