How To Install FreeIPA Client on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

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How do I install and configure FreeIPA Client on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8?. In our last guide, we covered the installation of FreeIPA server on RHEL / CentOS 8. This article will focus on how to Install FreeIPA Client on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8. The FreeIPA Client is installed on machines to be authenticated against FreeIPA Server.

FreeIPA Client integrates with many Linux native services such as:

  • SSH – server can keep SSH public keys used by both sshd and ssh
  • SUDO – server can provide centralized sudoers to all clients.
  • automount – server can keep automount maps consumed by client autofs differentiated by a location.
  • SELinux user map – server can keep policies to assign different SELinux user roles to users, based on their group or host group.

These integrations allow a System Administrator to conveniently configure them centrally, on the FreeIPA server. When a management command is executed on the Client machine, the FreeIPA client sends it to the server where it is executed.

Install FreeIPA Client on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

On RHEL / CentOS 8, FreeIPA client is available as an AppStream module.

$ sudo yum module list idm
 Updating Subscription Management repositories.
 Updating Subscription Management repositories.
 Last metadata expiration check: 0:16:51 ago on Sat 29 Dec 2018 09:52:44 AM EAT.
 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - AppStream Beta (RPMs)
 Name         Stream             Profiles                                          Summary
 idm          DL1                adtrust, client, dns, server, default [d]         The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Identity Management system module
 idm          client [d]         default [d]                                       RHEL IdM long term support client module
 Hint: [d]efault, [e]nabled, [x]disabled, [i]nstalled

From the output, you can see we have DL1 and client Streams. For more information about the FreeIPA client stream, run:

sudo yum module info idm:client

Install FreeIPA client on CentOS / RHEL 8 system by executing the command below in your terminal.

sudo yum -y install @idm:client

Check version of ipa-client installed.

$ rpm -qi ipa-client
 Name        : ipa-client
 Version     : 4.7.1
 Release     : 1.el8+1957+d517d3b2
 Architecture: x86_64
 Install Date: Sat 29 Dec 2018 10:00:11 AM EAT
 Group       : System Environment/Base
 Size        : 293787
 License     : GPLv3+
 Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Tue 23 Oct 2018 09:19:02 AM EAT, Key ID 199e2f91fd431d51
 Source RPM  : ipa-4.7.1-1.el8+1957+d517d3b2.src.rpm
 Build Date  : Sun 07 Oct 2018 02:51:43 PM EAT
 Build Host  :
 Relocations : (not relocatable)
 Packager    : Red Hat, Inc.
 Vendor      : Red Hat, Inc.
 URL         :
 Summary     : IPA authentication for use on clients
 Description :
 IPA is an integrated solution to provide centrally managed Identity (users,
 hosts, services), Authentication (SSO, 2FA), and Authorization
 (host access control, SELinux user roles, services). The solution provides
 features for further integration with Linux based clients (SUDO, automount)
 and integration with Active Directory based infrastructures (Trusts).
 If your network uses IPA for authentication, this package should be
 installed on every client machine.
 This package provides command-line tools for IPA administrators.

You can do the same for sssd.

$ rpm -qi sssd
 Name        : sssd
 Version     : 2.0.0
 Release     : 21.el8
 Architecture: x86_64
 Install Date: Wed 26 Dec 2018 10:54:09 AM EAT
 Group       : Applications/System
 Size        : 35147
 License     : GPLv3+
 Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Tue 16 Oct 2018 06:03:29 PM EAT, Key ID 199e2f91fd431d51
 Source RPM  : sssd-2.0.0-21.el8.src.rpm
 Build Date  : Tue 16 Oct 2018 03:25:43 PM EAT
 Build Host  :
 Relocations : (not relocatable)
 Packager    : Red Hat, Inc.
 Vendor      : Red Hat, Inc.
 URL         :
 Summary     : System Security Services Daemon
 Description :
 Provides a set of daemons to manage access to remote directories and
 authentication mechanisms. It provides an NSS and PAM interface toward
 the system and a plug-gable back-end system to connect to multiple different
 account sources. It is also the basis to provide client auditing and policy
 services for projects like FreeIPA.
 The sssd sub-package is a meta-package that contains the daemon as well as all
 the existing back ends.

Configure FreeIPA Client on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

Once the installation of the FreeIPA Client packages is complete. Add hostname and IP address of your IPA Server to /etc/hosts file if you don’t have a working DNS resolution.

echo ""| sudo tee /etc/hosts

Set your system hostname.

export HNAME=""
sudo hostnamectl set-hostname $HNAME --static
sudo hostname $HNAME

Finally, configure the FreeIPA client on your system by running the command below.

sudo ipa-client-install \
 --mkhomedir \ \
 --domain \
 --realm EXAMPLE.COM


  • – Client host name
  • FreeIPA Server host name
  • – Domain name configured in FreeIPA Server
  • EXAMPLE.COM – FreeIPA server Kerberos REALM

Your installation should be similar to example below.

