Puppet Enterprise connects to external Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory services through its role-based access control (RBAC) service. This allows you to use existing users and user groups that have been set up in your external directory service.
Specifically, you can:
- Authenticate external directory users.
- Authorize access of external directory users based on RBAC permissions.
- Store and retrieve the groups and group membership information that has been set up in your external directory.
PE supports OpenLDAP and Active Directory. If you have predefined groups in your Active Directory or OpenLDAP directory, you can import these groups into the console and assign user roles to them. Users in an imported group inherit the permissions specified in assigned user roles. If new users are added to the group in the external directory, they also inherit the permissions of the role to which that group belongs.
Connect to an external directory service
PE connects to the external directory service when a user logs in or when groups are imported. The supported directory services are OpenLDAP and Active Directory.
- In the console, click Access control > External directory.
- Fill in the directory information.
All fields are required, except for Login help, Lookup user, Lookup password, User relative distinguished name, and Group relative distinguished name.
If you do not enter User relative distinguished name or Group relative distinguished name, RBAC will search the entire base DN for the user or group.
- Click Test connection to ensure that the connection has been established. Save your settings after you have successfully tested them.
External directory settings
The table below provides examples of the settings used to connect to an Active Directory service and an OpenLDAP service to PE. Each setting is explained in more detail below the table.
|Field||Example Active Directory settings||Example OpenLDAP settings|
|Directory name||My Active Directory||My Open LDAP Directory|
|Login help (optional)||https://myweb.com/ldaploginhelp||https://myweb.com/ldaploginhelp|
|Port||389 (636 for LDAPS)||389 (636 for LDAPS)|
|Lookup user (optional)||cn=queryuser,cn=Users,dc=puppetlabs,dc=com||cn=admin,dc=delivery,dc=puppetlabs,dc=net|
|Lookup password (optional)||The lookup user's password.||The lookup user's password.|
|Connection timeout (seconds)||10||10|
|Connect using SSL?||
Select or leave unchecked
To ensure a secure connection, you also need to set the
Select or leave unchecked
To ensure a secure connection, you also need to set the
|Base distinguished name||dc=puppetlabs,dc=com||dc=puppetlabs,dc=com|
|User login attribute||sAMAccountName||cn|
|User email address|
|User full name||displayName||displayName|
|User relative distinguished name (optional)||cn=users||ou=users|
|Group object class||group||groupOfUniqueNames|
|Group membership field||member||uniqueMember|
|Group name attribute||name||displayName|
|Group lookup attribute||cn||cn|
|Group relative distinguished name (optional)||cn=groups||ou=groups|
Explanation of external directory settings
Directory name The name that you provide here is used to refer to the external directory service anywhere it is used in the PE console. For example, when you are viewing a remote user in the PE console, the name that you provide in this field is listed in the console as the source for that user. Set any name of your choice.
Login help (optional) If you supply a URL here, a "Need help logging in?" link is displayed on the login screen. The href attribute of this link is set to the URL that you provide.
Hostname The FQDN of the directory service to which you are connecting.
Port The port that PE uses to access the directory service. The port is generally 389, unless you choose to connect using SSL, in which case it is generally 636.
Lookup user (optional) The distinguished name (DN) of the directory service user account that PE uses to query information about users and groups in the directory server. If a username is supplied, this user must have read access for all directory entries that are to be used in the console. We recommend that this user is restricted to read-only access to the directory service.
If your LDAP server is configured to allow anonymous binding, you do not need to provide a lookup user. In this case, the RBAC service binds anonymously to your LDAP server.
Lookup password (optional) The lookup user's password.
If your LDAP server is configured to allow anonymous binding, you do not need to provide a lookup password. In this case, the RBAC service binds anonymously to your LDAP server.
Connection timeout (seconds) The number of seconds that PE attempts to connect to the directory server before timing out. Ten seconds is fine in the majority of cases. If you are experiencing timeout errors, make sure the directory service is up and reachable, and then increase the timeout if necessary.
Connect using SSL?
Select if you want to use SSL to connect to the external directory. If you select this option, make sure you also specify the SSL port in the Port field above. In addition, to ensure that the directory service is properly identified, you need to configure the
ds-trust-chain to point to a copy of the public key (PEM format) for the directory service.
