Skip to content

Configuring XRootD Authorization

There are several authorization options in XRootD available through the security plugins. In this document, we will cover the xrootd-lcmaps security option supported in the OSG.


On the data nodes, the files will actually be owned by unix user xrootd (or other daemon user), not as the user authenticated to, under most circumstances. XRootD will verify the permissions and authorization based on the user that the security plugin authenticates you to, but, internally, the data node files will be owned by the xrootd user.

Authorization file

XRootD allows configuring fine-grained file access permissions based on usernames and paths. This is configured in the authorization file /etc/xrootd/auth_file on the data server node, which should be writable only by the xrootd user, optionally readable by others.

(The path /etc/xrootd/auth_file corresponds to the acc.authdb parameter in your xrootd config.)

Here is an example /etc/xrootd/auth_file :

# This means that all the users have read access to the datasets, _except_ under /private
u * -rl /data/xrootdfs/private /data/xrootdfs rl

# Or the following, without a restricted /private dir
# u * /data/xrootdfs rl

# This means that all the users have full access to their private dirs
u = /data/xrootdfs/home/@=/ a

# This means that this privileged user can do everything
# You need at least one user like that, in order to create the
# private dirs for users willing to store their data in the facility
u xrootd /data/xrootdfs a

# This means that users in group 'biology' can do anything under this path
g biology /data/xrootdfs/biology a

Here we assume that your storage path is /data/xrootdfs. This path is relative to the oss.localroot or all.localroot configuration values, if either one is defined in the xrootd config file.


Specific paths need to be specified before generic paths; e.g., this does not work:

    u * rl /data/xrootdfs -rl /data/xrootdfs/private

More generally, each configuration line of the auth file has the following form:

idtype id path privs
Field Description
idtype Type of id. Use u for username, g for group, etc.
id Username (or groupname). Use * for all users or = for user-specific capabilities, like home directories
path The path prefix to be used for matching purposes. @= expands to the current user name before a path prefix match is attempted
privs Letter list of privileges: a - all ; l - lookup ; d - delete ; n - rename ; i - insert ; r - read ; k - lock (not used) ; w - write ; - - prefix to remove specified privileges

For more details or examples on how to use templated user options, see XRootd Authorization Database File.

Ensure the auth file is owned by xrootd (if you have created file as root), and that it is not writable by others.

[email protected] # chown xrootd:xrootd /etc/xrootd/auth_file
[email protected] # chmod 0640 /etc/xrootd/auth_file  # or 0644

Enabling xrootd-lcmaps authorization

The xrootd-lcmaps security plugin uses the lcmaps library and the LCMAPS VOMS plugin to authenticate and authorize users based on X509 certificates and VOMS attributes. Perform the following instructions on all data nodes:

  1. Install CA certificates and manage CRLs

  2. Follow the instructions for requesting a service certificate, using xrootd for both the <SERVICE> and <OWNER>, resulting in a certificate and key in /etc/grid-security/xrd/xrdcert.pem and /etc/grid-security/xrd/xrdkey.pem, respectively.

  3. Install and configure the LCMAPS VOMS plugin

  4. Install xrootd-lcmaps and necessary configuration:

    [email protected] # yum install xrootd-lcmaps vo-client
  5. Configure access rights for mapped users by creating and modifying the XRootD authorization file

  6. Modify your XRootD configuration:

    1. Choose the configuration file to edit based on the following table:

      If you are running XRootD in... Then modify the following file...
      Standalone mode /etc/xrootd/xrootd-standalone.cfg
      Clustered mode /etc/xrootd/xrootd-clustered.cfg
    2. Add the following lines to the configuration that you chose above:

      xrootd.seclib /usr/lib64/
      sec.protocol /usr/lib64 gsi -certdir:/etc/grid-security/certificates \
                          -cert:/etc/grid-security/xrd/xrdcert.pem \
                          -key:/etc/grid-security/xrd/xrdkey.pem -crl:1 \
                 -authzfunparms:--loglevel,0,--policy,authorize_only \
                          -gmapopt:10 -gmapto:0
      acc.authdb /etc/xrootd/auth_file
  7. Restart the relevant services

To verify the LCMAPS security, run the following commands from a machine with your user certificate/key pair, xrootd-client, and voms-clients-cpp installed:

  1. Destroy any pre-existing proxies and attempt a copy to a directory (which we will refer to as <DESTINATION PATH>) on the <XROOTD HOST> to verify failure:

    [email protected] $ voms-proxy-destroy
    [email protected] $ xrdcp /bin/bash root://<XROOTD HOST>/<DESTINATION PATH>
    180213 13:56:49 396570 cryptossl_X509CreateProxy: EEC certificate has expired
    Run: [FATAL] Auth failed
  2. On the XRootD host, add your DN to /etc/grid-security/grid-mapfile

  3. Add a line to /etc/xrootd/auth_file to ensure the mapped user can write to <DESTINATION PATH>

  4. Restart the xrootd service. (See this section for more information of managing XRootD services.)

  5. Generate your proxy and verify that you can successfully transfer files:

    [email protected] $ voms-proxy-init
    [email protected] $ xrdcp  /bin/sh root://<XROOTD HOST>/<DESTINATION PATH>

    If your transfer does not succeed, run the previous command with --debug 2 for more information.