How to manually start IdM/IPA 4.0-4.4 server services for troubleshooting purposes in RHEL 7.0-7.3

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Identity Management 4.0-4.4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0-7.3

  • If you would like steps for RHEL 7.4+ / IPA 4.5+, please see this article.

  • If you would like steps for RHEL 6 / IPA 3, please see this article.


  • IdM/IPA services are not starting as expected using the ipactl command and/or at boot time
  • Identify commands required to start IPA services manually


Note: Order is very important due to dependencies

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0-7.3

  • Directory Server
systemctl start
  • Kerberos Server services
systemctl start krb5kdc
systemctl start kadmin
  • DNS Server
systemctl start named-pkcs11
  • IPA Memory Caching (for Performance only)
systemctl start ipa_memcached
  • Apache
systemctl start httpd
  • Certificate-PKI Tomcat server
systemctl start
  • sssd (optional)
systemctl start sssd
  • Samba/winbind (optional)
systemctl start smb
systemctl start winbind
  • IPA OTP (optional)
systemctl start ipa-otpd.socket

Root Cause

  • The IdM/IPA server starts in a 'all-or-nothing' approach, if one of the core IPA services fails to start up then ipactl command will shutdown all IdM/IPA Services. This functionality can be ignored if the -f argument is used but is not recommended in most cases
  -f, --force
         If any service start fails, do not rollback the services, continue with the operation

Diagnostic Steps

  • It is highly recommended to watch the messages that are logged to the journal while IPA server starts to check for any potentially significant errors
journalctl -f
  • To check the status of the PKI Dogtag service itself:
systemctl status pki-tomcatd@pki-tomcat.service; journalctl -u pki-tomcatd@pki-tomcat.service --no-pager

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