HowTo/Setup FreeIPA Services for MacOS X 10.12 and 10.13

DNS Setup#


  1. Go to System Preferences>Network

  2. Select top priority network and click Advanced…

  3. Select DNS

  4. Add your IPA server’s IP Address

  5. Click OK

  6. Click Apply

Or, configure your DHCP service to set your IPA server as primary DNS.

SSL Setup#

  • Download the ca.crt from the IPA server

  1. Open terminal

  2. cd ~/desktop

  3. curl -OL

  • Doubleclick the ‘ca.crt’ file

  • Add to the System keychain

  • Locate certificate within Keychain Access

  • Doubleclick the certificate

  • Expand Trust

  • Change System Default to Always Trust

  • Exit Keychain Access and authenticate to apply changes

  • Move the ca.crt file to /etc/ipa

Kerberos Setup#

Edit/create the file /etc/krb5.conf as shown below:


    default_realm = YOURDOMAIN.COM
    allow_weak_crypto = yes
    dns_lookup_realm = true
    dns_lookup_kdc = true
    rdns = false
    ticket_lifetime = 24h
    forwardable = yes
    renewable = true

        kdc = tcp/
        admin_server = tcp/
        pkinit_anchors = FILE:/etc/ipa/ca.crt
  • Edit /etc/pam.d/authorization as shown below:

# authorization: auth account
auth          optional use_first_pass use_kcminit default_principal
auth          sufficient use_first_pass default_principal
auth          required use_first_pass nullok
account    required
  • Edit screensaver and passwd as shown below

#cat > /etc/pam.d/screensaver << 'EOF'
auth       optional use_first_pass use_kcminit
auth       optional use_first_pass use_kcminit default_principal
auth       sufficient use_first_pass default_principal
auth       required use_first_pass nullok
account    required
account    sufficient
account    required no_warn group=admin,wheel fail_safe
account    required no_warn deny group=admin,wheel ruser fail_safe
#cat > /etc/pam.d/passwd << 'EOF'
password   sufficient
auth       required
account    required
password   required
session    required
  • Verify by running “kinit username”

IPA Enrollment#

Name workstation#

  • Open terminal

  • sudo scutil –set HostName

Add via freeIPA web console#

  1. Open IPA web console (

  2. Sign on as a Directory Manager

  3. Go to Identity > Hosts

  4. Click the + Add button

  5. Enter the workstation’s hostname (e.g., Book001)

  6. Add current primary IP address (terminal > # ifconfig)

  7. Click the Add and Edit button.

  8. Add the workstation’s MAC addresses

Generate keytab on IPA server#

  1. su root

  2. kinit admin

  3. ipa-getkeytab -s -p host/ -k ~/workstation.keytab

  4. To test that the keytab successfully retrieved and stored in ~/workstation.keytab, run ipa host-show workstation

  5. The previous should return,

Host name:   Principal name: host/
    MAC address: 00:00:00:AA:1B:14
    Password: False
    Keytab: True
    Managed by:

Retrieve keytab from server#

  1. From the workstation run sftp

  2. sftp> get workstation.keytab /etc/krb5.keytab

  3. sftp> exit

  4. chown root:wheel /etc/krb5.keytab

  5. chmod 0600 /etc/krb5.keytab

  6. Verify on freeIPA web GUI that Kerberos key is present (Identity > Host > workstation)

Directory Utility Setup#

  1. On workstation, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options

  2. Set the following:

Automatic login: off
Display login window as: Name and password
Show fast user switching menu as Full Name
  1. Click Join… beside Network Account Server

  2. Enter “”

  3. Click Continue

  4. Verify Allow network users to log in at login window is selected

  5. Click on Options… beside the previous setting

  6. Verify All network users is selected

  7. Next to Network Account Server, click Edit…

  8. Click Open Directory Utility

  9. Edit LDAPv3

  10. Select and choose Edit…

  11. Set the following:

Open/close times out in 5 seconds
Query times out in 5 seconds
Connection idles out in 1 minute
Encrypt using SSL (selected)


  1. From the edit window opened in previous step (Connection), click Search & Mappings

  2. Add record type Groups and map to ‘ipausergroup’

  3. Add PrimaryGroupID attribute to Groups and map to ‘gidNumber’

  4. Add RecordName attribute to Groups and map to ‘cn’

  5. Add record type Users and map to the following:

    • inetOrgPerson

    • posixAccount

    • shadowAccount

    • apple-user

  6. Within the record type Users add the following with the mappings shown on the right:





















  1. Verify the search base for both Record Types is “dc=yourdomain,dc=com”

  2. Verify all subtrees is selected for both Record Types

  3. Click OK button to save and return to server list

  4. Click OK again

  5. Click on Search Policy

  6. Verify “/LDAPV3/” is listed beneath “/Local/Default”

  7. Close open windows

  8. Open terminal and run test “dscacheutil -q user -a name yourusername

Allow Mobile Accounts A User Profile#

  • From a terminal, run ‘chmod 0777 /Users’

Make Accounts Mobile (Off-network Access)#

  • From a terminal, run ‘sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/ -n username

If FileVault already enabled#

  • fdesetup add -usertoadd username

  • Enter user’s password at prompt

Migrate User Profile for Mobile Account#

  1. sudo su root

  2. ditto old_userprofile new_userprofile

  3. chown -R new_username:staff new_userprofile

  4. After login as the new mobile account, update keychain password to mobile account’s

Alternative method: backup user profile with time machine and migrate user profile to network account

Mobile/Network Account Known Issues#

  • On OS X 10.13.x, a mobile account fails to build a profile at initial login

    • Workaround: create a local account, build profile, change local account to mobile

  • Cannot change mobile/network account password from login desktop

  • Changing password from IPA website does not sync with keychain:

    • The keychain may not update if Update selected

    • Run Keychain Access and manually set password from edit menu

    • Workaround: change password from System Preferences > Users & Groups

  • Changing password from IPA website does not update passphrase for disk encryption via FileVault

    • Workaround: change password from System Preferences > Users & Groups

  • Mobile users created after enabling FileVault cannot log in until another account decrypts the drive

    • Fix: Enable User from System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault

  • Cannot login to mobile account while offline with OS X 10.11

    • Fix: Upgrade to OS X 10.12

Migrate User Profile Issues#

  • Chrome extensions shortcuts are broken, if absolute path used to define

  • Chrome download folder requires manual adjustment, if absolute path defines

  • Cloud storage services generally fail to sync due to file path change

    • Fix path within application

    • DropBox requires the old path before allowing access to settings

  • Adobe CC products require re-install

Configuring Multiple Workstations#

This process can be significantly faster after an initial workstation setup:

  • Instead of manually configuring authorization, passwd, and screensaver, just copy working versions of them to /etc/pam.d

  • Similarly, copy a working version of krb5.conf to /etc.

  • Instead of manually configuring the LDAP mappings, copy the contents of /Library/Preferences/OpenDirectory from a workstation with the desired mappings and paste to the same location on a workstation being configured after joining the workstation to your IPA server.


Category:How to