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Knox SSO

Authentication of the Hadoop component UIs, and those of the overall ecosystem, is usually limited to Kerberos (which requires SPNEGO to be configured for the user’s browser) and simple/psuedo. This often results in the UIs not being secured - even in secured clusters. This is where KnoxSSO provides value by providing WebSSO capabilities to the Hadoop cluster.

By leveraging the hadoop-auth module in Hadoop common, we have introduced the ability to consume a common SSO cookie for web UIs while retaining the non-web browser authentication through Kerberos/SPNEGO. We do this by extending the AltKerberosAuthenticationHandler class which provides the useragent-based multiplexing.

The flexibility of the Apache Knox authentication and federation providers allows KnoxSSO to provide normalization of authentication events through token exchange. resulting in a common JWT (JSON WebToken)-based token.

KnoxSSO provides an abstraction for integrating any number of authentication systems and SSO solutions, and enables participating web applications to scale to those solutions more easily. Without the token exchange capabilities offered by KnoxSSO, each component UI would need to integrate with each desired solution on its own. With KnoxSSO, they only need to integrate with the single solution and common token.