Mapping Kerberos Principals to Short Names

You configure the mapping from Kerberos principals to short names in the property setting in the core-site.xml file. Kerberos has this support natively, and Hadoop's implementation uses Kerberos's configuration language to specify the mapping.

A mapping consists of a set of rules that are evaluated in the order listed in the property. The first rule that matches a principal name is used to map that principal name to a short name. Any later rules in the list that match the same principal name are ignored.

You specify the mapping rules on separate lines in the property as follows:
  RULE:[<principal translation>](<acceptance filter>)<short name substitution>
  RULE:[<principal translation>](<acceptance filter>)<short name substitution>

Mapping Rule Syntax

To specify a mapping rule, use the prefix string RULE: followed by three sections—principal translation, acceptance filter, and short name substitution—described in more detail below. The syntax of a mapping rule is:
RULE:[<principal translation>](<acceptance filter>)<short name substitution>

Principal Translation

The first section of a rule, <principal translation>, performs the matching of the principal name to the rule. If there is a match, the principal translation also does the initial translation of the principal name to a short name. In the <principal translation> section, you specify the number of components in the principal name and the pattern you want to use to translate those principal component(s) and realm into a short name. In Kerberos terminology, a principal name is a set of components separated by slash ("/") characters.

The principal translation is composed of two parts that are both specified within "[ ]" using the following syntax:

[<number of components in principal name>:<initial specification of short name>]


<number of components in principal name> – This first part specifies the number of components in the principal name (not including the realm) and must be 1 or 2. A value of 1 specifies principal names that have a single component (for example, hdfs), and 2 specifies principal names that have two components (for example, hdfs/ A principal name that has only one component will only match single-component rules, and a principal name that has two components will only match two-component rules.

<initial specification of short name> – This second part specifies a pattern for translating the principal component(s) and the realm into a short name. The variable $0 translates the realm, $1 translates the first component, and $2 translates the second component.

Here are some examples of principal translation sections. These examples use atm@YOUR-REALM.COM and atm/ as principal name inputs:

This Principal Translation Translates atm@YOUR-REALM.COM into this short name Translates atm/ into this short name
[1:$1@$0] atm@YOUR-REALM.COM Rule does not match1
[1:$1] atm Rule does not match1
[1:$] Rule does not match1
[2:$1/$2@$0] Rule does not match2 atm/
[2:$1/$2] Rule does not match2 atm/
[2:$1@$0] Rule does not match2 atm@YOUR-REALM.COM
[2:$1] Rule does not match2 atm


1Rule does not match because there are two components in principal name atm/

2Rule does not match because there is one component in principal name atm@YOUR-REALM.COM

Acceptance Filter

The second section of a rule, (<acceptance filter>), matches the translated short name from the principal translation (that is, the output from the first section). The acceptance filter is specified in "( )" characters and is a standard regular expression. A rule matches only if the specified regular expression matches the entire translated short name from the principal translation. That is, there's an implied ^ at the beginning of the pattern and an implied $ at the end.

Short Name Substitution

The third and final section of a rule is the (<short name substitution>). If there is a match in the second section, the acceptance filter, the (<short name substitution>) section does a final translation of the short name from the first section. This translation is a sed replacement expression (s/.../.../g) that translates the short name from the first section into the final short name string. The short name substitution section is optional. In many cases, it is sufficient to use the first two sections only.

Converting Principal Names to Lowercase

In some organizations, naming conventions result in mixed-case usernames (for example, John.Doe) or even uppercase usernames (for example, JDOE) in Active Directory or LDAP. This can cause a conflict when the Linux username and HDFS home directory are lowercase.

To convert principal names to lowercase, append /L to the rule.

Example Rules

Suppose all of your service principals are either of the form App.service-name/ or App.service-name@YOUR-REALM.COM, and you want to map these to the short name string service-name. To do this, your rule set would be:


The first $1 in each rule is a reference to the first component of the full principal name, and the second $1 is a regular expression back-reference to text that is matched by (.*).

In the following example, suppose your company's naming scheme for user accounts in Active Directory is FirstnameLastname (for example, JohnDoe), but user home directories in HDFS are /user/firstnamelastname. The following rule set converts user accounts in the CORP.EXAMPLE.COM domain to lowercase.


In this example, the JohnDoe@CORP.EXAMPLE.COM principal becomes the johndoe HDFS user.

Default Rule

You can specify an optional default rule called DEFAULT (see example above). The default rule reduces a principal name down to its first component only. For example, the default rule reduces the principal names atm@YOUR-REALM.COM or atm/ down to atm, assuming that the default domain is YOUR-REALM.COM.

The default rule applies only if the principal is in the default realm.

If a principal name does not match any of the specified rules, the mapping for that principal name will fail.

Testing Mapping Rules

You can test mapping rules for a long principal name by running:

hadoop name1 name2 name3