On 25.7.2016 13:11, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:
On Mon, 25 Jul 2016, Jan Cholasta wrote:
On 20.7.2016 16:05, Ben Lipton wrote:

Thanks very much for the feedback! Some responses below; I hope you'll
let me know what you think of my reasoning.

On 07/20/2016 04:20 AM, Jan Cholasta wrote:

On 17.6.2016 00:06, Ben Lipton wrote:
On 06/14/2016 08:27 AM, Ben Lipton wrote:
Hello all,

I have written up a design proposal for making certificate requests
easier to generate when using alternate certificate profiles:

The use case for this is described in
https://fedorahosted.org/freeipa/ticket/4899. I will be working on
implementing this design over the next couple of months. If you have
the time and interest, please take a look and share any comments or
concerns that you have.



Just a quick update to say that I've created a new document that
the proposed schema additions in a more descriptive way (with
I'm very new to developing with LDAP, so some more experienced eyes on
the proposal would be very helpful, even if you don't have time to
absorb the full design. Please take a look at

if you have a chance.

I finally had a chance to take a look at this, here are some comments:

1) I don't like how transformation rules are tied to a particular
helper and have to be duplicated for each of them. They should be
generic and work with any helper, as helpers are just an
implementation detail and their resulting data is the same.

In fact, I think I would prefer if the CSR was generated using
python-cryptography's CertificateSigningRequestBuilder [1] rather than
openssl or certutil or any other command line tool.

There are lots of tools that users might want to use to manage their
private keys, so I don't know if we can assume that whatever library we
prefer will actually be able to access the private key to sign a CSR,
which is why I thought it would be useful to support more than one.

python-cryptography has the notion of backends, which allow it to
support multiple crypto implementations. Upstream it currently
supports only OpenSSL [2], but some work has been done on PKCS#11
backend [3], which provides support for HSMs and soft-tokens (like NSS

Alternatively, for NSS databases (and other "simple" cases), you can
generate the private key with python-cryptography using the default
backend, export it to a file and import the file to the target
database, so you don't actually need the PKCS#11 backend for them.

So, the only thing that's currently lacking is HSM support, but given
that we don't support HSMs in IPA nor in certmonger, I don't think
it's an issue for now.

purpose of the mapping rule is to tie together the transformation rules
that produce the same data into an object that's
implementation-agnostic, so that profiles referencing those rules are
automatically compatible with all the helper options.

They are implementation-agnostic, as long as you consider `openssl`
and `certutil` the only implementations :-) But I don't think this
solution scales well to other possible implementations.

Anyway, my main grudge is that the transformation rules shouldn't
really be stored on and processed by the server. The server should
know the *what* (mapping rules), but not the *how* (transformation
rules). The *how* is an implementation detail and does not change in
time, so there's no benefit in handling it on the server. It should be
handled exclusively on the client, which I believe would also make the
whole thing more robust (it would not be possible for a bug on the
server to break all the clients).
This is a good point. However, for the scope of Ben's project can we
limit it by openssl and certutil support? Otherwise Ben wouldn't be able
to complete the project in time.

I'm fine with that, but I don't think it's up to me :-)

This is turning out to be a common (and, I think, reasonable) reaction
to the proposal. It is rather complex, and I worry that it will be
difficult to configure. On the other hand, there is some hidden
complexity to enabling a simpler config format, as well. One of the
goals of the project as it was presented to me was to allow the creation
of profiles that add certificate extensions *that FreeIPA doesn't yet
know about*. With the current proposal, one only has to add a rule
generating text that the helper will understand.

... which will be possible only as long as the helper understands the
extension. Which it might not, thus the current proposal works only
for *some* extensions that FreeIPA doesn't yet support.
We can go ad infinitum here but with any helper implementation, be it
python-cryptography or anything else, you will need to have a support
there as well.

My point was that the current proposal is not any better than my proposal in this regard, as neither of them allows one to use an arbitrary extension.

The idea with unknown extensions was to allow mapping
their acceptance to a specific relationship between IPA objects
(optionally) and an input from the CSR. A simplest example would be an
identity rule that would copy an ASN.1 encoded content from the CSR to
the certificate.

That's on the mapping side, not on the CSR generation side, but it would
go similarly for the CSR if you would be able to enter unknown but
otherwise correct ASN.1 stream. There is no difference at which helper
type we are talking about because all of them support inserting ASN.1

With your suggestion,
if there's a mapping between "san_directoryname" and the corresponding
API calls or configuration lines, we need some way for users to augment
that mapping without changing the code. If there's no mapping, and it's
just done with text processing, we need enough in the config format to
be able to generate fairly complex structures:

builder = builder.subject_name(x509.Name(u'CN=user,O=EXAMPLE.COM'))
builder =

x509.DirectoryName(x509.Name(u'CN=user,O=EXAMPLE.COM'))]), False)

and we need to do it without it being equivalent to calling eval() on
the config attributes. I'm not sure how to achieve this (is it safe to
call getattr(x509, extensiontype)(value) where extensiontype and value
are user-specified?) and it definitely would have to be tied to a
particular library/tool.

As I pointed out above, this needs to be figured out for the generic
case for both the current proposal and my suggestion.

OTOH, I think we could use GSER encoding of the extension value:

   { rfc822Name:"u...@example.com",
directoryName:rdnSequence:"CN=user,O=EXAMPLE.COM" }
GSER is not really used widely and does not have standardized encoding
rules beyond its own definition. If you want to allow transformation
rules in GSER that mention existing content in IPA objects, you would
need to deal with templating anyway. At this point it becomes irrelevant
what you are templating, though.

True, but the goal here is not to avoid templating, but rather to avoid implementation-specific bits on the server, and GSER is the only thing that is textual, implementation-neutral and, as a bonus, standardized.

Jan Cholasta

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