This page contains Kerberos troubleshooting advice, including trusts. For other issues, refer to the index at Troubleshooting.

kinit does not work#

  • On client, see the debug messages from the kinit process itself:

    KRB5_TRACE=/dev/stdout kinit admin
  • Make sure that there are no DNS Issues and that forward (A and/or AAAA) records of the client are OK.

  • Make sure that krb5kdc and dirsrv services on the FreeIPA server are running

  • Check for errors in /var/log/krb5kdc.log

Service does not start#

  • See service log of the respective service for the exact error text. For example, the Directory Server stores the log in /var/log/dirsrv/slapd-REALM-NAME/errors

  • Make sure that the server the service is running on has a fully qualified domain name

  • Make sure that if /etc/hosts contains an entry for this server, the fully qualified domain name comes first, e.g.: ipa
  • See what keys are in the keytab used for authentication of the service, e.g.:

    # klist -kt /etc/dirsrv/ds.keytab
  • Make sure that the stored principals match the system FQDN system name

  • Make sure that the version of the keys (KVNO) stored in the keytab and in the FreeIPA server match:

    $ kvno ldap/
  • Make sure that there are no DNS Issues and both forward and reverse DNS records of the are OK and match the system name and the stored principal keys

  • Make sure that the system time difference on the host and FreeIPA server is not greater than 5 minutes

Cannot authenticate on client#

  • If FreeIPA was re-enrolled against different FreeIPA server, try removing SSSD caches (/var/lib/sss/db/*) and restarting the SSSD service (freeipa-users thread)

For further advise, see SSSD guide for troubleshooting problems on clients, including tips for gathering SSSD log files.

Failed auth increments failed login count by 2#

  • This happens when migration mode is enabled. After normal auth attempt SSSD performs LDAP bind to generate Kerberos keys. This failure raises the counter for second time.

  • Resolution: disable migration mode when all users are migrated by

    ipa config-mod --enable-migration=False

Cannot authenticate user with OTP with Google Authenticator#

  • This happens when hash function other that SHA-1 is used and OTP code is generated using Google Authenticator (encountered with 4.74). Google Authenticator ignores the hash function and uses SHA-1 anyway making the generated codes unusable. Use FreeOTP application or OTP tokens with SHA-1 hash function. related freeipa-users thread.

Smart Card authentication#

See Troubleshooting SmartCard authentication for SmartCard authentication issues.

For Kerberos PKINIT authentication both client and server (KDC) side must have support for PKINIT enabled. On Fedora/RHEL/CentOS systems this means an RPM package krb5-pkinit or similar should be installed. If a client system lacks krb5-pkinit package, a client will not be able to use a smartcard to obtain an initial Kerberos ticket (TGT). This is hard to notice as Kerberos client will simply have no way to respond to the pre-authentication scheme for PKINIT. Thus, a first step in resolving issues with PKINIT would be to check that krb5-pkinit package is installed.


Ubuntu distributions at this time don’t support Trust feature of FreeIPA. See for more details.

Cannot create trust with trust-add#

See separate page with instructions how to debug trust creating issues.