Install and Configure FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 24.04

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install freeipa client ubuntu 24.04

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure FreeIPA client on Ubuntu 24.04. With FreeIPA client, you can be able to authenticate against your central authentication FreeIPA server making it easier to manage user accounts, passwords, and access rights across a network of systems.

Install and Setup FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 24.04

Install and Setup FreeIPA Server

Before you can proceed, you need to have a running FreeIPA server.

Install and Setup FreeIPA Server

Add User Accounts to FreeIPA Server

Once the server is up and running, add user accounts.

Add FreeIPA User Accounts via CLI or Web Interface

Add Client DNS Record to FreeIPA Server

If you configured your FreeIPA Server with integrated DNS, you need to add the client’s A record details on the server.

ipa dnsrecord-add <client-hostname> --a-rec <client-IP>

In our FreeIPA server, I didnt setup integrated DNS so I am skipping this step.

Update Client and FreeIPA Server DNS Records on the Client Node

If you are using an integrated DNS on your FreeIPA server and your client is already configured to use it for as DNS server, then you should be able to resolve both the server and the client addresses.

However, if you did not set the DNS server, you can use the hosts file on the client to set the records.

For example, to add FreeIPA server records on the Client hosts file

echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

Similarly, update the client DNS records;

echo " noble" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

If you hostname was already resolving to the loopback address, update the hosts file accordingly to remove that record.

Install FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 24.04

You are now ready to install FreeIPA client on your Ubuntu system for central authentication via the FreeIPA server.

Run the command below to install FreeIPA client and other required packages.

sudo apt install freeipa-client oddjob-mkhomedir
  • freeipa-client provide tools required to configure a system as FreeIPA server client.
  • oddjob-mkhomedir package provides PAM module, that enables automatic home directories creation for users when they first log in to a system

During installation, you will be prompted to set your Kerberos realm, an administrative domain in which the Kerberos authentication service operates.

ipa client kerberos realm

Press tab to select Okay and proceed. Otherwise, update the realm domain and press Okay to proceed.

Also, set the FreeIPA server FQDN address and proceed.

ipa server fqdn

For the administrative server for your Kerberos realm, use the same FreeIPA server FQDN.

freeipa client administrative server

Configure FreeIPA Client to authenticate via FreeIPA Server

The FreeIPA client installed above, ships with a number of IPA tools that can be use to manage and configure the client for authentication against the FreeIPA server. Among the tools installed is the ipa-client-install command.

ipa-client-install command configures a client machine to use IPA for authentication and identity services. By default this configures SSSD to connect to an IPA server for authentication and authorization.

You can see how to use this command via man page or help info;

ipa-client-install --help
Usage: ipa-client-install [options]

  --version             show program's version number and exit
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -U, --unattended      unattended (un)installation never prompts the user
  --uninstall           uninstall an existing installation. The uninstall can
                        be run with --unattended option

  Basic options:
    -p PRINCIPAL, --principal=PRINCIPAL
                        principal to use to join the IPA realm
                        load the CA certificate from this file
                        Specify IP address that should be added to DNS. This
                        option can be used multiple times
    --all-ip-addresses  All routable IP addresses configured on any interface
                        will be added to DNS
                        primary DNS domain of the IPA deployment (not
                        necessarily related to the current hostname)
    --server=SERVER     FQDN of IPA server
    --realm=REALM_NAME  Kerberos realm name of the IPA deployment (typically
                        an upper-cased name of the primary DNS domain)
                        The hostname of this machine (FQDN). If specified, the
                        hostname will be set and the system configuration will
                        be updated to persist over reboot. By default the
                        result of getfqdn() call from Python's socket module
                        is used.

  Client options:
    -w PASSWORD, --password=PASSWORD
                        password to join the IPA realm (assumes bulk password
                        unless principal is also set)
    -W                  Prompt for a password to join the IPA realm
    -f, --force         force setting of LDAP/Kerberos conf
                        configure Firefox to use IPA domain credentials
                        specify directory where Firefox is installed (for
                        example: '/usr/lib/firefox')
    -k KEYTAB, --keytab=KEYTAB
                        path to backed up keytab from previous enrollment
    --mkhomedir         create home directories for users on their first login
    --force-join        Force client enrollment even if already enrolled
                        ntp server to use. This option can be used multiple
                        ntp server pool to use
    -N, --no-ntp        do not configure ntp
                        NIS domain name
    --no-nisdomain      do not configure NIS domain name
    --ssh-trust-dns     configure OpenSSH client to trust DNS SSHFP records
    --no-ssh            do not configure OpenSSH client
    --no-sshd           do not configure OpenSSH server
    --no-sudo           do not configure SSSD as data source for sudo
    --subid             configure SSSD as data source for subid
    --no-dns-sshfp      do not automatically create DNS SSHFP records
                        number of attempts to obtain host TGT (defaults to 5).

  SSSD options:
    --fixed-primary     Configure sssd to use fixed server as primary IPA
    --permit            disable access rules by default, permit all access.
                        Configures the machine to attempt dns updates when the
                        ip address changes.
                        Configure SSSD not to store user password when the
                        server is offline
    --preserve-sssd     Preserve old SSSD configuration if possible

  PKINIT options:
                        PKINIT identity information (for example
                        PKINIT trust anchors, prefixed with FILE: for CA PEM
                        bundle file or DIR: for an OpenSSL hash dir. The
                        option can be used used multiple times.

