2008-01-06 23:54:43

by James Morris

[permalink] [raw]
Subject: Re: A new NFSv4 server...

On Fri, 4 Jan 2008, Peter ?strand wrote:

> > Use TLS to give most people what they want: AUTH_SYS with encryption. GSSAPI
> > is fine as a "required option" but you shouldn't need GSSAPI to do simple wire
> > encryption between IP-authenticated hosts.
> SSH is another option if you just want encryption, but my impression is
> that AUTH_SYS is a very big problem as well.

I've been looking into this recently, essentially ending up down a very
similar track to the SSiLKey proposal presented at IETF67:


The basic idea in SSiLKey is to boostrap an RPCSEC_GSS session with TLS
and then layer LIPKEY on top.

It seems to me that SSH might be preferrable to TLS as a low infrastucture
mechanism, as many people already have ssh keys (and use them), there's no
need for a HTTP server, and SSH already supports a variety of
authentication mechanisms.

In the SSH case, I'm not sure yet whether LIPKEY would be the most
appropriate mechanism to utilize, and whether this scheme might in fact be
cleaner overall without using GSS at this level. i.e. GSS can be used
directly by SSH itself if desired, and there's also PAM.

There's also a patch for SSH to utilize GPG keys (raising the possibility
of utilizing existing webs of trust), although it does not seem to be

- James
James Morris
<[email protected]>