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From Aaron Mulder <>
Subject Re: Security Role Mapping & Authentication
Date Wed, 03 Aug 2005 07:16:13 GMT
	I don't understand what you're saying about a realm GBean, and I'm
a little sketchy on the appName.  Can I explain what I'm looking for and
then you can tell me if you think this is reasonable and whether it's in
place now?

 - If you have a web app that uses a login (HTTP Basic, Form-based, etc.),
   then the server needs to use some "security realm" to authenticate the
   user name and password you provide.

 - I would like that to always be a Geronimo SecurityRealm, regardless of
   whether you're using Tomcat or Jetty or what.

 - I would like that to always be the Geronimo security realm whose name 
   is listed in the <security-realm-name> elements of geronimo-web.xml (if 
   geronimo-web.xml was provided and if it has that element).

 - I don't want you to have to declare *any* GBeans that are Tomcat or
   Jetty specific.  You must have declared the GenericSecurityRealm GBean
   with the proper name, of course.

	I assume Tomcat requires some sort of adapter to make a Geronimo
SecurityRealm look like a "Tomcat Security Realm".  I'm speculating this
is the "RealmGBean" you mention, but I don't know.  I would like to
automatically create that and set it on Tomcat during the deployment
process, so the user doesn't need to specifically declare it.  So, for
example, this would be a totally sufficient geornimo-web.xml if you want
to refer to the default security realm configured in Geronimo (named
geronimo-properties-realm, of type GenericSecurityRealm, and configured in

      <role name="AppUsers">
        <realm name="geronimo-properties-realm">
          <principal class=""
           name="system" />

	So this says, "when any user logs in, resolve their username and
password against the properties file var/security/, and if
their username is 'system' then add them to the J2EE role 'AppUsers'".

	If we implement what I've described above, then I believe this
same deployment plan should work with the same results for both Tomcat and
Jetty (and it doesn't have any settings or GBeans in it specific to either
Tomcat or Jetty).


On Wed, 3 Aug 2005, Jeff Genender wrote:
> Ok..even though I still stand by what I said below (and want to get some 
> feedback on this), I figured, it surely wouldn't hurt to allow the 
> <security-realm-name> be an override for the appName of the Tomcat 
> JAASRealm.  If its not specified, it will default to the standard 
> methodology of how Tomcat looks for a realm (by name of the path/context 
> or Host or Engine depending upon where the Realm was declared).  One 
> caveat...if you want the Realm to use the context's 
> <security-realm-name>, you must have a RealmGBean applied at the context 
> level in the geronimo-web.xml.  If you do will get the 
> following log:
> WARN: security-realm-name was specified but no RealmGBean was configured 
> for this context.  Ignoring security-realm-name.
> and it will thus default to the Tomcat standard realm naming conventions 
> (i.e. the inherited Host or Engine name at which the Realm was supplied 
> - Engine by default).
> So...its coded, unit tested, and checked in.
> Jeff
> Jeff Genender wrote:
> > Correct, Tomcat does not use the <security-realm-name> element from the 
> > geronimo-web.xml.
> > 
> > How it works is...
> > 
> > The Tomcat realms take the name of the object it is associated with. 
> > Tomcat objects inherit Realms from top down.  If a Realm is associated 
> > with an Engine, then the Host(s) and Context(s) inherit that realm. The 
> > same goes for Hosts...if its associated with that host, then all 
> > Contexts under that Host inherits the Realm.   Here is the example...
> > 
> > There is typically a geronimo realm GBean that is created...lets use the 
> > example of the one in the tomcat-config.xml.  Notice the realmName 
> > attribute is "Geronimo".
> > 
> > Then a TomcatRealm is attached either the Engine, Host, or Context 
> > levels.  In this instance we have the TomcatRealm attached to the server 
> > (i.e. the Engine) Notice the Engine object in tomcat-config.xml has a 
> > name parameter of "Geronimo".  All Contexts under that Engine will 
> > associate itself with the "Geronimo" realm name.  So this is Server-wide.
> > 
> > If I wish to change a Context to specifically use its own specific 
> > realm, its name is the context root/path name. So say I have created an 
> > application that has a context root of "testme", then I can attach a 
> > Realm object to it, and this Realm object will expect to find a realm 
> > called "testme".
> > 
> > This is how standard tomcat realms work, and it is because normally, 
> > J2EE/JAAS uses a login.config file, where we declare our realms with 
> > login modules like this:
> > 
> > <name used by application to refer to this entry> {
> >     <LoginModule> <flag> <LoginModule options>;
> >     <optional additional LoginModules, flags and options>;
> >     };
> > (See for more info)
> > 
> > In Geronimo, since we don't use a login.config, instead, we wire these 
> > up via 2 GBeans...a realm and a loginmodule.  The application name 
> > really becomes the realm name in our world.  So to keep in line with the 
> > login.config configuration, we use the realmName of the 
> > GenericSecurityRealm matched up with the application name (or path of 
> > our Context).
> > 
> > It would not be too difficult to use the <security-realm-name> as an 
> > override at this point, but Tomcat has stated that setName() on the 
> > Realms is deprecated and thus will disappear in the future.  This does 
> > not preclude us rewriting the Realms, but it would break compatibility 
> > with the slew of Realm objects offered by Tomcat in the future.
> > 
> > I would suggest we examine why we use <security-realm-name> and why not 
> > follow the application name paradigm that appears to be a standard.
> > 
> > Jeff
> > 
> > Aaron Mulder wrote:
> > 
> >>     So in web apps, the developer provides a list of roles in web.xml,
> >> and then we let you map any principals from any Geronimo security realms
> >> to the J2EE roles using the <security> element in geronimo-web.xml 
> >> (it's quite possible to allow principals from multiple realms).
> >>
> >>     However, on top of that, there's a <security-realm-name> element 
> >> in geronimo-web.xml, which appears to be used by Jetty and not 
> >> Tomcat.  This appears to be used to set the JettyJAASRealm on the 
> >> JettyWebAppContext (see
> >>
> >>     I'm assuming that when you log in to Jetty, it authenticates you 
> >> against the security realm named in the <security-realm-name> element,

> >> and then authorizes you against the mappings performed in the 
> >> <security> element.  So logically, it wouldn't help you to include 
> >> principals from any other realm in the <security> element, but we 
> >> don't enforce that in the schemas.
> >>
> >>     If that's true, then what realm does Tomcat authenticate against?  
> >> And what realm do EJBs authenticate against?  Both Tomcat and EJBs appear
> >> to only use the <security> element (Tomcat ignores the
> >> <security-realm-name> element AFAICT and openejb-jar.xml doesn't have
> >> one).
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >>     Aaron

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