Linux Tactic

Securing Server-to-Server Communication with Kerberos Protocol on Linux

In today’s interconnected world, network security is more important than ever before. As technology advances, so do the methods of cyber attackers.

To combat these threats, a reliable and robust authentication method is required to ensure secure communication between servers. Enter Kerberos protocol, a trusted ticket-based framework that enables secure server-to-server communication.

In this article, we will explain the Kerberos protocol, its purpose, and how to install it on Linux system.

Explanation of Kerberos Protocol

The Kerberos protocol provides a secure authentication method for server-to-server communication within a network. It can prevent unauthorized access by using cryptographic authentication for all nodes in the network.

The protocol uses a ticket-based framework, where each user or server has a unique ticket that it presents to the Kerberos server to access network resources. The Kerberos protocol uses a trusted third-party server that acts as an intermediary between the clients and servers.

This third-party server, known as the Kerberos Authentication Server (KAS), facilitates initial authentication and issues a session key that allows the client to access network resources. The session key is used for subsequent communications throughout the network to ensure that the client is authorized to access the network resources.

Purpose of Kerberos Protocol

The purpose of Kerberos protocol is to prevent network security issues such as secret phrase sniffing and password thefts. With a ticket-based framework, the protocol ensures strong cryptographic authentication and enhances the security of the network.

Kerberos protocol can also combat externally attackers from gaining unauthorized access to network resources.

Installing Kerberos on Linux

Before installing the Kerberos protocol, there are a few prerequisites. You need a time frame of about two hours and a standard operating system, such as Ubuntu.

With these in place, follow the following steps to install Kerberos on your Linux system:

Step 1: Download and install Kerberos

The first step is to download and install Kerberos from either the MIT repository or the Ubuntu store. The MIT repository is typically preferred as it provides the latest version of the software.

Step 2: Run apt-get install kbr5-user

After downloading, run the command “apt-get install kbr5-user” to install the files required for the Kerberos protocol. Step 3: Enter a local account password

Enter a local account password when prompted and press “Y” to continue.

Step 4: Input the default Kerberos 5

Input the default Kerberos 5, which is typically “[email protected].”

Step 5: Install Kerberos KDC server

Install the Kerberos KDC server on the master workstation or server in the cluster. Step 6: Install Kerberos KDC client

Install the Kerberos KDC client on the nodes or machines in the cluster using the “yum” command.

Step 7: Configure Kerberos by modifying files

Configure Kerberos by modifying the files, such as “kdc.conf” with changes that include the realm name, machines, and hostname. Step 8: Create KDC databases

Create KDC databases using the “kdb5 util make” command and adding in the master password.

Step 9: ACL changes

Make appropriate ACL changes to allow client machines to access KDC. Step 10: Add admin name for KDC

Add an admin name for KDC and Kerberos client machines.

Restart the KDC server to complete the installation process.


The installation of Kerberos protocol on Linux systems can be a complex process. However, by following these ten steps, system administrators can ensure secure sign-on and encrypted communication between servers.

The Kerberos protocol is an effective way to protect network resources from unauthorized access by external threats. With Kerberos protocol in place, administrators can safeguard their systems and provide a high level of security to users.

In conclusion, the Kerberos protocol is a trusted ticket-based framework that facilitates secure server-to-server communication in a network. Its purpose is to prevent unauthorized access by using cryptographic authentication, thereby enhancing network security.

The installation of Kerberos protocol on Linux systems can be a challenging process, but it can be achieved by following ten steps. By implementing the Kerberos protocol, system administrators can safeguard their systems and provide users with a high level of security.

It is crucial to prioritize network security in today’s interconnected world to prevent cyber threats and protect sensitive data.

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