Hostnames for the Master and Slave KDCs
MIT recommends that your KDCs have a predefined set of
CNAME records (DNS hostname aliases), such as
for the master KDC and
slave KDCs. This way, if you need to swap a machine, you only need to
change a DNS entry, rather than having to change hostnames.
A new mechanism for locating KDCs of a realm through DNS has been added
to the MIT Kerberos V5 distribution. A relatively new
record type called
SRV has been added to DNS. Looked up by a
service name and a domain name, these records indicate the hostname and
port number to contact for that service, optionally with weighting and
prioritization. (See RFC 2782 if you want more information. You can
follow the example below for straightforward cases.)
The use with Kerberos is fairly straightforward. The domain name used
in the SRV record name is the domain-style Kerberos realm name. (It is
possible to have Kerberos realm names that are not DNS-style names, but
we don't recommend it for Internet use, and our code does not support it
well.) Several different Kerberos-related service names are used:
- This is for contacting any KDC by UDP. This entry will be used the most
often. Normally you should list port 88 on each of your KDCs.
- This is for contacting any KDC by TCP. The MIT KDC by default will not
listen on any TCP ports, so unless you've changed the configuration or
you're running another KDC implementation, you should leave this
unspecified. If you do enable TCP support, normally you should use
- This entry should refer to those KDCs, if any, that will immediately see
password changes to the Kerberos database. This entry is used only in
one case, when the user is logging in and the password appears to be
incorrect; the master KDC is then contacted, and the same password used
to try to decrypt the response, in case the user's password had recently
been changed and the first KDC contacted hadn't been updated. Only if
that fails is an "incorrect password" error given.
If you have only one KDC, or for whatever reason there is no accessible
KDC that would get database changes faster than the others, you do not
need to define this entry.
- This should list port 749 on your master KDC.
Support for it is not complete at this time, but it will eventually be
used by the
kadmin program and related utilities. For now, you
will also need the
admin_server entry in
- This should list port 464 on your master KDC.
It is used when a user changes her password.
- This should refer to your KDCs that serve Kerberos version 4 requests,
if you have Kerberos v4 enabled.
Be aware, however, that the DNS SRV specification requires that the
hostnames listed be the canonical names, not aliases. So, for example,
you might include the following records in your (BIND-style) zone file:
_kerberos TXT "FOOBAR.COM"
kerberos CNAME daisy
kerberos-1 CNAME use-the-force-luke
kerberos-2 CNAME bunny-rabbit
_kerberos._udp SRV 0 0 88 daisy
SRV 0 0 88 use-the-force-luke
SRV 0 0 88 bunny-rabbit
_kerberos-master._udp SRV 0 0 88 daisy
_kerberos-adm._tcp SRV 0 0 749 daisy
_kpasswd._udp SRV 0 0 464 daisy
As with the DNS-based mechanism for determining the Kerberos realm of a
host, we recommend distributing the information this way for use by
other sites that may want to interact with yours using Kerberos, even if
you don't immediately make use of it within your own site. If you
anticipate installing a very large number of machines on which it will
be hard to update the Kerberos configuration files, you may wish to do
all of your Kerberos service lookups via DNS and not put the information
admin_server as noted above) in future versions of
krb5.conf files at all. Eventually, we hope to phase out
the listing of server hostnames in the client-side configuration files;
making preparations now will make the transition easier in the future.