Configure Kerberos Single Sign-On (SSO) Settings

Kerberos is an enterprise authentication protocol that uses the concept of tickets and three-way authentication to enable users and computers to identify themselves and secure access to resources. Kerberos support does not apply to some connectors.

Support for this feature by Composer connectors is shown in the following table.

Key: Y - Supported; N - Not Supported; N/A - not applicable

Connector Supported? Notes
Amazon Redshift N  
Amazon S3 N
Apache Drill Y  
Apache Phoenix Y Apache Phoenix supports Kerberos, but Apache Phoenix Query Server does not. For more information, see Enable Kerberos Authentication for Apache Phoenix Connectors.
Apache Phoenix Query Server (QS) N
Apache Solr Y
BigQuery N/A  
Cloudera Impala Y
Cloudera Search Y
Couchbase N/A
Dremio N  
Elasticsearch 6.0 N
Elasticsearch 7.0 N
Flat File N  
Hive Y  
MemSQL N  
Microsoft SQL Server N  
MongoDB N

Oracle N
PostgreSQL N  
Presto N  
Real Time Sales N/A  
SAP Hana N  
Snowflake N  
Spark SQL Y To enable Kerberos authentication for Spark SQL connectors, see Connect to Spark SQL Sources on a Kerberized HDP Cluster.
Teradata N  
Upload API N  
Vertica N  

Composer supports Kerberos as a Single Sign On (SSO) mechanism. Using Kerberos SSO, users can seamlessly log into Composer and administrators can completely externalize and centrally manage users or group memberships using their existing Kerberos infrastructure. You can learn more about Kerberos here.

How It Works

When using Kerberos with Composer, the workflow is as follows:

  1. A user logs in to his company domain (for example, logging into his windows workstation) and is authenticated with Kerberos. In the case of Windows environments, this is likely Active Directory.
  2. In a browser window, a user visits the Composer application and Composer then leverages the user's Kerberos identity to automatically log them into Composer. If this is a users first visit to Composer, then Composer will auto-provision them as a new user in the Composer environment.
  3. Kerberos authentication is often paired with LDAP to look up a user's authorization or group membership. Composer will look up the user's group membership. For more information, see the topic on Use Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) With Composer .


Before you start configuring settings for Composer to use Kerberos, you must:

  • Create a Kerberos Principal. For more information on how to create a Kerberos Principal, refer to Kerberos documentation.

  • Create the keytab file on the instance where KDC runs and upload it to Composer Server.

If you have Kerberos enabled, you must use a static context path for the Composer login URL. Multiple or dynamic context paths are not supported at this time.

How to Generate the Keytab File

To generate the .keytab file for existing AD users, run the following command on AD server:

-out <file_name>.keytab
-princ <HTTP/zoomdata_host> @<realm>
-mapUser <user_namegt;
–pass <user_password>
-crypto RC4-HMAC

To generate the .keytab file for existing MIT LDAP user, run the following command on LDAP server side:

kadmin: xst -e "rc4-hmac" -k <file_name>.keytab <HTTP/zoomdata_host> @<realm>

Configure General Settings

To configure the Kerberos settings for Composer Server, complete the following steps:

  1. Enable the Kerberos SSO service on the Security Services tab. Keep in mind, that if you have SAML or x509 authentication enabled, you will have to disable them first to use Kerberos.

  2. Restart the Composer server by running the following command:

    sudo service zoomdata restart
  3. Log in as a supervisor and select Security. Navigate to the Kerberos Settings tab.

  4. Slide the Enable Kerberos switch on (to the right).

  5. Specify the Kerberos Service Principal.

  6. Select Upload Kerberos Keytab File and upload the .keytab file, that you have generated before.

  7. Select the Include Kerberos realm/domain name in auto provisioned Composer username if you want to have the user name in the following format: username@realm.

  8. Save your settings.

Configure the Settings on the Client Side

Perform the steps listed below on the client instance that will connect to kerberized Composer.

  1. Install the Kerberos command line tools:

    sudo yum install krb5-workstation   
    sudo yum install krb5-libs
  2. Navigate to the krb5.conf file and specify the host on which Composer server runs:

    default_realm = ZOOMDATA.LOCAL
    kdc = <composer_host>.local
    admin_server = <composer_host>.local
    default = FILE:/var/log/krb5.log kdc = FILE:/var/log/krb5.log [domain_realm]
    .zoomdata.local = ZOOMDATA.LOCAL
    zoomdata.local = ZOOMDATA.LOCAL
  3. List all the Kerberos tickets available on the current instance:

  4. Remove all the Kerberos tickets (if there are any):

    kdestroy -A
  5. Obtain a Kerberos ticket for a user (the realm is not required if there is a default one specified in krb5.conf):

    kinit user@ZOOMDATA.LOCAL
  6. Configure your browser to support Kerberos SSO to Composer.

To authenticate a user with a Kerberos ticket in Composer, you must either enable LDAP autoprovisioning or create a user with the same name in Composer.