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Kerberos for Cygwin

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Kerberos support exists for Cygwin, but might not be in the standard package set installed by default. To install and use Kerberos for use with ssh in Cygwin:


  1. Start the Cygwin setup.exe program
  2. Select the following two packages for installation:
    'Net' category:
        krb5-workstation: Kerberos reference implementation clients
        openssh: Secure shell server and client programs
  3. Complete the installation.


For seamless operation, both Kerberos and ssh now need to be configured:

  1. Start a Cygwin bash shell
  2. Create the file /etc/krb5.conf and populate it as follows:
        default_realm = INF.ED.AC.UK
        forwardable = true
  3. Create the file .ssh/config in your home directory and populate it as follows:
    Host *
        User <yourusername>
        GSSAPIAuthentication yes
        GSSAPIDelegateCredentials yes

    where <yourusername> is your DICE username.


Before making your first ssh connection in any Cygwin session, you need to authenticate to the Informatics Kerberos service. In a Cygwin bash shell, type:

kinit <yourusername>

You will be prompted to enter your Informatics password. After you have successfully authenticated, you will have acquired a Kerberos ticket-granting ticket and you should now be able to ssh to Informatics machines without having to specify your username or password.

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