recently I and David discussed the direction of installers with regard to requesting certificates. Currently there are four (!) different ways of requesting certificates in the installer [1][2][3][4]. We would like to reduce it to one.

Since all the certificates are tracked by certmonger and certmonger already knows how to request certificates from Dogtag (and other CAs), we believe that all certificates should be requested using certmonger.

Taking our meditation further, we thought "Why not use certmonger for the cert-request command as well?" What is the benefit, do you ask?

a) single code path for requesting certificates (seriously, the current state is ridiculous)

b) use any CA supported by certmonger as the IPA CA (i.e. Let's Encrypt [5], once certmonger gains support for it)

 c) automate external CA install, using any CA supported by certmonger [6]

d) support multiple different CAs at once (generalization of the Sub-CA feature)

e) uniform configuration on clients (configure once, use forever, even for CA-less)

The idea is to store configuration for the different CAs in LDAP and have cert-request redirect requests to a proper CA helper according to that configuration. This would require a new certmonger D-Bus method to call a CA helper without associated certificate storage, but that should be rather easy to add. In return, it would be possible to do all of the above.

Note that this should not conflict with tighter integration with Dogtag (profiles, ACLs, etc.).

Comments are welcome.


[1] <https://git.fedorahosted.org/cgit/freeipa.git/tree/ipapython/certmonger.py#n305> [2] <https://git.fedorahosted.org/cgit/freeipa.git/tree/ipaserver/install/certs.py#n329> [3] <https://git.fedorahosted.org/cgit/freeipa.git/tree/ipaserver/install/certs.py#n355> [4] <https://git.fedorahosted.org/cgit/freeipa.git/tree/ipaserver/install/cainstance.py#n878>
[5] <https://fedorahosted.org/freeipa/ticket/5431>
[6] <https://fedorahosted.org/freeipa/ticket/5317>

Jan Cholasta

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