Extra Configuration

SSL Configuration

By default, all of the client components of Pulp will require validly signed SSL certificates from the servers on remote ends of its outbound connections. On a brand new httpd installation, a self-signed certificate will be generated for the server to use to serve Pulp. This means that a fresh installation will experience client errors similar to this:

(pulp)[rbarlow@coconut pulp]$ pulp-admin puppet repo list
Puppet Repositories

WARNING: The server's SSL certificate is untrusted!

The server's SSL certificate was not signed by a trusted authority. This could
be due to a man-in-the-middle attack, or it could be that the Pulp server needs
to have its certificate signed by a trusted authority. If you are willing to
accept the associated risks, you can set verify_ssl to False in the client
config's [server] section to disable this check.

You have two choices to solve this issue: You may make or acquire signed SSL certificates for httpd to use to serve Pulp, or you may configure Pulp’s various clients not to perform SSL signature validation.

Signed Certificates

If you wish to use signed certificates, you must decide whether you will purchase signed certificates from a root certificate authority or use your own organization’s certificate authority. How to make or buy signed certificates is outside the scope of this document. We will assume that you have these items:

  1. A PEM-encoded X.509 certificate file, signed by a trusted certificate authority.
  2. A PEM-encoded private key file that corresponds to your SSL certificate.
  3. The CA certificate that signed your SSL certificate. This is only necessary if your Linux distribution does not already include the CA that signed your certificate in its system CA pack.

You must first configure httpd to use the SSL certificate and private key you have acquired. You must configure the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile mod_ssl directives to point at these files. On Red Hat based systems, these settings can be found in /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf.

If you are using a CA certificate that is not already trusted by your operating system’s system CA pack, you may either configure Pulp to trust that CA, or you may configure your operating system to trust that CA.

Pulp has a setting called ca_path in these files: /etc/pulp/admin/admin.conf, /etc/pulp/consumer/consumer.conf, and /etc/pulp/nodes.conf. This setting indicates which CA pack each of these components should use when validating Pulp server certificates. By default, Pulp will use the operating system’s CA pack. If you wish, you may adjust this setting to point to a different CA pack. The CA pack may be a single file that contains multiple concatenated certificates, or it may be a directory with OpenSSL style hashed symlinks pointing at CA certificate files, with one certificate per file. Of course, if you have exactly one CA certificate, you can configure this setting to point at it directly.

There are three settings in /etc/pulp/server.conf that you should be aware of, but probably should not alter. capath and cakey point to a CA certificate and key that Pulp uses to sign client authentication certificates. Note that this is not the CA that you signed your server certificate with earlier. It is used only internally by Pulp and Apache to create client certificates with login calls, and to validate those certificates when clients use the API. It is best to avoid altering these settings. The third setting is confusingly named ssl_ca_certificate. This setting should not be used, since it causes a chicken and egg situation that could cause the universe to experience a machine check exception. If it is configured, the yum consumer handlers will use this CA in their yum repository files for validating the Pulp server. The problem is that the consumer must have already trusted Pulp in order to have registered to Pulp to get this CA file, which helps the consumer to trust Pulp. It’s best for users to configure CA trust themselves outside of Pulp, which is why this setting should not be used.


The Pulp team plans to deprecate the cacert, cakey, and ssl_ca_certificate settings. It is best to avoid altering these settings from their defaults, as described above. See 1123509 and 1165403.

If you want to use SSL with Qpid, see the Qpid SSL Configuration Guide.

Turning off Validation


It is strongly recommended that you make or acquire signed certificates to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks or other nefarious activities. It is very risky to assume that the other end of the connection is who they claim to be. SSL uses a combination of encryption and authentication to ensure private communication. Disabling these settings removes the authentication component from the SSL session, which removes the guarantee of private communication since you can’t be sure who you are communicating with.

Pulp has a setting called verify_ssl in these files: /etc/pulp/admin/admin.conf, /etc/pulp/consumer/consumer.conf, /etc/pulp/nodes.conf, and /etc/pulp/repo_auth.conf. If you configure these settings to false, the respective Pulp components will no longer validate the Pulp server’s certificate signature.

Pulp Broker Settings

To configure Pulp to work with a non-default broker configuration read the Pulp Broker Settings Guide.

MongoDB Authentication

To configure Pulp for connecting to the MongoDB with username/password authentication, use the following steps:

  1. Configure MongoDB for username password authentication. See MongoDB - Enable Authentication for details.

  2. In /etc/pulp/server.conf, find the [database] section and edit the username and password values to match the user configured in step 1.

  3. Restart all of Pulp’s services. For systemd:

    $ sudo systemctl restart httpd pulp_workers pulp_resource_manager pulp_celerybeat

    For Upstart:

    $ for s in httpd pulp_workers pulp_resource_manager pulp_celerybeat; do sudo service $s restart; done;