Provided by: kstart_4.2-1_amd64 bug


       k5start - Obtain and optionally keep active a Kerberos ticket


       k5start [-abFhLnPqstvx] [-c child pid file] [-f keytab]
           [-g group] [-H minutes] [-I service instance]
           [-i client instance] [-K minutes] [-k ticket cache]
           [-l time string] [-m mode] [-o owner]
           [-p pid file] [-r service realm] [-S service name]
           [-u client principal] [principal [command ...]]

       k5start -U -f keytab [-abFhLnPqstvx] [-c child pid file]
           [-g group] [-H minutes] [-I service instance]
           [-K minutes] [-k ticket cache] [-l time string]
           [-m mode] [-o owner] [-p pid file]
           [-r service realm] [-S service name] [command ...]


       k5start obtains and caches an initial Kerberos ticket-granting ticket for a principal.
       k5start can be used as an alternative to kinit, but it is primarily intended to be used by
       programs that want to use a keytab to obtain Kerberos credentials, such as a web server
       that needs to authenticate to another service such as an LDAP server.

       Normally, the principal for which to give tickets should be specified as the first
       argument.  principal may be either just a principal name (including the optional instance)
       or a full principal and realm string.  The -u and -i options can be used as an alternative
       mechanism for specifying the principal, but generally aren't as convenient.  If no
       principal is given as either the first argument or the argument to the -u option, the
       client principal defaults to the Unix username of the user running k5start in the default
       local realm.

       Optionally, a command may be given on the command line of k5start.  If so, that command is
       run after Kerberos authentication (and running aklog if desired), with the appropriate
       environment variables set to point it to the right ticket cache.  k5start will then
       continue running, waking up periodically to refresh credentials slightly before they would
       expire, until the command completes.  (The frequency with which it wakes up to refresh
       credentials can still be controlled with the -K option.)  To run in this mode, the
       principal must either be specified as a regular command-line argument or via the -U
       option; the -u and -i options may not be used.  Also, a keytab must be specified with -f
       to run a specific command.

       The command will not be run using the shell, so if you want to use shell metacharacters in
       the command with their special meaning, give "sh -c command" as the command to run and
       quote command.

       If the command contains command-line options (like "-c"), put -- on the command line
       before the beginning of the command to tell k5start to not parse those options as its own.

       When running a command, k5start propagates HUP, TERM, INT, and QUIT signals to the child
       process and does not exit when those signals are received.  (If the propagated signal
       causes the child process to exit, k5start will then exit.)  This allows k5start to react
       properly when run under a command supervision system such as runit(8) or svscan(8) that
       uses signals to control supervised commands, and to run interactive commands that should
       receive Ctrl-C.

       If a running k5start receives an ALRM signal, it immediately refreshes the ticket cache
       regardless of whether it is in danger of expiring.

       If k5start is run with a command or the -K flag and the -x flag is not given, it will keep
       trying even if the initial authentication fails.  It will retry the initial authentication
       immediately and then with exponential backoff to once per minute, and keep trying until
       authentication succeeds or it is killed.  The command, if any, will not be started until
       authentication succeeds.


       -a  When run with either the -K flag or a command, always renew tickets each time k5start
           wakes up.  Without this option, k5start will only try to renew a ticket as often as
           necessary to prevent the ticket from expiring.  With this option, k5start will renew
           tickets according to the interval specified with the -K flag.

           This behavior probably should have been the default behavior of -K.  The default was
           not changed to avoid changes for existing users, but for new applications, consider
           always using -a with -K.

           This option is important if another program is manipulating the ticket cache that
           k5start is using.  For example, if another program is automatically renewing a ticket
           more frequently than k5start, then k5start will never see a ticket that is close to
           expiring and will therefore, by default, never try to renew the ticket.  This means
           that k5start will also never renew AFS tokens, even if the -t option was given, since
           k5start only renews AFS tokens after it successfully renews a ticket.  If this option
           is specified in such a situation, k5start will renew its ticket every time it checks
           the ticket, so AFS tokens will be renewed.

