SSH Authentication

This guide will show you how to enable and use the SSH authentication for the OpenNebula CLI. Using this authentication method, users login to OpenNebula with a token encrypted with their private ssh keys.


You don’t need to install any additional software.

Considerations & Limitations

With the current release, this authentication method is only valid to interact with OpenNebula using the CLI.


OpenNebula Configuration

The Auth MAD and ssh authentication is enabled by default. In case it does not work make sure that the authentication method is in the list of enabled methods.

    executable = "one_auth_mad",
    authn = "ssh,x509,ldap,server_cipher,server_x509"

There is an external plain user/password authentication driver, and existing accounts will keep working as usual.


Create New Users

This authentication method uses standard ssh RSA key pairs for authentication. Users can create these files if they don’t exist using this command:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

OpenNebula commands look for the files generated at the standard location ($HOME/.ssh/id_rsa) so it is a good idea not to change the default path. It is also a good idea to protect the private key with a password.

The users requesting a new account have to generate a public key and send it to the administrator. The way to extract it is the following:

oneuser key
Enter PEM pass phrase:

The string written to the console must be sent to the administrator, so the can create the new user in a similar way as the default user/password authentication users.

The following command will create a new user with username ‘newuser’, assuming that the previous public key is saved in the text file /tmp/pub_key:

oneuser create newuser --ssh --read-file /tmp/pub_key

Instead of using the --read-file option, the public key could be specified as the second parameter.

If the administrator has access to the user’s private ssh key, he can create new users with the following command:

oneuser create newuser --ssh --key /home/newuser/.ssh/id_rsa

Update Existing Users to SSH

You can change the authentication method of an existing user to SSH with the following commands:

oneuser chauth <id|name> ssh
oneuser passwd <id|name> --ssh --read-file /tmp/pub_key

As with the create command, you can specify the public key as the second parameter, or use the user’s private key with the --key option.

User Login

Users must execute the ‘oneuser login’ command to generate a login token. The token will be stored in the $ONE_AUTH environment variable. The command requires the OpenNebula username, and the authentication method (--ssh in this case).

oneuser login newuser --ssh

The default ssh key is assumed to be in ~/.ssh/id_rsa, otherwise the path can be specified with the --key option.

The generated token has a default expiration time of 10 hour. You can change that with the --time option.