tl-ldap-certalias [options]


The tl-ldap-certalias command can automatically update the local databases needed for smart card public key authentication, provided the system uses the OpenSSH server (or any SSH server that uses a compatible format and location for authorized public keys) and standards compliant LDAP servers where users and certificates are stored.

The tl-ldap-certalias command can also perform validation of certificates it finds in LDAP databases. Read more about this in Certificate validation.

  • On invocation, a list of all users and matching certificates is gathered. How is determined by the certificate_user_match configuration variable. If allow_invalid_certificates is no, only matching valid certificates will be gathered.

  • The user’s home directory, as well as the ~/.ssh directory, are created if they are required and do not already exist. tl-ldap-certalias reuses the /vsmagent/make_homedir_mode configuration variable from vsmagent for determining the default permissions of newly created home directories.

  • Any old public keys added by tl-ldap-certalias are removed from the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file and the keys from the current set of certificates are added.

  • The file /etc/passwdaliases is updated with a list of subject names and user id:s, to allow for login without usernames. See Automatic Connection for more information.


It should be noted that any custom entries in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys will be retained, but custom changes to /etc/passwdaliases will be overwritten each time tl-ldap-certalias is run.

After deployment, tl-ldap-certalias is meant to be run from cron at regular intervals, for example every 15 minutes. This makes sure that the ThinLinc system automatically keeps all user certificates updated. However, please note that if you’re using certificate validation, downloading and parsing certificate revocation lists may take a long time (up to 5 minutes each). This is mitigated by caching the data from the CRL:s, but the first run, and whenever the CRL needs to be updated, may take a long time. Thus, if you have certificates from a lot of different certificate authorities, don’t run tl-ldap-certalias too often.

Since the default use of this tool is to be run from cron, the default behaviour is to produces no output other than error messages. If you want more output from tl-ldap-certalias, see the options section.


The root user must able to write to the users’ home directories for tl-ldap-certalias to be able to update the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys files.


tl-ldap-certalias uses the /utils/tl-ldap-certalias hiveconf folder for configuration purposes. On a standard ThinLinc installation, it’s located in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-ldap-certalias.hconf. See Parameters in /utils/tl-ldap-certalias/ for details about the available parameters.

Certificate validation

tl-ldap-certalias can perform validation of certificates found in LDAP databases by the following methods if allow_invalid_certificates is set to no:

Certificate validity and expiry dates

tl-ldap-certalias now checks the certificate validity and expiry dates and rejects certificates that are not valid yet or have expired.

Matching certificate to certificate issuers

Place the CA certificates you wish to trust certificates from in /opt/thinlinc/etc/ca/. The CA certificates must be in DER form. If tl-ldap-certalias finds a certificate with an issuer that does not match any of the certificates in /opt/thinlinc/etc/ca/, the certificate will be considered invalid and ignored.

Certificate revocation lists

tl-ldap-certalias searches the certificates it encounter for certificate revocation lists (CRL) to make sure that the certificate has not been revoked by its issuer. Once downloaded, the CRL will be cached until the time for the next scheduled update found in the CRL list has passed.


tl-ldap-certalias can only handle CRL lists distributed with HTTP.

Validation of certificate signatures.

tl-ldap-certalias can verify that the certificate signature is valid and thus assures that the certificate has not been tampered with.


-d, --debug

Turn on extra debugging output to standard output. This is off by default.

-h, --help

Prints a short help text and exits.

-s, --simulate

Dry run mode. Specifying this option tells tl-ldap-certalias to avoid writing any changes to disk. This is off by default.

-v, --verbose

Turn on program status output to standard output. This is off by default.


Prints the ThinLinc version and exits.