Authentication using federated identity

Nico Kadel-Garcia nkadel at
Fri Feb 9 18:49:56 AEDT 2024

On Thu, Feb 8, 2024 at 1:18 PM Chris Rapier <rapier at> wrote:
> I know that there are some methods to use federated identities (e.g.
> OAuth2) with SSH authentication but, from what I've seen, they largely
> seem clunky and require users to interact with web browsers to get one
> time tokens. Which is sort of acceptable for occasional logins but
> doesn't work with automated/scripted actions.

Is there some reason you wouldn't simply use Kerberos, baked into
Samba and Active Directory, with the long established token handling
provided by Kerberos? Convincing Kerbers and the AD admin who may not
realize they have it to permit that underlying authentication
technology, but it's been stable for decades  Part of the difficulty
seems to be every bureaucracy's desire to have their own special rules
and not talk to each other without a lot of Gant charts and big
picture diagrams, but I've been taking advantage of the underlying
Kerberos behind the backs of AD admin for decades.

Unfortunately, everyone seems to want to have their own "invented
here" form of authentication token handling, rather than sticking with
basics. My old classmates at MIT worked *very hard* to make that work,
and to resist abuse, and it still works quite well.

> I'm just wondering if anyone has done any work on this or has thoughts
> on it. I know it would be useful in some contexts (in my case, cross
> realm access of independent yet federated services that are pretty
> common in R&E HPC communities (e.g. ACCESS)).
> Chris
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