  Automount options:
                        Automount location

  Logging and output options:
    -v, --verbose       print debugging information
    -d, --debug         alias for --verbose (deprecated)
    -q, --quiet         output only errors
    --log-file=FILE     log to the given file


man ipa-client-install

Hence, you can simply execute the command below to setup the client

sudo ipa-client-install --mkhomedir --no-ntp

The option, –mkhomedir, is important to ensure user’s home directory is created on first login to the machine.

Also, note that we disabled NTP services since we are not using FreeIPA server as our time server.

When ran, the DNS discovery may fail if you didnt integrate FreeIPA server with DNS, so you need to provide your domain name, e.g and FreeIPA FQDN such as Ensure you say yes for continuing with no DNS discovery.

Similarly, when prompted on who is authorized to enroll computers, use IPA admin and its credentials.

This program will set up IPA client.
Version 4.11.1

DNS discovery failed to determine your DNS domain
Provide the domain name of your IPA server (ex:
Provide your IPA server name (ex:
The failure to use DNS to find your IPA server indicates that your resolv.conf file is not properly configured.
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=kifarunix,dc=com

Continue to configure the system with these values? [no]: yes
Skipping chrony configuration
User authorized to enroll computers: admin
Password for [email protected]: 
Successfully retrieved CA cert
    Subject:     CN=Certificate Authority,O=KIFARUNIX.COM
    Issuer:      CN=Certificate Authority,O=KIFARUNIX.COM
    Valid From:  2024-05-04 03:38:52+00:00
    Valid Until: 2044-05-04 03:38:52+00:00

Enrolled in IPA realm KIFARUNIX.COM
Created /etc/ipa/default.conf
Configured /etc/sssd/sssd.conf
Systemwide CA database updated.
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.d/04-ipa.conf
Configuring as NIS domain.
Configured /etc/krb5.conf for IPA realm KIFARUNIX.COM
Client configuration complete.
The ipa-client-install command was successful

If you do not want to type the domain name/IPA server name, specify them on CLI;

sudo ipa-client-install --mkhomedir --no-ntp

If there is any error, a log file where it is written to is provided.

The command configures and enable SSSD service.

systemctl status sssd
● sssd.service - System Security Services Daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/sssd.service; enabled; preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Sat 2024-05-04 12:48:19 EAT; 7min ago
   Main PID: 8327 (sssd)
      Tasks: 7 (limit: 4615)
     Memory: 57.6M (peak: 58.0M)
        CPU: 249ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/sssd.service
             ├─8327 /usr/sbin/sssd -i --logger=files
             ├─8328 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_be --domain --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files
             ├─8329 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_nss --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files
             ├─8330 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_pam --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files
             ├─8331 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_ssh --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files
             ├─8332 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_sudo --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files
             └─8333 /usr/libexec/sssd/sssd_pac --uid 0 --gid 0 --logger=files

May 04 12:48:19 noble systemd[1]: Starting sssd.service - System Security Services Daemon...
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd[8327]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_be[8328]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_nss[8329]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_ssh[8331]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_pam[8330]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_sudo[8332]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble sssd_pac[8333]: Starting up
May 04 12:48:19 noble systemd[1]: Started sssd.service - System Security Services Daemon.

You can also check what configurations are installed on the SSSD configuration.

sudo cat /etc/sssd/sssd.conf

id_provider = ipa
ipa_server = _srv_,
ipa_domain =
ipa_hostname =
auth_provider = ipa
chpass_provider = ipa
access_provider = ipa
cache_credentials = True
ldap_tls_cacert = /etc/ipa/ca.crt
krb5_store_password_if_offline = True
services = nss, pam, ssh, sudo

domains =
homedir_substring = /home








If you check users using id command, you should be able to see them listed.

id bcooper
uid=1152000006(bcooper) gid=1152000006(bcooper) groups=1152000006(bcooper)

Login to Ubuntu 24.04 using FreeIPA user Account

We have already created some accounts on our FreeIPA server;

managing users from web freeipa

Or list them from command line

ipa user-find --all | grep "User login"
  User login: admin
  User login: bcooper
  User login: bparker
  User login: bsmith

So, on our Ubuntu 24.04 client, let’s login as one of the users above;

On the login interface, select Not listed to be able to enter new username and password for login.

login with not listed users

Enter the username and password. If the authentication is successful, you will be prompted to reset the password.

reset password freeipa server

So, enter the current password and set a new one. When you login, you should see a message saying home directory is creating.

freeipa client user login

You can also try to ssh into the client using the FreeIPA server user account.

kifarunix@u24:~$ ssh [email protected]
The authenticity of host 'localhost ()' can't be established.
ED25519 key fingerprint is SHA256:VXA9MTsTF/73wJyT6qs9VeS/JVKKYJ2zUq9EqPzT4Tw.
This key is not known by any other names.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'localhost' (ED25519) to the list of known hosts.
(bcooper@localhost) Password: 
Welcome to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 6.8.0-31-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

Expanded Security Maintenance for Applications is not enabled.

3 updates can be applied immediately.
3 of these updates are standard security updates.
To see these additional updates run: apt list --upgradable

Enable ESM Apps to receive additional future security updates.
See or run: sudo pro status

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.


And there you go. You have setup FreeIPA client on Ubuntu 24.04 and you should be able to login using the centrally managed user accounts. Stay connected for more tutorials around FreeIPA server.


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Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

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