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This plugin is reads a user’s Kerberos ticket and uses it to log the user into Jenkins. It consists of a filter that filters all the incoming requests to Jenkins. It is using the SPNEGO library to authenticate these requests from users. It is designed to work really well with the Active Directory plugin. It can also redirect users that omit specifying a domain in their request. The filter can be bypassed for specific request by setting a Bypass-Kerberos header in the request. It doesn’t matter which value it has, the plugin looks for the existence of the header.


  • In order to use the plugin, you need a Kerberos environment. If you do, locating the files the plugin needs is the most time consuming task.
  • The files mentioned above needs to be readable by Jenkins
  • A user database. The plugin will not log in a user if it’s not found in a database. This is where the AD plugin comes in.

User guide

The configuration page for Kerberos Single Sign-on plugin is found under the global configuration page instead of under Security. Because of security reasons regarding the Filter Configuration object, properties cannot be changed for a running filter. If the filter is running, Jenkins has to be restarted for the changes to take place. The configuration page is divied into two sections. The first one, where Kerberos Single Sign-on can be toggled and the redirection option, does not require a Jenkins restart. All the settings under Kerberos Properties does.

The logout button is still visible for practial reasons. It refreshes the session and authentication when the user presses it, but the user won’t notice the effect since he’s immediately logged in again.

Setup guide

Since this plugin took us so long to set up correctly, we’ll provide a short list of steps and hints on how this setup can be done. Some of these tips can also be found in the help links in the configuration page. This guide is for a server using Linux. We have not successfully configured the plugin to run on a Windows server. Please inform us if you succeed in doing so, or just add the steps here on the wiki.

  • The service account is only used when a keytab is not present on the server. Keytabs are probably used either everywhere or nowhere on the intranet. Although, if there are Service accounts at hand, it can only benefit the stability of the solution to provide it. Some Kerberos information sources, such as Spnego may call the service account “pre-auth username and password”
  • Location of krb5.conf defaults to “/etc/krb5.conf”. Also, if the user enters other information in that field, and the file is not found at that location, it will head back to “/etc/krb5.conf” to look for the file. If you have a Kerberos environment, probably all users have this file. The libdefaults section tells Spnego which encrytion types are used in the realm and realms tells Spnego where the Key Distribution Center is located. The requests to authenticate provided Kerberos tickets are sent to that server. it is very important that Jenkins has read permissions to this file!
    The following is a complete file where sensitive data have been replaced:

     default_realm = INTERNALDOMAIN.NET
     default_tgs_enctypes = RC4-HMAC DES-CBC-CRC DES-CBC-MD5
     default_tkt_enctypes = RC4-HMAC DES-CBC-CRC DES-CBC-MD5
     preferred_enctypes = RC4-HMAC DES-CBC-CRC DES-CBC-MD5
     kdc =
     kdc = 7b99:a413:0:ac1b::00:01
     kdc = 7b99:a413:0:ac1b::00:02
     kdc = 7b99:a413:0:ac1b::00:03
  • Location of Login.conf is the most important part of the setup and by far the most complex. If this is wrongly specified, Jenkins will tell you immediately with a Servlet Exception. It has to point to a file on the server named “login.conf” or, commonly in documentation etc, “jaas.conf”. As with the “krb5.conf” file, it’s very important that Jenkins has read permissions to this file!
    The following is a complete file where sensitive data have been replaced:

    Kerberos {
     doNotPrompt="false" useTicketCache="false"
     };spnego-client {
     };spnego-server {
     }; {

    This file will be subject to a lot of internal settings. The Krb5LoginModule is listed in every section and what is means is basically that the login module is required for each of the entries and a list of parameters follows. The important parameters we have found are: useKeyTab=”true”, or pre-auth details will be required. A link to where a keytab is stored is also needed through the keyTab parameter. It’s very important that Jenkins has read permissions to the keytab file!
    When setting up the server, it may be required to modify this keytab file on the server:

    # Write the following into a terminal:
    sudo net ads keytab list
    # If the server is correctly set up, it the keytab will contain rows looking something like this: HTTP/HOSTNAME01@INTERNALDOMAIN.NET
    # The important part here is the HTTP principal. If it doesn't contain such a row, type the following:
    sudo net ads keytab add \-P HTTP
    # Verify with the list command that the keytab now contains HTTP entries.

    Another important parameter is the isInitiator=”false” parameter to spnego-server. In this context, the client initiates the authorization by requesting a web page.
    We have left the parameter list for the client empty. This is because Keytabs are spcifically server side solutions and the principal is the client itself.
    The parameters left to experiment with is storeKey, storePass, tryFirstPass, doNotPrompt and useTicketCache. They may or may not make any difference.

  • The checkbox configuration does not need any further explaination than given in the help links.
  • An important thing to notice is that your servlet container, for example Tomcat, needs to have a sufficient header size. This varies between environments and is not always easy to spot as the problem when something seems wrong.

Good luck!

Change Log

Version 1.0.0 (released Aug 15 2014)