Chapter 7. Logging in to the Identity Management Web UI using one time passwords

Access to IdM Web UI can be secured using several methods. The basic one is password authentication.

To increase the security of password authentication, you can add a second step and require automatically generated one-time passwords (OTPs). The most common usage is to combine password connected with the user account and a time limited one time password generated by a hardware or software token.

The following sections help you to:

  • Understand how the OTP authentication works in IdM.
  • Configure OTP authentication on the IdM server.
  • Create OTP tokens and synchronize them with the FreeOTP app in your phone.
  • Authenticate to the IdM Web UI with the combination of user password and one time password.
  • Re-synchronize tokens in the Web UI.

7.1. Prerequisites

7.2. One time password (OTP) authentication in Identity Management

One-time passwords bring an additional step to your authentication security. The authentication uses your password + an automatically generated one time password.

To generate one time passwords, you can use a hardware or software token. IdM supports both software and hardware tokens.

Identity Management supports the following two standard OTP mechanisms:

  • The HMAC-Based One-Time Password (HOTP) algorithm is based on a counter. HMAC stands for Hashed Message Authentication Code.
  • The Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP) algorithm is an extension of HOTP to support time-based moving factor.

IdM does not support OTP logins for Active Directory trust users.

7.3. Enabling the one time password in the Web UI

The IdM Web UI allows you to configure hardware or software device to generate one-time passwords.

The one time password is entered just after the usual password in the dedicated field in the login dialog.

Only administrators can enable OTP authentication in the user settings.


  • Administration privileges


  1. Log in to the IdM Web UI with your username and password.
  2. Open the Identity → Users → Active users tab.

    A screenshot of the IdM Web UI displaying the "Active Users" page which is a sub-page of the Users submenu from the Identity tab.

  3. Click your username to open the user settings.
  4. In the User authentication types, select Two factor authentication (password + OTP).
  5. Click Save.

At this point, the OTP authentication is enabled on the IdM server.

Now you or users themselves need to assign a new token ID to the user account.

7.4. Adding OTP tokens in the Web UI

The following section helps you to add token to the IdM Web UI and to your software token generator.


  • Active user account on the IdM server.
  • Administrator has enabled OTP for the particular user account in the IdM Web UI.
  • A software device generating OTP tokens, for example FreeOTP.


  1. Log in to the IdM Web UI with your user name and password.
  2. To create the token in your mobile phone, open the Authentication → OTP Tokens tab.
  3. Click Add.

    Screenshot of the IdM Web UI highlighting the Add button near the upper-right of the OTP Tokens page which is a sub-page of the Authentication section

  4. In the Add OTP token dialog box, leave everything unfilled and click Add.

    At this stage, the IdM server creates a token with default parameters at the server and opens a page with a QR code.

  5. Copy the QR code into your mobile phone.
  6. Click OK to close the QR code.

Now you can generate one time passwords and log in with them to the IdM Web UI.

Screenshot of the FreeOTP application from a mobile telephone displaying two entries for OTP tokens. The first OTP token is for the example.user@IDM.EXAMPLE.COM domain and its entry displays a 6-digit OTP while its timer is running out.

7.5. Logging into the Web UI with a one time password

Follow this procedure to login for the first time into the IdM Web UI using a one time password (OTP).


  • OTP configuration enabled on the Identity Management server for the user account you are using for the OTP authentication. Administrators as well as users themselves can enable OTP.

    To enable the OTP configuration, see Enabling the one time password in the Web UI.

  • A hardware or software device generating OTP tokens configured.


  1. In the Identity Management login screen, enter your user name or a user name of the IdM server administrator account.
  2. Add the password for the user name entered above.
  3. Generate a one time password on your device.
  4. Enter the one time password right after the password (without space).
  5. Click Log in.

    If the authentication fails, synchronize OTP tokens.

    If your CA uses a self-signed certificate, the browser issues a warning. Check the certificate and accept the security exception to proceed with the login.

    If the IdM Web UI does not open, verify the DNS configuration of your Identity Management server.

After successful login, the IdM Web UI appears.

A screenshot of the first screen visible after logging in to the IdM Web UI. There are 5 tabs listed along the top of the screen: Identity - Policy - Authentication - Network Services - IPA Server. The Identity tab has been selected and it is displaying the Users page which is the first menu item among 6 choices just below the tabs: Users - Hosts - Services - Groups - ID Views - Automember. The Active users page displays a table of user logins and their information: First name - Last name - Status - UID - Email address - Telephone number - Job Title.

7.6. Synchronizing OTP tokens using the Web UI

If the login with OTP (One Time Password) fails, OTP tokens are not synchronized correctly.

The following text describes token re-synchronization.


  • A login screen opened.
  • A device generating OTP tokens configured.


  1. On the IdM Web UI login screen, click Sync OTP Token.

    A screenshot of the IdM Web UI log in page. The "Username" and "Password" fields are empty. A link to "Sync OTP Token" at the bottom right next to the "Log In" button is highlighted.

  2. In the login screen, enter your username and the Identity Management password.
  3. Generate one time password and enter it in the First OTP field.
  4. Generate another one time password and enter it in the Second OTP field.
  5. Optionally, enter the token ID.

    A screenshot of the screen to change the OTP token. The "Username" field has been filled in with "admin". The password in the "Password" field has been obfuscated with solid circles. The "First OTP" and "Second OTP" fields also have their 6-character entries obfuscated. The last field is labeled "Token ID" and has 16 hexadecimal characters such as "18c5d06cfcbd4927". There are "Cancel" and "Sync OTP Token" buttons at the bottom right.

  6. Click Sync OTP Token.

After the successful synchronization, you can log in to the IdM server.

7.7. Changing expired passwords

Administrators of Identity Management can enforce you having to change your password at the next login. It means that you cannot successfully log in to the IdM Web UI until you change the password.

Password expiration can happen during your first login to the Web UI.

If the expiration password dialog appears, follow the instructions in the procedure.


  • A login screen opened.
  • Active account to the IdM server.


  1. In the password expiration login screen, enter the user name.
  2. Add the password for the user name entered above.
  3. In the OTP field, generate a one time password, if you use the one time password authentication.

    If you do not have enabled the OTP authentication, leave the field empty.

  4. Enter the new password twice for verification.
  5. Click Reset Password.

    A screenshot of the IdM Web UI with a banner across the top that states "Your password has expired. Please enter a new password." The "Username" field displays "example.user" and cannot be edited. The following fields have been filled in but their contents have been replaced with dots to obfuscate the passwords: "Current Password" - "OTP" - "New Password" - "Verify Password."

After the successful password change, the usual login dialog displays. Log in with the new password.