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Crowd as a SSO server for Ubuntu workstations?

Philip Schlesinger Aug 06, 2015

So we have a bunch of Ubuntu 12.04 workstations which we would like to have authenticate to the company Active Directory.

 

Now we also have Crowd 2.8.2 which is acting as a SSO server for our JIRA, Fisheye, and Crucible logins – proxying those login requests to the company Active Directory.  

 

Is it difficult to configure Ubuntu and Crowd so that a user could log into an Ubuntu workstation with their Active Directory credentials and have Crowd proxy that login request?

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Philip, I suppose in theory this might possible, but it kind of jumps tiers in your architecture, probably with many issues associated with this jump.

Crowd provides a REST interface for applications like JIRA to obtain a security token, store it in a cookie, then when you navigate to the other application your identity is recovered via this cookie. These are all "web" tier technologies that do not belong at the OS tier.

Why would you want to go via Crowd if you can link your Ubuntu workstations to AD directly i.e. join them into domain:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SingleSignOn

Philip Schlesinger Aug 07, 2015

Hi Ed. If I'm reading that SSO Ubuntu doc correctly, a required step is to join the Ubuntu workstation to the domain -- and by doing so IT would have the power to enforce policies on our development workstations. We *do not* want to give IT that power.

Look, I am not an expert on Ubuntu and joining these to domain, I am sure there are ways of not giving IT the power to enforce policies - but this question belongs in Ubuntu forums. I know the answer is "no" but I can't give you a definitive explanation why. Your question about doing SSO on OS level via Crowd being the SSO provider seems wrong on several levels, which probably imply misunderstanding of what Crowd is and how it works. I even struggle to come with an analogy to demonstrate this. Lets try like this: Your router/modem uses some kind of credentials to get you connected to Internet. What you are asking is using Google authentication to achieve the same thing (not just the same user/password, but the actual single-sign on via Google). Doesn't something seem wrong in this picture? Sure it may be possible and maybe someone will even find benefit in that, make a product, sell to modem-makers and earn millions in licensing fees, but why put the cart in front of the horse?

Philip Schlesinger Aug 10, 2015

Hi Ed, Makes sense. Thanks

Dom DiPasquale Jun 15, 2016

Hey Philip, may I ask what solution, if any, you decided to go with regarding your original question?

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