wallet 1.4

(secure data management system)
Maintained by Russ Allbery <eagle@eyrie.org>

Copyright 2014, 2016, 2018 Russ Allbery <eagle@eyrie.org>. Copyright 2006-2010, 2012-2014 The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. This software is distributed under a BSD-style license. Please see the section LICENSE below for more information.


The wallet is a system for managing secure data, authorization rules to retrieve or change that data, and audit rules for documenting actions taken on that data. Objects of various types may be stored in the wallet or generated on request and retrieved by authorized users. The wallet tracks ACLs, metadata, and trace information. It is built on top of the remctl protocol and uses Kerberos GSS-API authentication. One of the object types it supports is Kerberos keytabs, making it suitable as a user-accessible front-end to Kerberos kadmind with richer ACL and metadata operations.


The wallet is a client/server system using a central server with a supporting database and a stand-alone client that can be widely distributed to users. The server runs on a secure host with access to a local database; tracks object metadata such as ACLs, attributes, history, expiration, and ownership; and has the necessary access privileges to create wallet-managed objects in external systems (such as Kerberos service principals). The client uses the remctl protocol to send commands to the server, store and retrieve objects, and query object metadata. The same client can be used for both regular user operations and wallet administrative actions.

All wallet actions are controlled by a fine-grained set of ACLs. Each object has an owner ACL and optional get, store, show, destroy, and flags ACLs that control more specific actions. A global administrative ACL controls access to administrative actions. An ACL consists of zero or more entries, each of which is a generic scheme and identifier pair, allowing the ACL system to be extended to use any existing authorization infrastructure. Supported ACL types include Kerberos principal names, regexes matching Kerberos principal names, and LDAP attribute checks.

Currently, the object types supported are simple files, passwords, Kerberos keytabs, WebAuth keyrings, and Duo integrations. By default, whenever a Kerberos keytab object is retrieved from the wallet, the key is changed in the Kerberos KDC and the wallet returns a keytab for the new key. However, a keytab object can also be configured to preserve the existing keys when retrieved. Included in the wallet distribution is a script that can be run via remctl on an MIT Kerberos KDC to extract the existing key for a principal, and the wallet system will use that interface to retrieve the current key if the unchanging flag is set on a Kerberos keytab object for MIT Kerberos. (Heimdal doesn't require any special support.)


The wallet client requires the C remctl [1] client library and a Kerberos library. It will build with either MIT Kerberos or Heimdal.

[1] https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/software/remctl/

The wallet server is written in Perl and requires Perl 5.8.0 or later plus the following Perl modules:

You will also need a DBD Perl module for the database backend that you intend to use, and the DateTime::Format::* module corresponding to that DBD module (such as DateTime::Format::SQLite or DateTime::Format::PG).

Currently, the server has only been tested against SQLite 3, MySQL 5, and PostgreSQL, and prebuilt SQL files (for database upgrades) are only provided for those servers. It will probably not work fully with other database backends. Porting is welcome.

The wallet server is intended to be run under remctld and use remctld to do authentication. It can be ported to any other front-end, but doing so will require writing a new version of server/wallet-backend that translates the actions in that protocol into calls to the Wallet::Server Perl object.

The keytab support in the wallet server supports Heimdal and MIT Kerberos KDCs and has experimental support for Active Directory. The Heimdal support requires the Heimdal::Kadm5 Perl module. The MIT Kerberos support requires the MIT Kerberos kadmin client program be installed. The Active Directory support requires the Net::LDAP, Authen::SASL, and IPC::Run Perl modules and the msktutil client program.

To support the unchanging flag on keytab objects with an MIT Kerberos KDC, the Net::Remctl Perl module (shipped with remctl) must be installed on the server and the keytab-backend script must be runnable via remctl on the KDC. This script also requires an MIT Kerberos kadmin.local binary that supports the -norandkey option to ktadd. This option is included in MIT Kerberos 1.7 and later.

The WebAuth keyring object support in the wallet server requires the WebAuth Perl module from WebAuth 4.4.0 or later.

The Duo integration object support in the wallet server requires the Net::Duo, JSON, and Perl6::Slurp Perl modules.

The password object support in the wallet server requires the Crypt::GeneratePassword Perl module.

The LDAP attribute ACL verifier requires the Authen::SASL and Net::LDAP Perl modules. This verifier only works with LDAP servers that support GSS-API binds.

The NetDB ACL verifier (only of interest at sites using NetDB to manage DNS) requires the Net::Remctl Perl module.

To bootstrap from a Git checkout, or if you change the Automake files and need to regenerate Makefile.in, you will need Automake 1.11 or later. For bootstrap or if you change configure.ac or any of the m4 files it includes and need to regenerate configure or config.h.in, you will need Autoconf 2.64 or later. Perl is also required to generate manual pages from a fresh Git checkout.


You can build and install wallet with the standard commands:

    make install

If you are building from a Git clone, first run ./bootstrap in the source directory to generate the build files. make install will probably have to be done as root. Building outside of the source directory is also supported, if you wish, by creating an empty directory and then running configure with the correct relative path.

If you are upgrading the wallet server from an earlier installed version, run wallet-admin upgrade after installation to upgrade the database schema. See the wallet-admin manual page for more information.

You can pass the --with-wallet-server and --with-wallet-port options to configure to compile in a default wallet server and port. If no port is set, the remctl default port is used. If no server is set, the server must be specified either in krb5.conf configuration or on the wallet command line or the client will exit with an error.

By default, wallet uses whatever Perl executable exists in the current PATH. That Perl's path is what the server scripts will use, and that Perl's configuration will be used to determine where the server Perl modules will be installed.