           This argument is only valid in combination with either -K or a command to run.

       -b  After starting, detach from the controlling terminal and run in the background.  This
           option only makes sense in combination with -K or a command that k5start will be
           running and can only be used if a keytab is specified with -f.  k5start will not
           background itself until after it has tried authenticating once, so that any initial
           errors will be reported, but it will then redirect output to /dev/null and no
           subsequent errors will be reported.

           If this flag is given, k5start will also change directories to "/".  All paths (such
           as to a command to run or a PID file) should therefore be given as absolute, not
           relative, paths.

           If used in conjunction with a command to run, that command will also run in the
           background and will also have its input and output redirected to /dev/null.  It will
           have to report any errors via some other mechanism for the errors to be seen.

           Note that on Mac OS X, the default ticket cache type is per-session and using the -b
           flag will disassociate k5start from the existing ticket cache.  When using -b in
           conjunction with -K on Mac OS X, you probably also want to use the -k flag to specify
           a ticket cache file and force the use of a file cache.

           When using this option, consider also using -L to report k5start errors to syslog.

       -c child pid file
           Save the process ID (PID) of the child process into child pid file.  child pid file is
           created if it doesn't exist and overwritten if it does exist.  This option is only
           allowed when a command was given on the command line and is most useful in conjunction
           with -b to allow management of the running child process.

           Note that, when used with -b, the PID file is written out after k5start is
           backgrounded and changes its working directory to /, so relative paths for the PID
           file will be relative to / (probably not what you want).

       -F  Do not get forwardable tickets even if the local configuration says to get forwardable
           tickets by default.  Without this flag, k5start does whatever the library default is.

       -f keytab
           Authenticate using the keytab keytab rather than asking for a password.  A key for the
           client principal must be present in keytab.

       -g group
           After creating the ticket cache, change its group ownership to group, which may be
           either the name of a group or a numeric group ID.  Ticket caches are created with 0600
           permissions by default, so this will have no useful effect unless used with -m.

       -H minutes
           Check for a happy ticket, defined as one that has a remaining lifetime of at least
           minutes minutes.  If such a ticket is found, do not attempt authentication.  Instead,
           just run the command (if one was specified) or exit immediately with status 0 (if none
           was).  Otherwise, try to obtain a new ticket and then run the command, if any.

           If -H is used with -t, the external program will always be run even if a ticket with a
           sufficient remaining lifetime was found.

           If -H is used with -K, k5start will not exit immediately.  Instead, the specified
           remaining lifetime will replace the default value of two minutes, meaning that k5start
           will ensure, each time it wakes up, that the ticket has a remaining lifetime of the
           minutes argument.  This is an alternative to -a to ensure that tickets always have a
           certain minimal amount of lifetime remaining.

       -h  Display a usage message and exit.

       -I service instance
           The instance portion of the service principal.  The default is the default realm of
           the machine.  Note that unlike the client principal, a non-default service principal
           must be specified with -I and -S; one cannot provide the instance portion as part of
           the argument to -S.

       -i client instance
           Specifies the instance portion of the principal.  This option doesn't make sense
           except in combination with -u.  Note that the instance can be specified as part of
           username through the normal convention of appending a slash and then the instance, so
           one never has to use this option.

       -K minutes
           Run in daemon mode to keep a ticket alive indefinitely.  The program reawakens after
           minutes minutes, checks if the ticket will expire before or less than two minutes
           after the next scheduled check, and gets a new ticket if needed.  (In other words, it
           ensures that the ticket will always have a remaining lifetime of at least two
           minutes.)  If the -H flag is also given, the lifetime specified by it replaces the two
           minute default.

           If this option is not given but a command was given on the command line, the default
           interval is 60 minutes (1 hour).

           If an error occurs in refreshing the ticket cache, the wake-up interval will be
           shortened to one minute and the operation retried at that interval for as long as the
           error persists.

