Configuring Basic Authentication for Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Insights 2020-10

Red Hat Customer Content Services


Configure basic authentication in order to use Red Hat Insights on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems managed by Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI).
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Chapter 1. Basic authentication overview

Red Hat Insights can use two types of authentication to validate system access to the Insights services. The default authentication method is through certificates. Certificates are generated when you register a system with Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM) or when your system is managed by Red Hat Satellite system management.

An alternative authentication method is through SSO credentials. A valid Red Hat SSO credential is created when you have a valid Red Hat Customer Portal user name. In order to use SSO credentials with Red Hat Insights, you must configure your system to use basic authentication.

1.1. When to use basic authentication

Certificate-based authentication is the default for Red Hat Insights. You must use basic authentication in any of the following situations:

  • Your RHEL system is not registered with Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM).
  • Your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system is not managed by Red Hat Satellite services.
  • Your RHEL system is provisioned through a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider and is updated by Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI).
  • Your RHEL system is from a cloud marketplace provider and not obtained through Red Hat Cloud Access program.

If you have valid RHEL subscriptions for your system, you can switch between the default certificate-based authentication for Insights and the basic authentication for Insights. If you are configuring basic authentication on a new RHEL system, you must complete the basic authentication procedures before you can register the Insights client application.

1.2. Configuration requirements for basic authentication

When you configure your system to use single sign-on (SSO) credentials for basic authentication instead of the default certificate-based authentication for Red Hat Insights, you provide Red Hat SSO credentials. SSO credentials are a valid Red Hat Customer Portal user name and password.

To configure basic authentication, a plain-text username and password is stored in the configuration file. As a best practice, create a Red Hat Customer Portal account with SSO credentials that are used only for Red Hat Insights basic authentication. This action avoids exposing the SSO credentials of individual users.

1.3. More information

Authentication error message indicating need to configure basic authentication

When you attempt to register a system that does not have a Red Hat generated certificate, the following error occurs. If you see this error, you must configure your system for basic authentication, which is SSO-based instead of certificate-based.

insights-client --register
Running connection test...
Connection test config:
=== Begin Certificate Chain Test ===
verify error:num=0
verify return:1
verify error:num=0
verify return:1
=== End Certificate Chain Test: SUCCESS ===

=== Begin Upload URL Connection Test ===
HTTP Status Code: 401
HTTP Status Text: Unauthorized
HTTP Response Text:
Connection failed
=== End Upload URL Connection Test: FAILURE ===

=== Begin API URL Connection Test ===
HTTP Status Code: 200
HTTP Status Text: OK
HTTP Response Text: lub-dub
Successfully connected to:
=== End API URL Connection Test: SUCCESS ===

Connectivity tests completed with some errors
See /var/log/insights-client/insights-client.log for more details.

Chapter 2. Configuring basic authentication

Red Hat Insights Insights client configuration is managed in /etc/insights-client/insights-client.conf. This file provides a configuration template for setting up basic authentication. The default configuration for certificate-based authentication is as follows:

username=<your customer portal username>
password=<your customer portal password>


  • You have a Red Hat SSO username and SSO password that can be stored in clear text.
  • You have read/write permissions in the directory /etc/insights-client/.
  • The insights-client package is installed on your system.


  1. Use a text editor to open the file /etc/insights-client/insights-client.conf
  2. Change auto_config=TRUE value to auto_config=FALSE.
  3. Replace <your customer portal username> with a Red Hat SSO username.
  4. Replace <your customer portal password> with a Red Hat SSO password.
  5. Save the configuration and exit the editor.
  6. Register register the system.

    # insights-client --register

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