dsendpoint of the RBAC API. These include support for StartTLS connections, the power to opt in or out of nested group search, and the ability to disable
Base distinguished name
When PE constructs queries to your external directory (for example to look up user groups or users), the queries consist of the relative distinguished name (RDN) (optional) + the base distinguished name (DN), and are then filtered by lookup/login attributes. For example, if PE wants to authenticate a user named Bob who has the RDN
ou=bob,ou=users, it sends a query in which the RDN is concatenated with the DN specified in this field (for example,
dc=puppetlabs,dc=com). This gives a search base of
The base DN that you provide in this field specifies where in the directory service tree to search for groups and users. It is the part of the DN that all users and groups that you want to use have in common. It is commonly the root DN (example
dc=example,dc=com) but in the following example of a directory service entry, you could set the base DN to
ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com since both the group and the user are also under the organizational unit
Example directory service entry
# A user named Harold dn: cn=harold,ou=Users,ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com objectClass: organizationalPerson cn: harold displayName: Harold J. mail: firstname.lastname@example.org memberOf: inspectors sAMAccountName: harold11 # A group Harold is in dn: cn=inspectors,ou=Groups,ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com objectClass: group cn: inspectors displayName: The Inspectors member: harold
User login attribute
This is the directory attribute that the user uses to log in to PE. For example, if you specify
sAMAccountName as the user login attribute, Harold will log in with the username "harold11" because
sAMAccountName=harold11 in the example directory service entry provided above.
The value provided by the user login attribute must be unique among all entries under the User RDN + Base DN search base you’ve set up.
For example, say you’ve selected the following settings:
base DN = dc=example,dc=com user RDN = null user login attribute = cn
When Harold tries to log in, the console searches the external directory for any entries under
dc=example,dc=com that have the attribute/value pair
cn=harold. (This attribute/value pair does not need to be contained within the DN). However, if there is another user named Harold who has the DN
cn=harold,ou=OtherUsers,dc=example,dc=com, two results will be returned and the login will not succeed because the console does not know which entry to use. Resolve this issue by either narrowing your search base such that only one of the entries can be found, or using a value for login attribute that you know to be unique. This makes
sAMAccountName a good choice if you’re using Active Directory, as it must be unique across the entire directory.
User email address The directory attribute to use when displaying the user's email address in PE.
User full name The directory attribute to use when displaying the user's full name in PE.
User relative distinguished name (optional)
The user RDN that you set here is concatenated with the base DN to form the search base when looking up a user. For example, if you specify
ou=users for the user RDN, and your base DN setting is
ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com, PE only finds users that have
ou=users,ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com in their DN.
This setting is optional. If you choose not to set it, PE searches for the user in the base DN (example:
ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com). Setting a user RDN is helpful in the following situations:
- When you experience long wait times for operations that contact the directory service (either when logging in or importing a group for the first time). Specifying a user RDN reduces the number of entries that are searched.
- When you have more than one entry under your base DN with the same login value.
Group object class The name of an object class that all groups have.
Group membership field Tells PE how to find which users belong to which groups. This is the name of the attribute in the external directory groups that indicates who the group members are.
Group name attribute The attribute that stores the display name for groups. This is used for display purposes only.
Group lookup attribute
The value used to import groups into PE. Given the example directory service entry provided above, the group lookup attribute would be
cn. When specifying the Inspectors group in the console to import it, provide the name
The value for this attribute must be unique under your search base. If you have users with the same login as the lookup of a group that you want to use, you can narrow the search base, use a value for the lookup attribute that you know to be unique, or specify the Group object class that all of your groups have in common but your users do not.
Group relative distinguished name (optional)
The group RDN that you set here is concatenated with the base DN to form the search base when looking up a group. For example, if you specify
ou=groups for the group RDN, and your base DN setting is
ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com, PE only finds groups that have
ou=groups,ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com in their DN.
This setting is optional. If you choose not to set it, PE searches for the group in the base DN (example:
ou=Puppet,dc=example,dc=com). Setting a group RDN is helpful in the following situations:
- When you experience long wait times for operations that contact the directory service (either when logging in or importing a group for the first time). Specifying a group RDN reduces the number of entries that are searched.
- When you have more than one entry under your base DN with the same lookup value.
Verify directory server certificates
If you select Connect using SSL when setting up your external directory connection, your connection to the directory is encrypted. If you would also like to verify the directory server's SSL certificate to ensure that RBAC isn't being subjected to a Man-in-the Middle (MITM) attack, you need to take the additional step of configuring a setting in your HOCON configuration file.
The RBAC service verifies directory server certificates using a trust store file, in Java Key Store (JKS) or PKCS12 format, that contains the chain of trust for the directory server's certificate. This file needs to exist on disk in a location that is readable by the user running the RBAC service.
To turn on verification:
- In the console, click Classification.
- Open the PE Infrastructure node group and select the PE Console node group.
- Click Configuration. Locate the puppet_enterprise::profile::console class.
- In the Parameter field, select rbac_ds_trust_chain.
- In the Value field, set the absolute path to the trust store file.
- Click Add parameter, and commit changes.
- To make the change take effect, run Puppet. Running Puppet restarts pe-console-services.
After this value is set, the directory server's certificate will be verified whenever RBAC is configured to connect to the directory server using SSL.