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getauthinfo - obtain a certificate for authentication


getauthinfo keyname



Getauthinfo makes contact with logind(8) on a `signer', or certifying authority, with which the user has previously been registered using changelogin(8), to obtain a certificate that can later be presented to other Inferno services to authenticate the user. If keyname starts with a `/', the certificate is stored there; otherwise, it is stored in the file /usr/user/keyring/keyname, where user is the name in /dev/user (see cons(3)). The directory /usr/user/keyring must exist.

The user is prompted for the following:

The name of the signing server, for example signer.froop.com. The default is the default signer for the site: the value of SIGNER in the local network configuration database (see ndb(6)).
remote user name
The name of the user for whom a certificate is to be obtained. The default is the current user name in /dev/user.
The user's password. The password entered on the client must match the password previously stored on the server using changelogin(8), or a certificate will be refused.
save in file?
The default is `no'. If the user responds `yes', the certificate is written directly to the file. Otherwise, getauthinfo becomes a file server, serving a secure temporary file bound over the file name above (because that is where applications look for it). The temporary will disappear if the name is unmounted, or Inferno is rebooted.

Note that the certificate will expire at or before expiry of the password entry on the signer.

The signer needs its own key to endorse the certificates that it gives to clients. If a user requests a certificate with getauthinfo(8) before the signer's key is created on the signer (eg, using createsignerkey(8)), then the request will be rejected with a suitable diagnostic by logind(8).

File servers
Machines that will be file servers must obtain a certificate and save the certificate in a key file named default, thus:

getauthinfo default

The user invoking getauthinfo must be the same user who later runs svc(8) to start the machine's services.

File server clients
Machines that wish to be authenticated clients of file servers must obtain a certificate and store the certificate in a file named net!machine. The file name must match exactly the server address given to mount (see bind(1)). To set the key, use

getauthinfo net!host

Window system interface
Getauthinfo has a visual counterpart wm/getauthinfo for use under wm(1). It takes no arguments. It displays a window prompting for all the information it needs, and offering apparently sensible defaults. Apart from the different interface, its function is otherwise the same as the command line version.


where a certificate is stored on a client machine
where a certificate is stored on a file server
contains the default host name of the signer




bind(1), changelogin(8), createsignerkey(8)

GETAUTHINFO(8 ) Rev:  Tue Mar 31 02:42:38 GMT 2015