Thursday, February 2, 2017

Authenticating users in the Apache Ranger Admin Service via PAM

Over the past few months, I've written various tutorials about different ways you can authenticate to the Apache Ranger Admin Service. In summary, here are the options that have been covered so far:
The remaining option is to authenticate users directly to the local UNIX machine. There is a legacy way of doing this that supports authentication using shadow files. However, a much better approach is to support user authentication using Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). This means we can delegate user authentication to various PAM modules, and so we have a wide range of user authentication options. In this post we will show how to configure the Ranger Admin Service to authenticate users on a local linux machine using PAM. There is also an excellent in-depth tutorial that covers PAM and Ranger available here.

1) Configuring the Apache Ranger Admin Service to use PAM for authentication

Follow the steps in a previous tutorial to build Apache Ranger and to setup and install the Apache Ranger Admin service. Edit 'conf/ranger-admin-site.xml' and change the following configuration value:
  • ranger.authentication.method: PAM
2) Add a PAM configuration file for Apache Ranger

The next step is to add a PAM configuration file for Apache Ranger. Create a file called '/etc/pam.d/ranger-admin' with the content:
  • auth    required
  • account    required
Essentially this means that we are delegating authentication to the local unix machine. Now start the Apache Ranger Admin service. You should be able to log on to http://localhost:6080/login.jsp using a local user credential.

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