       -k ticket cache
           Use ticket cache as the ticket cache rather than the contents of the environment
           variable KRB5CCNAME or the library default.  ticket cache may be any ticket cache
           identifier recognized by the underlying Kerberos libraries.  This generally supports a
           path to a file, with or without a leading "FILE:" string, but may also support other
           ticket cache types.

           If any of -o, -g, or -m are given, ticket cache must be either a simple path to a file
           or start with "FILE:" or "WRFILE:".

       -L  Report messages to syslog as well as to standard output or standard error.  All
           messages will be logged with facility LOG_DAEMON.  Regular messages that are displayed
           on standard output are logged with level LOG_NOTICE.  Errors that don't cause k5start
           to terminate are logged with level LOG_WARNING.  Fatal errors are logged with level

           This is useful when debugging problems in combination with -b.

       -l time string
           Set the ticket lifetime.  time string should be in a format recognized by the Kerberos
           libraries for specifying times, such as "10h" (ten hours) or "10m" (ten minutes).
           Known units are "s", "m", "h", and "d".  For more information, see kinit(1).

       -m mode
           After creating the ticket cache, change its file permissions to mode, which must be a
           file mode in octal (640 or 444, for example).

           Setting a mode that does not allow k5start to read or write to the ticket cache will
           cause k5start to fail and exit when using the -K option or running a command.

       -n  Ignored, present for option compatibility with the now-obsolete k4start.

       -o owner
           After creating the ticket cache, change its ownership to owner, which may be either
           the name of a user or a numeric user ID.  If owner is the name of a user and -g was
           not also given, also change the group ownership of the ticket cache to the default
           group for that user.

       -P  Do not get proxiable tickets even if the local configuration says to get proxiable
           tickets by default.  Without this flag, k5start does whatever the library default is.

       -p pid file
           Save the process ID (PID) of the running k5start process into pid file.  pid file is
           created if it doesn't exist and overwritten if it does exist.  This option is most
           useful in conjunction with -b to allow management of the running k5start daemon.

           Note that, when used with -b the PID file is written out after k5start is backgrounded
           and changes its working directory to /, so relative paths for the PID file will be
           relative to / (probably not what you want).

       -q  Quiet.  Suppresses the printing of the initial banner message saying what Kerberos
           principal tickets are being obtained for, and also suppresses the password prompt when
           the -s option is given.

       -r service realm
           The realm for the service principal.  This defaults to the default local realm.

       -S service name
           Specifies the principal for which k5start is getting a service ticket.  The default
           value is "krbtgt", to obtain a ticket-granting ticket.  This option (along with -I)
           may be used if one only needs access to a single service.  Note that unlike the client
           principal, a non-default service principal must be specified with both -S and -I; one
           cannot provide the instance portion as part of the argument to -S.

       -s  Read the password from standard input.  This bypasses the normal password prompt,
           which means echo isn't suppressed and input isn't forced to be from the controlling
           terminal.  Most uses of this option are a security risk.  You normally want to use a
           keytab and the -f option instead.

       -t  Run an external program after getting a ticket.  The default use of this is to run
           aklog to get a token.  If the environment variable KINIT_PROG is set, it overrides the
           compiled-in default.

           If k5start has been built with AFS setpag() support and a command was given on the
           command line, k5start will create a new PAG before obtaining AFS tokens.  Otherwise,
           it will obtain tokens in the current PAG.

       -U  Rather than requiring the authentication principal be given on the command line, read
           it from the keytab specified with -f.  The principal will be taken from the first
           entry in the keytab.  -f must be specified if this option is used.

           When -U is given, k5start will not expect a principal name to be given on the command
           line, and any arguments after the options will be taken as a command to run.

       -u client principal
           This specifies the principal to obtain credentials as.  The entire principal may be
           specified here, or alternatively just the first portion may be specified with this
           flag and the instance specified with -i.