To specify a particular Perl executable to use, either set the PERL environment variable or pass it to configure like:

    ./configure PERL=/path/to/my/perl

By default, wallet installs itself under /usr/local except for the server Perl modules, which are installed into whatever default site module path is used by your Perl installation. To change the installation location of the files other than the Perl modules, pass the --prefix=DIR argument to configure.

If remctl was installed in a path not normally searched by your compiler, you must specify its installation prefix to configure with the --with-remctl=DIR option, or alternately set the path to the include files and libraries separately with --with-remctl-include=DIR and --with-remctl-lib=DIR.

Normally, configure will use krb5-config to determine the flags to use to compile with your Kerberos libraries. To specify a particular krb5-config script to use, either set the PATH_KRB5_CONFIG environment variable or pass it to configure like:

    ./configure PATH_KRB5_CONFIG=/path/to/krb5-config

If krb5-config isn't found, configure will look for the standard Kerberos libraries in locations already searched by your compiler. If the the krb5-config script first in your path is not the one corresponding to the Kerberos libraries you want to use, or if your Kerberos libraries and includes aren't in a location searched by default by your compiler, you need to specify a different Kerberos installation root via --with-krb5=PATH. For example:

    ./configure --with-krb5=/usr/pubsw

You can also individually set the paths to the include directory and the library directory with --with-krb5-include and --with-krb5-lib. You may need to do this if Autoconf can't figure out whether to use lib, lib32, or lib64 on your platform.

To not use krb5-config and force library probing even if there is a krb5-config script on your path, set PATH_KRB5_CONFIG to a nonexistent path:

    ./configure PATH_KRB5_CONFIG=/nonexistent

krb5-config is not used and library probing is always done if either --with-krb5-include or --with-krb5-lib are given.

Pass --enable-silent-rules to configure for a quieter build (similar to the Linux kernel). Use make warnings instead of make to build with full compiler warnings (requires either GCC or Clang and may require a relatively current version of the compiler).

You can pass the --enable-reduced-depends flag to configure to try to minimize the shared library dependencies encoded in the binaries. This omits from the link line all the libraries included solely because other libraries depend on them and instead links the programs only against libraries whose APIs are called directly. This will only work with shared libraries and will only work on platforms where shared libraries properly encode their own dependencies (this includes most modern platforms such as all Linux). It is intended primarily for building packages for Linux distributions to avoid encoding unnecessary shared library dependencies that make shared library migrations more difficult. If none of the above made any sense to you, don't bother with this flag.


The wallet comes with a comprehensive test suite, but it requires some configuration in order to test anything other than low-level utility functions. To enable the full test suite, follow the instructions in:

Now, you can run the test suite with:

    make check

If a test fails, you can run a single test with verbose output via:

    tests/runtests -o <name-of-test>

Do this instead of running the test program directly since it will ensure that necessary environment variables are set up.

The test suite requires remctld be installed and available in the user's path or in /usr/local/sbin or /usr/sbin; and that sqlite3, kinit, and either kvno or kgetcred be installed and available on the user's path. The test suite will also need to be able to bind to on ports 11119 and 14373 to test client/server network interactions.

The test suite uses a SQLite database for server-side and end-to-end testing and therefore requires the DBD::SQLite and DateTime::Format::SQLite Perl modules.

All of the requirements listed above will be required to run the full test suite of server functionality, but tests will be selectively skipped if their requirements aren't found.

The following additional Perl modules will be used if present:

All are available on CPAN. Those tests will be skipped if the modules are not available.

To enable tests that don't detect functionality problems but are used to sanity-check the release, set the environment variable RELEASE_TESTING to a true value. To enable tests that may be sensitive to the local environment or that produce a lot of false positives without uncovering many problems, set the environment variable AUTHOR_TESTING to a true value.


Before setting up the wallet server, review the Wallet::Config documentation (with man Wallet::Config or perldoc Wallet::Config). There are many customization options, some of which must be set. You may also need to create a Kerberos keytab for the keytab object backend and give it appropriate ACLs, and set up keytab-backend and its remctld configuration on your KDC if you want unchanging flag support.

For the basic setup and configuration of the wallet server, see the file docs/setup in the source distribution. You will need to set up a database on the server (unless you're using SQLite), initialize the database, install remctld and the wallet Perl modules, and set up remctld to run the wallet-backend program.

The wallet client supports reading configuration settings from the system krb5.conf file. For more information, see the CONFIGURATION section of the wallet client man page (man wallet).


The wallet web page at:


will always have the current version of this package, the current documentation, and pointers to any additional resources.

New wallet releases are announced on the kerberos mailing list. To subscribe or see the list archives, go to:


For bug tracking, use the issue tracker on GitHub:


However, please be aware that I tend to be extremely busy and work projects often take priority. I'll save your report and get to it as soon as I can, but it may take me a couple of months.


wallet is maintained using Git. You can access the current source on GitHub at:


or by cloning the repository at:


or view the repository via the web at:


The eyrie.org repository is the canonical one, maintained by the author, but using GitHub is probably more convenient for most purposes. Pull requests are gratefully reviewed and normally accepted.


The wallet package as a whole is covered by the following copyright statement and license:

  Copyright 2014, 2016, 2018 Russ Allbery <eagle@eyrie.org>
  Copyright 2006-2010, 2012-2014
      The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
  Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
  a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
  "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
  without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
  distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
  permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
  the following conditions:
  The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
  included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Some files in this distribution are individually released under different licenses, all of which are compatible with the above general package license but which may require preservation of additional notices. All required notices, and detailed information about the licensing of each file, are recorded in the LICENSE file.

Files covered by a license with an assigned SPDX License Identifier include SPDX-License-Identifier tags to enable automated processing of license information. See https://spdx.org/licenses/ for more information.

For any copyright range specified by files in this package as YYYY-ZZZZ, the range specifies every single year in that closed interval.

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