Managing your Git repository with LDAP authentication

Written by Greg Keller on February 10, 2015

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When setting up a Git repo, controlling access is key. With JumpCloud’s LDAP solution, it’s easy to manage your users’ access to your repositories. Let’s walk through how this can be done.

Create your Git server

We’re assuming here that you have a clean Linux server machine. I’m using Ubuntu 14.04. Other systems might have slight variations with the commands, especially in the installation steps.

Install Git

Installing the Git server software is simple.

sudo apt-get install git

Add user identities to the Git server

Git controls access to repositories through the fundamental user access to files and directories on the machine. By managing these users via LDAP, you manage who can access which repositories.

Let’s configure LDAP in JumpCloud to get this going.

Get your organization’s setting from the JumpCloud admin console

Find your organization’s information in the settings in the JumpCloud console. Make sure LDAP is toggled to ‘on’. We’ll be using the value found here for the Organization ID.

Set your user as an LDAP admin

In this case we’re going to use an individual user account as the LDAP admin. Make sure the “LDAP binding user service account” is checked in that user’s details. We’ll need this user’s email address and password below.

Screenshot from 2015-02-10 10:41:21
Configure UIDs in JumpCloud

Note that to have the users in JumpCloud available to your machine, you need to assign values for the uids.

Under “Settings”, make sure you have checked “Keep UID consistent across all servers”, and for each individual user, also check this value and assign them a UID.

On your Git server – install the SSSD libraries

On your Linux box, install the libraries. For Debian-like systems1 use the following.

sudo apt-get install sssd libpam-sss libnss-sss

Configure SSSD

Now that sssd is installed, we will edit the file its configuration to direct it to use JumpCloud’s LDAP. Note that you’ll substitute your values found in the JumpCloud console above for <org-id>, <user-email>, and <password> to associate with your account.

The file we create is /etc/sssd/sssd.conf.

config_file_version = 2
services = nss,pam,ssh
domains = jumpcloud




debug_level = 2 id_provider = ldap enumerate=true auth_provider=ldap cache_credentials=true ldap_uri = ldaps:// ldap_search_base = ou=Users,o=,dc=jumpcloud,dc=com ldap_default_bind_dn = uid=,ou=Admins,o=,dc=jumpcloud,dc=com ldap_default_authtok = ldap_group_search_base = ou=Groups,o=,dc=jumpcloud,dc=com ldap_user_ssh_public_key = sshKey ldap_tls_cacert = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt sudo_provider = none

Once you’ve made this change, set the file’s permissions using

sudo chmod 600 /etc/sssd/sssd.conf

and then restart sssd using

sudo service sssd restart


Key-based authentication

At this point our users can log in using their passwords (if allowed by the ssh config). Since we’re wanting to use key-based authentication, we’ll also need to make a change to the/etc/ssh/sshd_config file. Add the following lines

AuthorizedKeysCommand /usr/bin/sss_ssh_authorizedkeys
AuthorizedKeysCommandUser root

and then restart the service using

sudo service ssh restart

Create your repository

Now your users have the ability to create and manage repositories on the server.

User connie creates an empty git repo

ssh connie@git-server git init –shared –bare /DevRepos/connies-repo.git

Share the repository

One key point here is that we want to share access among people within the same group.

Screenshot from 2015-02-10 10:48:34

First, in JumpCloud create the appropriate group with the right users.

User connie needs to tweak ownership of the repo in order to share access with the group.

ssh connie@git-server chown -R connie:repousers /DevRepos/connies-repo.git/

That gives anyone in that same group access. Let’s make sure ONLY that group has access.

ssh connie@git-server chmod 770 /DevRepos/connies-repo.git/

Now user luka can clone

git clone luka@git-server:/DevRepos/connies-repo.git

and push changes to it

git push origin master

with no problem, but users outside of the repousers group cannot.


  1. I’ve tested this against Ubuntu 14.04 – other flavors may vary somewhat
Greg Keller

JumpCloud CTO, Greg Keller is a career product visionary and executive management leader. With over two decades of product management, product marketing, and operations experience ranging from startups to global organizations, Greg excels in successful go-to-market execution.

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