How to Configure FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 22.04 / 20.04

FreeIPA is a powerful open-source identity management system that provides centralized authentication, authorization, and accounting services. In this post, we will walk through the steps to configure FreeIPA client on Ubuntu 22.04 / 20.04. After configuring the freeipa client then we will try to login with the user created on FreeIPA server.

In our previous post, we had already discussed FreeIPA Server installation steps on RHEL8/Rokcy Linux 8/ AlmaLinux 8.

Also Read: How to Install FreeIPA Server on RHEL 8 | Rocky Linux 8 | AlmaLinux 8

Creating User on FreeIPA Server for Centralization Authentication

Login to your freeipa server and create a user with name “sysadm”, run the following commands

$ sudo kinit admin
Password for [email protected]:
$ sudo ipa config-mod --defaultshell=/bin/bash
$ sudo ipa user-add sysadm --first=System --last=Admin --password
Enter Password again to verify:
Added user "sysadm"
User login: sysadm
First name: System
Last name: Admin
Full name: System Admin
Display name: System Admin
Initials: SA
Home directory: /home/sysadm
GECOS: System Admin
Login shell: /bin/bash
Principal name: [email protected]
Principal alias: [email protected]
User password expiration: 20230415073041Z
Email address: [email protected]
UID: 464600003
GID: 464600003
Password: True
Member of groups: ipausers
Kerberos keys available: True

First command is to get Kerberos credentials and second command to set default login shell for all users as “/bin/bash” and third command used for creating the user with name “sysadm

Steps to configure FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 22.04 /20.04

Perform the following steps to configure FreeIPA client for centralize authentication.

1) Add DNS record of Ubuntu System on FreeIPA Server

Login to your FreeIPA Server and run the beneath command to add dns record for FreeIPA client (i.e Ubuntu 22.04/20.04)

$ sudo ipa dnsrecord-add linuxtechi.lan app01.linuxtechi.lan --a-rec
  Record name: app01.linuxtechi.lan
  A record:

In the above command app01.linuxtechi.lan is my Ubuntu system with IP address

Note: Make sure your FreeIPA Server and Clients are on the same timezone and getting the time from NTP Servers.

2) Install FreeIPA client Package

Run the below command from your Ubuntu system to install freeipa-client along with the dependencies,

$ sudo apt install freeipa-client oddjob-mkhomedir -y

While installing freeipa-client, we will get following screen, Choose OK and hit enter


In the next screen, Hit enter to skip,


3) Add FreeIPA Server IP & hostname in hosts file

Add below entries of your FreeIPA Server in /etc/hosts file

$ echo " ipa.linuxtechi.lan ipa" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts
$ echo " app01.linuxtechi.lan app01" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

Change IP address and hostname that suits to your setup.

4) Configure FreeIPA client using ipa-client-install

Now run following “ipa-client-install” command to configure freeipa-client on your Ubuntu system,

$ sudo ipa-client-install --hostname=`hostname -f` --mkhomedir --server=ipa.linuxtechi.lan --domain linuxtechi.lan --realm LINUXTECHI.LAN

Change the FreeIPA Server address, domain name and realm that suits to your setup.

Output of above command would be something like below :


Perfect, output above confirms that ipa-client installation was successful.

Now allow user’s home directory to be created automatically when they first time authenticated with FreeIPA Server.

Append the following line in the file “/usr/share/pam-configs/mkhomedir

required umask=0022 skel=/etc/skel

$ echo "required umask=0022 skel=/etc/skel" | sudo tee -a /usr/share/pam-configs/mkhomedir

To make above changes into affect, run following command

$ sudo pam-auth-update


Select OK and then hit enter.

5) Try to Login to your Ubuntu System with sysadm user

Try to ssh or login to your Ubuntu system using the sysadm user,

$ ssh [email protected]


As you can see above, when we first time to login, it says password expired. It will prompt us to set new password and will disconnect the session.

After updating the password, try to ssh ubuntu system and this time we should able to login.

$ ssh [email protected]



Great, output above confirms that we have successfully login to our Ubuntu system using a centralize user. This also shows that we have successfully configured FreeIPA client.

In case, you want to uninstall freeipa from your ubuntu system then run following set of commands,

$ sudo ipa-client-install --uninstall
$ sudo  rm -rf /var/lib/sss/db/*
$ sudo systemctl restart sssd.service

That’s all from this post, I believe you have found it informative. Kindly do  post your queries and feedback in below comments section.

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I am a Cloud Consultant with over 15 years of experience in Linux, Kubernetes, cloud technologies (AWS, Azure, OpenStack), automation (Ansible, Terraform), and DevOps. I hold certifications like RHCA, CKA, CKAD, CKS, AWS, and Azure.

3 thoughts on “How to Configure FreeIPA Client on Ubuntu 22.04 / 20.04”

  1. Very nice article but is there a command not listed in the article right after “Apply the above changes using following command,”

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for notifying the missing command, now i have updated the article with correct suggested “pam-auth-update” command.


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