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1 - Abstract

As there are two different types of certificates, there are two individual tasks to setup a host.

  • Host Certificate
  • Client Certificate

Here at NetDEF we only use Client Certificates.

2 - Client Certificate

To setup the client certificate, the public key of the certificate authority is needed. There are three public keys called  '', '' and ''.

Step 1 - Verify client certificates

Add the following lines to the file '/etc/ssh/sshd_config' to tell the SSH daemon about the public key to verify client certificates. The host trusts all certificates the are signed by our CA.

### User CA certificate
TrustedUserCAKeys /etc/ssh/
TrustedUserCAKeys /etc/ssh/
TrustedUserCAKeys /etc/ssh/

Copy the public keys to the specified location.

Step 2 - Principals

Next we configure the hosts to accept only certain principals. To do so, add this line to '/etc/ssh/sshd_config'

### Auth Principals
AuthorizedPrincipalsFile /etc/ssh/auth_principals/%u

Then we need to populate the principals file. For each user we need to create a file.

mkdir -p /etc/ssh/auth_principals
echo -e '\nroot-everywhere' > /etc/ssh/auth_principals/root

This allows to all users to login as root that have either or root-everywhere specified in the list of principals within their certificate.

You can control access to any other local user by creating the corresponding files under '/etc/ssh/auth_principals'.

Step 3 - Restart the SSH daemon

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