On 20:58 Mon 03 Oct , Adam Young wrote:
Tomcat has a class called "Realm" which is basically a way
the set of authentication mechanisms. PKI seems To use an older
approach which bypasses the Realm config in Tomcat. I started looking
at what it would take to close the distance between the two. In doing
so, I found something interesting in the openjdk code base:
In /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0/jre/lib/security/java.security, there is a
section that looks like this:
# List of providers and their preference orders (see above):
# the NSS security provider was not enabled for this build; it can be
# if NSS (libnss3) is available on the machine. The nss.cfg file may need
# editing to reflect the location of the NSS installation.
This is added by IcedTea, which can enable NSS support during the build.
However, from the commenting, it seems the option has not been turned on in the
If you check /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0-openjdk/lib/security/nss.cfg points at
your NSS install, then uncommenting that line should allow Java to use NSS
So it seems that Sun had, at least in the past, supported NSS as a
Sercurity provider. For the member of the Java team not familiar with
NSS (I wasn't) It is the Network Security Services and is the basis for,
amongst other things, how Mozilla stores passwords and certificates.
PKI makes pretty heavy use of NSS, via the Opensource Java bindings in JSS.
This page here has more info:
It seems like the Oracle JDK has had support in the past for NSS as a
JAAS module. To close the acronym loop with Tomcat, Tomcat has a JAAS
Realm class. What this says to me is that, at one point, Java
developers could have configured Tomcat to use NSS as the authentication
mechanism for an application.
AIUI, the JDK implementation just uses NSS to provide cryptography algorithms,
This class ships in the file:
And The native library is in
So it looks like we might have an additional Java implementation of NSS
available, one that can potentially provide NSS support for Tomcat and
JBoss via JAAS. It looks like all it requires is a change to the
configuration file that we ship. I'm not quite sure how we would go
about doing this in an automated fashion, short of pulling in libnss3 as
part of Open JDK support. I'm guessing that if we enable it and the nss
library is missing it errors our in some ugly manner, but I have not
The Fedora java-1.6.0-openjdk package would need to be altered to pass
--enable-nss to configure and to depend on libnss3 (as you say).
I can't remember exactly how it errors out off-hand and I've never had a system
without NSS on to see that on! If you have Firefox, you have NSS.
Is anyone familiar with this code?
I am; I added the support in IcedTea and fix some bugs in the NSS
code upstream (which took forever; the security-dev OpenJDK people
at Oracle are very slow to respond in my experience).
Would it be acceptable to activate
this security module by default and to pull in libnss with Java? Is
there some automated way to enable this if NSS is installed?
Debian and Ubuntu do enable it, and the option is there as a USE flag
in Gentoo. However, an issue did come up regarding it and Firefox:
which may be a blocker. As I say, the process of enabling it is just a
two line change in the java-1.6.0-openjdk spec file.
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