           Note that there's normally no reason to use this flag rather than simply giving the
           principal on the command line as the first regular argument.

       -v  Be verbose.  This will print out a bit of additional information about what is being
           attempted and what the results are.

       -x  Exit immediately on any error.  Normally, when running a command or when run with the
           -K option, k5start keeps running even if it fails to refresh the ticket cache and will
           try again at the next check interval.  With this option, k5start will instead exit.


       The program exits with status 0 if it successfully gets a ticket or has a happy ticket
       (see -H).  If k5start runs aklog or some other program k5start returns the exit status of
       that program.


       Use the /etc/krb5.keytab keytab to obtain a ticket granting ticket for the principal
       host/, putting the ticket cache in /tmp/service.tkt.  The lifetime is 10 hours
       and the program wakes up every 10 minutes to check if the ticket is about to expire.

           k5start -k /tmp/service.tkt -f /etc/krb5.keytab -K 10 -l 10h \

       Do the same, but using the default ticket cache and run the command
       /usr/local/bin/auth-backup.  k5start will continue running until the command finishes.  If
       the initial authentication fails, keep trying, and don't start the command until it
       succeeds.  This could be used during system startup for a command that must have valid
       tickets before starting, and tolerates having k5start start before the network is
       completely set up.

           k5start -f /etc/krb5.keytab -K 10 -l 10h host/ \

       Shows the permissions of the temporary cache file created by k5start:

           k5start -f /etc/krb5.keytab host/ \
               -- sh -c 'ls -l $KRB5CCNAME'

       Notice the "--" before the command to keep k5start from parsing the "-c" as its own

       Do the same thing, but determine the principal from the keytab:

           k5start -f /etc/krb5.keytab -U -- sh -c 'ls -l $KRB5CCNAME'

       Note that no principal is given before the command.

       Starts k5start as a daemon using the Debian start-stop-daemon management program.  This is
       the sort of line that one could put into a Debian init script:

           start-stop-daemon --start --pidfile /var/run/ \
               --exec /usr/local/bin/k5start -- -b -p /var/run/ \
               -f /etc/krb5.keytab host/

       This uses /var/run/ as the PID file and obtains host/ tickets from
       the system keytab file.  k5start would then be stopped with:

           start-stop-daemon --stop --pidfile /var/run/
           rm -f /var/run/

       This code could be added to an init script for Apache, for example, to start a k5start
       process alongside Apache to manage its Kerberos credentials.


       If the environment variable AKLOG is set, its value will be used as the program to run
       with -t rather than the default complied into k5start.  If AKLOG is not set and KINIT_PROG
       is set, its value will be used instead.  KINIT_PROG is honored for backward compatibility
       but its use is not recommended due to its confusing name.

       If no ticket file (with -k) or command is specified on the command line, k5start will use
       the environment variable KRB5CCNAME to determine the location of the the ticket granting
       ticket.  If either a command is specified or the -k option is used, KRB5CCNAME will be set
       to point to the ticket file before running the aklog program or any command given on the
       command line.


       The default ticket cache is determined by the underlying Kerberos libraries.  The default
       path for aklog is determined at build time, and will normally be whichever of aklog or
       afslog is found in the user's path.

       If a command is specified and -k was not given, k5start will create a temporary ticket
       cache file of the form "/tmp/krb5cc_%d_%s" where %d is the UID k5start is running as and
       %s is a random string.


       k5start was based on the k4start code written by Robert Morgan.  It was ported to Kerberos
       v5 by Booker C. Bense.  Additional cleanup and current maintenance are done by Russ
       Allbery <>.

       Implementations of -b and -p and the example for a Debian init script are based on code
       contributed by Navid Golpayegani.


       Copyright 2015 Russ Allbery <>

       Copyright 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 The Board of
       Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

       Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are permitted in any
       medium without royalty provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.  This
       file is offered as-is, without any warranty.


       kinit(1), krenew(1)

       The kstart web page at <> will have the
       current version of k5start and krenew.