Copyright 2015, 2016 Red Hat, Inc.

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FreeIPA is a centralised identity management system. In this workshop you will learn how to deploy FreeIPA servers and enrol client machines, define and manage user and service identities, set up access policies, configure network services to take advantage of FreeIPA’s authentication and authorisation facilities and issue X.509 certificates for services.

Curriculum overview#


Optional units—choose the topics that are relevant to you:

Editing files on VMs#

Parts of the workshop involve editing files on virtual machines. The vi and GNU nano editors are available on the VMs. If you are not familiar with vi or you are unsure of what to use, you should choose nano.

Example commands#

This guide contains many examples of commands. Some of the commands should be executed on your host, others on a particular guest VM. For clarity, commands are annotated with the host on which they are meant to be executed, as in these examples:

$ echo "Run it on virtualisation host (no annotation)"

[server]$ echo "Run it on FreeIPA server"

[client]$ echo "Run it on IPA-enrolled client"



Some preparation is needed prior to the workshop. The workshop is designed to be carried out in a Vagrant environment that configures three networked virtual machines (VMs) with all software needed for the workshop. The goal of this preparation is to vagrant up the VMs. After this preparation is completed you are ready to begin the workshop.


For the FreeIPA workshop you will need to:

  • Install Vagrant and VirtualBox. (On Fedora, you can use libvirt instead of VirtualBox).

  • Use Git to clone the repository containing the Vagrantfile

  • Fetch the Vagrant box for the workshop

  • Add entries for the guest VMs to your hosts file (so you can access them by their hostname)

Please set up these items prior to the workshop. More detailed instructions follow.

Install Vagrant and VirtualBox#


If you intend to use the libvirt provider (recommended), install vagrant-libvirt and vagrant-libvirt-doc:

$ sudo dnf install -y vagrant-libvirt vagrant-libvirt-doc

Also ensure you have the latest versions of selinux-policy and selinux-policy-targeted.

Allow your regular user ID to start and stop Vagrant boxes using libvirt. Add your user to libvirt group so you don’t need to enter your administrator password everytime:

$ sudo gpasswd -a ${USER} libvirt
$ newgrp libvirt

Finally restart the services:

$ systemctl restart libvirtd

More information:

Otherwise, you will use VirtualBox and the virtualbox provider. VirtualBox needs to build kernel modules, and that means that you must first install kernel headers and Dynamic Kernel Module Support:

$ sudo dnf install -y vagrant kernel-devel dkms

Next, install VirtualBox from the official VirtualBox package repository. Before using the repo, check that its contents match what appears in the transcript below (to make sure it wasn’t tampered with):

$ sudo curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/virtualbox.repo \

$ cat /etc/yum.repos.d/virtualbox.repo
name=Fedora $releasever - $basearch - VirtualBox

$ sudo dnf install -y VirtualBox-6.1

Finally, load the kernel modules (you may need to restart your system for this to work):

$ sudo modprobe vboxdrv vboxnetadp

Mac OS X#

Install Vagrant for Mac OS X from

Install VirtualBox 6.1 for OS X hosts from

Install Git from or via your preferred package manager.

Debian / Ubuntu#

Install Vagrant, Git and VirtualBox:

$ sudo apt-get install -y vagrant git
$ sudo apt-get install -y virtualbox-6.1

If VirtualBox 6.1 was not available in the official packages for your release, follow the instructions at to install it.


Install Vagrant via the .msi available from

Install VirtualBox for Windows hosts from

You will also need to install an SSH client, and Git. Git for Windows also comes with an SSH client so just install Git from

Clone this repository#

This repository contains the Vagrantfile that is used for the workshop, which you will need locally.

$ git clone
$ cd freeipa/doc/workshop

Fetch Vagrant box#

Please fetch the Vagrant box prior to the workshop. It is > 700MB so it may not be feasible to download it during the workshop.

$ vagrant box add freeipa/freeipa-workshop

Add hosts file entries#

This step is optional. All units can be completed using the CLI only. But if you want to access the FreeIPA Web UI or other web servers on the VMs from your browser, follow these instructions.

Add the following entries to your hosts file:   server.ipademo.local   replica.ipademo.local   client.ipademo.local

On Unix systems (including Mac OS X), the hosts file is /etc/hosts (you need elevated permissions to edit it.)

On Windows, edit C:\Windows\System32\system\drivers\etc\hosts as Administrator.

Next step#

You are ready to begin the workshop. Continue to Unit 1: Installing the FreeIPA server.

After the workshop#

Here are some contact details and resources that may help you after the workshop is over: