Hadoop and Kerberos a love story

For CentOS

KDC Server


yum install -y openldap-clients krb5-server krb5-workstation krb5-libs

There is 3 files that are important:


This will setup an ANACONDA.COM realm pointing to $KERBEROS_ADMIN_SERVER

# Configuration snippets may be placed in this directory as well
includedir /etc/krb5.conf.d/
 default = FILE:/var/log/krb5libs.log
 kdc = FILE:/var/log/krb5kdc.log
 admin_server = FILE:/var/log/kadmind.log
 dns_lookup_realm = false
 ticket_lifetime = 24h
 renew_lifetime = 7d
 forwardable = true
 rdns = false
 default_realm = ANACONDA.COM
 default_ccache_name = KEYRING:persistent:%{uid}
  admin_server = $KERBEROS_ADMIN_SERVER


This just have some settings to make it compatible with MIT KDC, if using AD might need something different.

 kdc_ports = 88
 kdc_tcp_ports = 88
 max_life = 1d
 max_renewable_life = 7d
  max_renewable_life = 7d 0h 0m 0s
  acl_file = /var/kerberos/krb5kdc/kadm5.acl
  dict_file = /usr/share/dict/words
  admin_keytab = /var/kerberos/krb5kdc/kadm5.keytab
  # note that aes256 is ONLY supported in Active Directory in a domain / forrest operating at a 2008 or greater functional level.
  # aes256 requires that you download and deploy the JCE Policy files for your JDK release level to provide
  # strong java encryption extension levels like AES256. Make sure to match based on the encryption configured within AD for
  # cross realm auth, note that RC4 = arcfour when comparing windows and linux enctypes
  supported_enctypes = aes256-cts:normal aes128-cts:normal arcfour-hmac:normal
  default_principal_flags = +renewable, +forwardable


This just allows anyone under */[email protected] for example daniel/[email protected] to do anything

*/[email protected]	*

Create kerberos DB

This will create the database with password anaconda

sudo kdb5_util -P anaconda create -s

Start services

sudo service krb5kdc start
sudo service kadmin start

Create principals

We will use this to test and allow cloudera to do more stuff later

sudo kadmin.local addprinc -pw centos [email protected]
sudo kadmin.local addprinc -pw cloudera cloudera-scm/[email protected]

Other Nodes

Other nodes will just connect to the kerberos admin server so just repeat the install and files sections on the server, don’t create database or start services.

Then you can just:

kinit  # Here use the password of the centos user: `centos`
# Should allow you

# Should fail since you logged out

Cloudera Manager

This is relatively straightforward just following the wizard under Administration > Security > Enable Kerberos

Some needed values are:

  • The hostname of the kerberos server (on EC2 use the private DNS name)
  • Allow: Manage krb5.conf through Cloudera Manager
  • Principal cloudera-scm/[email protected] and its password cloudera-scm


Once thats done you can no longer do:

sudo su - hdfs
hadoop fs -ls /

This should throw an error. Victory!

Giving users access

Now that unauthenticated users cannot use the services we need create a way for users to do it.

Create a principal, e.g. for the centos user with password centos:

sudo kadmin.local addprinc -pw centos [email protected]

# Also create one for the hdfs superuser
sudo kadmin.local addprinc -pw hdfs [email protected]

Now the centos user can kinit with his password and use hdfs or hive or impala-shell:

$ kinit

Password for [email protected]:
$ hdfs dfs -ls /
Found 2 items
drwxrwxrwt   - hdfs supergroup          0 2018-01-26 07:27 /tmp
drwxr-xr-x   - hdfs supergroup          0 2018-01-26 15:20 /user

$ hive
hive> show databases;
Time taken: 1.699 seconds, Fetched: 1 row(s)

$ impala-shell
Kerberos ticket found in the credentials cache, retrying the connection with a secure transport.
Connected to ...
> show databases;
Query: show databases
| name             | comment                                      |
| _impala_builtins | System database for Impala builtin functions |
| default          | Default Hive database                        |
Fetched 2 row(s) in 0.14s


  • This depends on the node you run this commands, for example the impala-daemon might not be in all the nodes and cannot use it if the node is not tagged in CDH with the correct role
  • After doing impala-shell some new TGT tickets (or something) get added to the session and might break access to the other services, if thats the case need to kdestroy and kinit again

Creating a keytab

To get access without password we can create a keytab for the users, for example centos.

$ ktutil
ktutil:  add_entry -password -p [email protected] -k 1 -e rc4-hmac
Password for [email protected]:  # centos in this doc
ktutil:  wkt centos.keytab
ktutil:  clear

Now we have a centos.keytab that we can use to kinit:

$ kinit centos -kt centos.keytab
$ klist
Ticket cache: FILE:/tmp/krb5cc_1000
Default principal: [email protected]
Valid starting     Expires            Service principal
26/01/18 15:49:23  27/01/18 15:49:23  krbtgt/[email protected]
        renew until 02/02/18 15:49:23

$ hadoop fs -ls /
Found 2 items
drwxrwxrwt   - hdfs supergroup          0 2018-01-26 07:27 /tmp
drwxr-xr-x   - hdfs supergroup          0 2018-01-26 15:20 /user


To check the principals:

sudo kadmin.local list_principals

Based on

  1. https://blog.cloudera.com/blog/2015/03/how-to-quickly-configure-kerberos-for-your-apache-hadoop-cluster/
  2. https://www.cloudera.com/documentation/enterprise/5-6-x/topics/cm_sg_sec_troubleshooting.html
  3. https://www.cloudera.com/documentation/enterprise/5-8-x/topics/cm_sg_s3_cm_principal.html