This program will set up IPA client.
 Version 4.7.1
 Autodiscovery of servers for failover cannot work with this configuration.
 If you proceed with the installation, services will be configured to always access the discovered server for all operations and will not fail over to other servers in case of failure.
 Proceed with fixed values and no DNS discovery? [no]: yes
 Client hostname:
 DNS Domain:
 IPA Server:
 BaseDN: dc=example,dc=com
 Continue to configure the system with these values? [no]: yes
 Synchronizing time
 No SRV records of NTP servers found and no NTP server or pool address was provided.
 Using default chrony configuration.
 Attempting to sync time with chronyc.
 Time synchronization was successful.
 User authorized to enroll computers: admin
 Password for [email protected]: 
 Successfully retrieved CA cert
     Subject:     CN=Certificate Authority,O=EXAMPLE.COM
     Issuer:      CN=Certificate Authority,O=EXAMPLE.COM
     Valid From:  2019-03-24 10:12:55
     Valid Until: 2038-03-24 10:12:55
 Enrolled in IPA realm EXAMPLE.COM
 Created /etc/ipa/default.conf
 Configured sudoers in /etc/nsswitch.conf
 Configured /etc/sssd/sssd.conf
 Configured /etc/krb5.conf for IPA realm EXAMPLE.COM
 Systemwide CA database updated.
 Hostname (rhel8.local) does not have A/AAAA record.
 Failed to update DNS records.
 Missing A/AAAA record(s) for host rhel8.local:
 Incorrect reverse record(s): is pointing to
 Adding SSH public key from /etc/ssh/
 Adding SSH public key from /etc/ssh/
 Adding SSH public key from /etc/ssh/
 Could not update DNS SSHFP records.
 SSSD enabled
 Configured /etc/openldap/ldap.conf
 Configured /etc/ssh/ssh_config
 Configured /etc/ssh/sshd_config
 Configuring as NIS domain.
 Client configuration complete.
 The ipa-client-install command was successful

If you have DNS server, FreeIPA client installer can discover FreeIPA server and pull required installation. The command:

sudo ipa-client-install

Should be sufficient to configure client machine.

Enable Creation of home directories on the first Login

If user’s home directory are not created automatically, enable this feature by running the command below.

$ sudo authconfig --enablemkhomedir --update
Executing: /usr/bin/authselect check
Executing: /usr/bin/authselect current --raw
Executing: /usr/bin/authselect select sssd with-sudo with-mkhomedir --force
Executing: /usr/bin/systemctl enable oddjobd.service
Executing: /usr/bin/systemctl stop oddjobd.service
Executing: /usr/bin/systemctl start oddjobd.service

Check if user’s identification is visible on the server.

$ id josphat
uid=1676000008(josphat) gid=1676000008(josphat) groups=1676000008(josphat),1676000007(wheel-users)

Test FreeIPA LDAP user authentication.

$ ssh [email protected]
Password expired. Change your password now.
Current Password: 
New password: id
uid=1201400003(test1) gid=1201400003(test1) groups=1201400003(test1) context=unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023

Using FreeIPA ipa Command Line Management Tool

You can administer FreeIPA Server from the client machine using ipa command line tool.

First, obtain a Kerberos ticket.

$ sudo kinit admin
Password for [email protected]: 

Check ticket expiry information using klist.

$ klist 
Ticket cache: KCM:0
Default principal: [email protected]
Valid starting       Expires              Service principal
03/24/2019 11:48:06  03/25/2019 11:48:04  krbtgt/EXAMPLE.COM@EXAMPLE.COM

Test by adding a user account and listing accounts present:

$ sudo ipa user-add test \
  --first=Test --last=User \
  --email=[email protected] --password

Enter Password again to verify: 
 Added user "test"
   User login: test
   First name: Test
   Last name: User
   Full name: Test User
   Display name: Test User
   Initials: TU
   Home directory: /home/test
   GECOS: Test User
   Login shell: /bin/bash
   Principal name: [email protected]
   Principal alias: [email protected]
   User password expiration: 20190324085532Z
   Email address: [email protected]
   UID: 1201400001
   GID: 1201400001
   Password: True
   Member of groups: ipausers
   Kerberos keys available: True


ipa user-find test

Enable Passwordless Authentication using Private Key

If you would like to authenticate to a server without a password, copy your Public key to FreeIPA Server:


Click the Add button under “SSH public keys“, paste your public key into the box and save.

Removing IPA Client from CentOS 8 / RHEL 8 system

Removal of FreeIPA client on CentOS / RHEL 8 can be done by running the command:

$ sudo ipa-client-install  --uninstall
Unenrolling client from IPA server
Removing Kerberos service principals from /etc/krb5.keytab
Disabling client Kerberos and LDAP configurations
Redundant SSSD configuration file /etc/sssd/sssd.conf was moved to /etc/sssd/sssd.conf.deleted
Restoring client configuration files
Unconfiguring the NIS domain.
nscd daemon is not installed, skip configuration
nslcd daemon is not installed, skip configuration
Systemwide CA database updated.
Client uninstall complete.
The original nsswitch.conf configuration has been restored.
You may need to restart services or reboot the machine.
Do you want to reboot the machine? [no]: 
The ipa-client-install command was successful


There you have it. FreeIPA client has been installed and configured on RHEL / CentOS 8 system.


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