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Kerberos authentication for Django

Project description

Kerberos authentication for Django

Provide Kerberos authentication to Django applications.

Python 2 and 3, Django >1.8 are supported.

Basic usage

Add this to your project

url('^accounts/kerberos/', include('django_kerberos.urls')),

And use the default authentication backend, by adding that to your file:




Hostname for retrieving the service key, the correspondig principal will be HTTP/{KERBEROS_HOSTNAME}@DEFAULT_REAML, default is None. If None the hostname from the request will be used.


Whether to create user if no existing model can be found, default is False.


A regular expression that the principal must match to get superuser privileges, default is None. A classic example could be r’^.*/admin$’.


The service principal to use when checking a password against the KDC, you don’t need the secret key for this principal, it should just exist inside the Kerberos database as the check is done by trying to get ticket for this service. Default is None. It’s used only by the pseudo password haser and the login/password authentication backend.


Does the KerbersoPasswordBackend store a hash of the checked password inside the user model each time a user log in. Default is False. It allows your website to provide a backup authentication if Kerberos is failing or if you ever need to detach from the realm.

Custom backend

A custom authentication backend can be used, in this case the signature of the authenticate method must be:

class CustomKerberosBackend(object):
    def authenticate(self, principal=None):

Sample application

First you need to install django-kerberos into your environment like that:

python install

If you want to try the sample application you must add this line to your /etc/hosts file, absolutely at the beginning:

Then you must connect to your Kerberos administration server and add the principal HTTP/ and export its key in a keytab file:

$ kadmin -p myuser/admin
kadmin: addprinc -randkey HTTP/
kadmin: ktadd -k /tmp/keytab HTTP/

Finally you can run the sample:

cd sample; KRB5_KTNAME=FILE:/tmp/keytab python ./ runserver

Now you should be able to login on

The sample project is configured so that all principal ending with /admin get the staff and superuser flags. You can change that by editing the key KERBEROS_BACKEND_ADMIN_REGEXP in sample/sample/

Pseudo hasher

A pseudo hasher whose import path is django_kerberos.hashers.KerberosHasher provide a mean to associate a Django user model to a Kerberos identity.

The content of the password field must be kerberos$<principal name>.

To create an user for a principal you can do:

User.objects.create(username=new_username, password='kerberos$' + principal)

Login/Password backend

If your users does not have their browser configured for SPNEGO HTTP authentication you can also provide a classic login/password form which check passwords using Kerberos.


A template include is provided to implement autologin. It calls the Kerberos login view using AJAX. AJAX support in the login view makes the view return a JSON document containing a boolean value indicating if login was sucessfull. If login is succesfull the current view is reloaded.

To use this template just add the following code to any of your templates:

{% include "django_kerberos/autologin.html" %}

After a succesfull login a cookie is created which prevent autologin for the next 15 minutes, to permit login using other methods after an immediate logout.

The template show an HTML div having the id “kerberos-autologin” and containing the text “Autologin…” so that you can add CSS styling to it.

The javascript implementation of autologin is a script named “js/autlogin.html”, it can be reused to implement autologin for other proctocols. Its only requirement is to have a view which return ‘true’ if a login is successfull on an HTTP GET request. The script provide a javascript function whose signature is:

autologin(url, callback[. timeout])

url is the URL of the login view, callback is a javascript function which will receive true or false depending on the login success and timeout is the number of seconds after a succesfull login during which autologin is disabled, default is 15 minutes.

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