The story behind this is that I was setting up a system where the FreeIPA1 server is sitting alongside undercloud. The Keystone service for each node in the overcloud are pointing to this FreeIPA server (let us call this server identity). Keystone for each node is also configured to use Identity API v3, with a freeipa domain backed by identity’s LDAP store.

See this for more information on the configuration this is about.


I had everything set up manually, the goal being to eventually modify the tripleo-heat-templates so that one can have this system after running tripleo-quickstart, just by setting the right environment variables.

Of course, something was going wrong. Running openstack user list --domain freeipa was not returning anything, even though I knew I had previously configured Keystone to talk to Identity for all queries belonging to the freeipa domain. Theoretically, it should have have returned the users I added by running ipa user-add on Identity.


Step 1: Looking for clues

First, start by looking at keystone.log, found in /var/log/keystone. This is the log file for the Keystone service that we want to integrate with FreeIPA. See any anomalous messages?

We can also look at the output from openstack user list --domain heat_stack. It should look like this (output shortened for brevity)

| ID      | Name             |  
| d5...8c | admin            |  
| 42...f8 | aodh             |  
| a9...72 | ceilometer       |  
| b5...77 | glance           |  
| | heat             |  

The heat_stack domain is not reliant upon freeipa; it should return something like the above. If it doesn’t, your problem is not in your LDAP configuration for Keystone.2

Minor digression

In fact, if it lags forever without returning – if all OpenStack services lag without returning, take a closer look at Keystone. Run openstack token issue --debug to examine the kinds of calls it is making. I regret not having taken notes on the debugging process of this particular problem (that would have been another post in and of itself), but I was seeing errors like so:

Making authentication request to  
Resetting dropped connection:  

In my case, restarting rabbitmq.service worked. It was causing Keystone authentication to fail silently, leading to all OpenStack services to lag for an eternity (unconfirmed).

systemctl restart rabbitmq.service

Step 2: Can we reach our identity server?

There isn’t much that’s useful here. Nothing that will give us a path to start research on. We can start by checking to see that running an LDAP query manually works. If it succeeds, we will know that a) identity is reachable from our node, and b) LDAP queries against identity work, so it’s not a problem there. You’ll want to use this:

ldapsearch -x -H ldap:// -L -b 'dc=warp,dc=lab4,dc=eng,dc=bos,dc=redhat,dc=com' '*'

Step 3: Collecting more information

In my case, the LDAP query succeeded. Good. Now, we need Keystone to dump more information as it runs. To do this, we will enable ldap=DEBUG in keystone.conf, which can found under /etc/keystone. Run openstack user list --domain freeipa again. Assuming you’ve done the configuration for the domain correctly, it should attempt an LDAP query against the server indicated in keystone.freeipa.conf. We examine keystone.log again, to see this:

2016-06-21 20:20:35.013 1151 DEBUG keystone.common.ldap.core [req-55b9fd81-cc5f-4b29-b237-4e3994d7f0d6 bcdfefb36f44443ca9a8f3cfa445ab40 ec662f250a85453cb40054f3aff49b58 - default default] LDAP search: base=cn=users,cn=accounts,dc=identity,dc=warp,dc=lab4,dc=eng,dc=bos,dc=redhat,dc=com scope=1 filterstr=(&(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(uid=*)) attrs=['uid', 'userPassword', 'enabled', 'mail', 'description'] attrsonly=0 search_s /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/keystone/common/ldap/

This is what we want. As we can see, the log has the LDAP query that Keystone is running against identity. Note that the LDAP query style in the logs is not the command we will be running manually. Compare this

LDAP search: base=cn=users,cn=accounts,dc=identity,dc=warp,dc=lab4,dc=eng,dc=bos,dc=redhat,dc=com scope=1 filterstr=(&(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(uid=*)) attrs=['uid', 'userPassword', 'enabled', 'mail', 'description'] 

versus this

ldapsearch -x -H ldap:// -L -b 'cn=users,cn=accounts,dc=warp,dc=lab4,dc=eng,dc=bos,dc=redhat,dc=com' '(&(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(uid=*))' 'uid', 'userPassword', 'enabled', 'mail', 'description'

Step 4: Experimenting to find the problem

Convert the LDAP search in the logs to a CLI-style call. Run it, and if it fails, play around with the LDAP query until it works. Look at the format of the kinds of queries that fail and the formats of the kind that succeed. That should give you pointers to what you have wrong in your /etc/keystone/domains/keystone.DOMAIN.conf file. If we’ve gotten this far, we know that we have the configuration for multiple domains in /etc/keystone/keystone.conf working. Once you’ve found the problem, update the file and restart httpd to pick up the changes with systemctl restart httpd.service. From here, run commands against the FreeIPA domain to make sure Keystone is pointing there.

Keep in mind

  • The command openstack user list behaves oddly when the Identity API version is set to be 3. It gives us the list of all the users in the ‘Default’ domain. In API version 2, the very same command will give us a list of all the users. If you want the list of all the users in a certain domain, you must specify it using the --domain option, whether it be the domain ID or the domain name.

  • In addition to this: do not add users via Keystone and LDAP. I repeat: do not add your users by running openstack user create. Odds are, if you are looking into setting this up, it is because you (or your users) want your FreeIPA integrated with Keystone for a reason. Whatever it is, users created via openstack user create will not be well formed. FreeIPA is very particular about the way user records are formatted. Keystone does not have knowledge on how to do this in a way that will make FreeIPA happy. As if that weren’t reason enough, Keystone will be writing to the LDAP database if you do this.3 This is wrong, because the LDAP store is not managed by Keystone. For this reason, Keystone should only have read-only LDAP backends.


  1. FreeIPA is an identity management suite for Linux/Unix systems.

  2. Probably is not your problem. I reserve the right to be wrong.

  3. I know that LDAP is a protocol and not a database. Don’t kill me. I’m using the term liberally to mean the LDAP-style database. In FreeIPA, the implementation we are using is 389 Directory Server, which is backed by Berkeley DB.