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Configure Certificate Authentication for Users

To configure user authentication using certificates, you need to install and configure Reflection PKI Services Manager, and configure your server and client. Use the following procedures to get started. Many additional variations are possible. For more information, see the Reflection PKI Services Manager User Guide, which is available from

You can install and configure a single instance of PKI Services Manager to support user certificate authentication for multiple Reflection for Secure IT servers. However, because Reflection for Secure IT settings allow only one entry for the PKI Services Manager address and port, this configuration creates a potential single point of failure. If PKI Services Manager is unreachable or the server is not running, all authentication attempts using certificates will fail. In order to provide load balancing and failover, you can define a round-robin DNS entry for the PKI Services Manager host name or place the PKI Services Manager host behind a load balancing server.

To install and configure PKI Services Manager

Note: You can configure PKI Services Manager using the console, or by editing the configuration files directly. Default settings and map files are created in the data folder the first time you run the console and are updated when you make and save changes using the console. These instructions use the console.

  1. Log on as administrator on the Reflection for Secure IT server.
  2. Install Reflection PKI Services Manager.
  3. Start the PKI Services Manager console:

    Programs > Attachmate Reflection > Utilities > PKI Manager

  4. Put a copy of the certificate you want to designate as a trust anchor into your local store. The default PKI Services Manager store is in the following location:

    common application data folder\Attachmate\ReflectionPKI\local-store

  5. From the Trusted Chain pane, add your trust anchor to the list of trust anchors. After you click Add, you can browse to select your certificate from your local store, the Windows store, or from a file anywhere on your system. If intermediate certificates are required by the chain of trust in your certificates, configure access to these certificates.
  6. From the Revocation pane, configure certificate revocation checking.
  7. From the Identity Mapper pane, add rules to determine which identities can authenticate with a valid certificate.

    After a certificate is determined to be valid, rules are processed in order (based on rule type then sequence). If the certificate meets the requirements defined in the conditional expression (or if the rule has no condition), the allowed identities specified in that rule are allowed to authenticate. No additional rules are applied after the first match.

    Note: When you create rules for authentication of Windows domain users, you need to include both the domain and user name in this format:

  8. Click File > Save.
  9. Start Reflection PKI Services Manager.

    The server starts automatically when you restart Windows, or use the following command from a DOS command window:

    winpki start

    If the server is already running, you can stop and restart it using the restart command:

    winpki restart

To configure the Reflection for Secure IT server

  1. If PKI Services Manager is not installed on the same host as the Reflection for Secure IT server, copy the PKI Services Manager public key to the Reflection for Secure IT server. The key location on PKI Services Manager is:

    common application data folder\Attachmate\ReflectionPKI\config\

    Copy this to any location on the Reflection for Secure IT host. For example:



    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Attachmate\RSecureServer\

  2. Start the Reflection for Secure IT console.
  3. From the Public Key pane, ensure that Public key authentication is set to Allow or Require. (Allow is the default.)
  4. From the Certificates pane, edit PKI server and Port to match the PKI server address values configured in the PKI Services Manager console.
  5. For Public key file, specify the location to which you copied the key in step 1.
  6. Save your settings (File > Save Settings).

To configure the client

You will need to perform the following basic steps on your Secure Shell client computer. Reflection for Secure IT Windows client procedures are included here. For other clients, refer to the client documentation.

  1. Install the user certificate and associated private key on the client computer.

    For connections from the Reflection for Secure IT Windows client, you can import certificates using PKCS#12 files (typically *.pfx or *.p12) that contain a certificate and its associated private key. You can import these to either the Windows certificate store or the Reflection certificate store. Access to both stores is available from the Reflection Secure Shell Settings dialog box using buttons on the PKI tab.

  2. Configure the client to authenticate using the certificate.

    In the Reflection for Secure IT Windows client, open Reflection Secure Shell Settings dialog box, and select the User Keys tab. Certificates you have imported into the Windows and Reflection stores are automatically included in the list of available keys. Select the certificate(s) you want to use for authentication.

  3. Confirm that the client supports public key authentication.

    All Reflection clients support public key authentication by default. To confirm authentication settings from the Reflection Secure Shell Settings dialog box, go to the General tab.

Related Topics

Configure Certificate Server Authentication

PKI Services Manager Command Reference (winpki and pkid)

PKI Services Manager Configuration File Reference (pkid_config)

PKI Services Manager Map File Reference (pki_mapfile)