In a previous post, it demonstrated how to configure LDAP integration with IBM Open Platform on a BigInsights Cluster. Here is the link.
In this post, it concentrates on the missing content from the previous post for the Microsoft Active Directory (AD) integration.


This technical document is intended to show viewers step by step instructions on how to setup AD on RedHat and/or CentOS Operating System and the integration on a Hadoop Cluster.

Version Tested

  • RedHat v7.x, CentOS v7.x
  • Ambari v2.4.x

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t include spaces in a bind id (ex. “Service\, EnterpriseLdap”)

AD Configuration Steps

  1. Collect the Microsoft Active Directory (AD) server information

    • AD server FQDN. Example:
    • AD server port. Default is 389.
    • AD server BaseDN. (Currently it does not support case sensitive AD entries) Ex. dc=ibm,dc=com
    • AD server Admin account and its credential. Ex. cn=Manager,ou=IT,ou=Departments,dc=ibm,dc=com
  2. Install OpenLDAP pre-requisites on all Hadoop cluster nodes

    • Run the command: $sudo yum -y install openldap openldap-clients nss-pam-ldapd pam
  3. Setup the configuration files

    • Modify file “/etc/nslcd.conf” with following:
    • uri ldap://;
      base dc=us,dc=ibm,dc=com
      binddn cn=manager,OU=IT,OU=Departments,DC=us,DC=ibm,DC=com
      bindpw <yoursecretpassword>
      pagesize 1000
      referrals off
      idle_timelimit 800
      filter passwd (&(objectClass=user)(!(objectClass=machines)))
      map passwd uid sAMAccountName
      map passwd uidNumber objectSid:
      map passwd gidNumber primaryGroupID
      map passwd homeDirectory “/home/$sAMAccountName”
      map passwd loginShell “/bin/bash”
      filter shadow (&(objectClass=user)(!(objectClass=machine)))
      map shadow uid sAMAccountName
      map shadow shadowLastChange pwdLastSet
      filter group (objectClass=group)
      map group gidNumber objectSid:
      ssl no
      tls_cacertdir /etc/openldap/cacerts

    • Modify file “/etc/nsswitch.conf” with following:
    • passwd: files sss ldap
      shadow: files sss ldap
      group: files sss ldap
      hosts: files dns
      netgroup: files sss ldap
      automount: files ldap

    • Modify file “/etc/openldap/ldap.conf” with following:
    • TLS_CACERTDIR /etc/openldap/cacerts
      URI ldap://
      BASE dc=ibm,dc=com

  4. (Re-)Start nslcd Service

  5. $ sudo systemctl restart nslcd

  6. Test AD client install and connectivity to the server

    • Login to Ambari node as root
    • Run connectivity test: Ex. $ sudo openssl s_client -connect
      Note: If connectivity test failed, you should verify if AD server’s firewall is opened for port 389 and 636 (Ex. $ sudo netstat -anp|grep 636)
    • Test if a AD user can login to Ambari node without an existing local Unix account
      1. $ ssh
      2. You may get an error message indicating that command failed to change home directory for ad user. This is a correct behavior since ad user does not exist on the local machine.
      3. If you get the following status, you have successfully logged in using AD user id and it’s credential. You are done setting up AD client and successfully tested connections. Now you are ready to move on to configure Ambari LDAP.
        ldap user login test
        LDAP User Login Test
  7. Setup Ambari AD configuration

    1. Login to Ambari node as user “root”
    2. Either using CLI or direct modify Ambari property file for advanced users. Here is showing via CLI commands.
      • $ sudo ambari-server setup-ldap
      • Answer each question from the prompt. Notice I chose anonymous bind as false so no users can login anonymously.
      • Once you save the settings, the CLI program saves the parameter values into file “/etc/ambari-server/conf/”
        ambari ldap setup
        Ambari LDAP Setup
    3. Restart Ambari process. Ex. $ sudo ambari-server restart
    4. Sync up AD users into Ambari metadata store so that Ambari Web UI can allow AD users to login.
      ** Be careful of this step. In the example is showing sync all users. You do not want to do this in a production large enterprise environment, you need to narrow it down to a selected targeted users or groups. Ex. $ sudo ambari-server sync-ldap –all (notice there is a double dashes before word “all”)

      ambari ldap sync
      Ambari LDAP Sync Up
  8. AD User Test in Ambari

  9. Now let’s test Ambari Web UI login as a AD user. (Screen shot below). Notice that Ambari Admin user needs to assign appropriate permission to each ad user before s/he can see any screens when they logging in. If not, s/he still can login but will see a blank page.Screen shot #1:Notice all ad users showed up after sync command. None of those users exist on current cluster nodes nor do you need to create them on cluster servers.

    ambari ldap user list
    Ambari AD User List

    Screen shot #2:Ambari administrator must assign permissions to the AD users.

    ambari assign user permission
    Ambari Assign User Permission

    Screen shot #3:When Ambari Admin assigned AD users operator permission. S/He can then login and act as a Hadoop admin to monitoring and maintaining the cluster.

    ambari hadoop admin
    Ambari Hadoop Admin

AD / Knox Setup Steps

  1. Login to Ambari Web UI as administrator. (ie. “http://<ambari-server>:8080” default port is 8080. You can change the port in file)
  2. Click on “Knox” from left panel. Select “Configs” tab from right panel.
  3. Extend the section “Advanced topology”, and modify the following entries:
    • main.ldapRealm.userDnTemplate=uid={0},ou=people,dc=ibm,dc=com (modify to match with your AD server settings)
    • main.ldapRealm.contextFactory.url=ldap://
    knox ldap setup
    Knox AD Setup
  4. Click on “Save” button from the upper right corner
  5. Restart “Knox” service via Ambari Web UI

BigInsights v4.x — Testing Knox Application AD Login with BigInsights Home Page

    1. URL: https://<biginsights_home_FQDN>:8443/gateway/default/BigInsightsWeb/index.html
    2. Login as a AD user ID and its password
BigInsights Home Page with AD User Login
BigInsights Home Page with AD User Login

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *