ISAKMP/Oakley a.k.a. IKEv1 key management
daemon establishes security
associations for encrypted and/or authenticated network traffic. At this
moment, and probably forever, this means
was configured using the
file format. A newer, much simpler format is now available:
implements the IKEv1 protocol which is
defined in the standards ISAKMP/Oakley (RFC 2408), IKE (RFC 2409), and the
Internet DOI (RFC 2407). The newer IKEv2 protocol, as defined in RFC 5996, is
not supported by isakmpd
. It follows
then that references to IKE in this document pertain to IKEv1 only, and not
The way isakmpd
goes about its work is by
maintaining an internal configuration as well as a policy database which
describes what kinds of SAs to negotiate, and by listening for different
events that trigger these negotiations. The events that control
consist of negotiation initiations from a
remote party, user input via a FIFO or by signals, upcalls from the kernel via
socket, and lastly by scheduled
events triggered by timers running out.
Most uses of isakmpd
will be to implement so called
"virtual private networks" (VPNs). The ability to provide redundancy
is made available through
other uses, some more knowledge of IKEv1 as a protocol is required. The RFCs
mentioned below are a possible starting point.
On startup isakmpd
forks into two processes for
privilege separation. The unprivileged child jails itself with
. The privileged process communicates
with the child, reads configuration files and PKI information, and binds to
privileged ports on its behalf. See the
The options are as follows:
- These options control what address family
isakmpd will use. The default is to use both
IPv4 and IPv6.
- If given, isakmpd does not set
up flows automatically. Instead manual flows may be configured using
or by programs such as
isakmpd only takes care of SA
- If given, the -c option
specifies an alternate configuration file instead of
/etc/isakmpd/isakmpd.conf. As this file may
contain sensitive information, it must be readable only by the user
running the daemon. isakmpd will reread the
configuration file when sent a
Note that this option applies only to configuration files in the
format, not those in the
- Debugging class. It's possible to specify this argument
many times. It takes a parameter of the form
where both class and
level are numbers.
class denotes a debugging class, and
level the level you want that debugging
class to limit debug printouts at (i.e. all debug printouts above the
level specified will not output anything). If
class is set to ‘A’, then
all debugging classes are set to the specified level.
Valid values for class are as follows:
Currently used values for level are 0 to
- FIFO user interface
- The -d option is used to make
the daemon run in the foreground, logging to stderr.
- The -f option specifies the
FIFO (a.k.a. named pipe) where the daemon listens for user requests. If
the path given is a dash (‘-’),
isakmpd will listen to stdin instead.
- By default the PID of the daemon process will be written to
/var/run/isakmpd.pid. This path can be
overridden by specifying another one as the argument to the
-i option. Note that only paths beginning
with /var/run are allowed.
- When this option is given,
isakmpd does not read the policy
configuration file and no
policy check is accomplished. This option can be used when policies for
flows and SA establishment are arranged by other programs like
- Enable IKE packet capture. When this option is given,
isakmpd will write an unencrypted copy of the
negotiation packets it is sending and receiving to the file
/var/run/isakmpd.pcap, which can later be
other utilities using
- As option -L above, but
capture to a specified file. Note that only paths beginning with
/var/run are allowed.
- The -N option specifies the
listen port for encapsulated UDP that the daemon will bind to.
- When the -n option is given,
the kernel will not take part in the negotiations. This is a
non-destructive mode, so to speak, in that it won't alter any SAs in the
- The -p option specifies the
listen port the daemon will bind to.
- When you signal isakmpd a
SIGUSR1, it will report its internal
state to a report file, normally
/var/run/isakmpd.report, but this can be
changed by feeding the file name as an argument to the
-R flag. Note that only paths beginning with
/var/run are allowed.
- This option is used for setups using
carp(4) to provide
redundancy. isakmpd starts in passive mode
and will not initiate any connections or process any incoming traffic
until sasyncd has determined that the host is the carp master.
Additionally, isakmpd will not delete SAs on
shutdown by sending delete messages to all peers.
- When this option is given, NAT-Traversal will be disabled
and isakmpd will not advertise support for
NAT-Traversal to its peers.
- Enables verbose logging. Normally,
isakmpd is silent and outputs only messages
when a warning or an error occurs. With verbose logging
isakmpd reports successful completion of
phase 1 (Main and Aggressive) and phase 2 (Quick) exchanges (Information
and Transaction exchanges do not generate any additional status
starts, it creates a FIFO (named pipe)
where it listens for user requests. All commands start with a single letter,
followed by command-specific options. Available commands are:
- Update the running isakmpd
configuration atomically. ‘set’ sets a configuration value
consisting of a section, tag, and value triplet. ‘set’ will
fail if the configuration already contains a section with the named tag;
use the ‘force’ option to change this behaviour.
‘add’ appends a configuration value to the named
configuration list tag, unless the value is already in the list.
‘rm’ removes a tag in a section. ‘rms’ removes
an entire section. ‘rmv’ removes an entry from a list, thus
reversing an ‘add’ operation.
NOTE: Sending isakmpd a
SIGHUP or an "R" through the
FIFO will void any updates done to the configuration.
- Get the configuration value of the specified section and
tag. The result is stored in
- Start the named connection, if stopped or inactive.
- Set debug class
⟨class⟩ to level
⟨class⟩ is specified as
‘A’, the level applies to all debug classes.
D T toggles all debug classes to level zero.
Another D T command will toggle them back to
the earlier levels.
- Delete the specified SA from the system. Specify
⟨msgid⟩ as ‘-’ to
match a Phase 1 SA.
- Set isakmpd to active or
passive mode. In passive mode no packets are sent to peers.
- Enable or disable cleartext IKE packet capture. When
enabling, optionally specify which file
isakmpd should capture the packets to (the
default is /var/run/isakmpd.pcap). Note that
only paths beginning with /var/run are
- Cleanly shutdown the daemon, as when sent a
- Reinitialize isakmpd, as when
- Report isakmpd internal state
See the -R option. Same as when sent a
- Report information on all known SAs to the
- Tear down all active quick mode connections.
- Tear down the named connection, if active. For
name, the tag specified in
or the IP address of the remote host can be used. The optional parameter
phase specifies whether to delete a phase
1 or phase 2 SA. The value ‘main’ indicates a phase 1
connection; the value ‘quick’ a phase 2 connection. If no
phase is specified, ‘quick’ will be assumed.
In order to use public key based authentication, there has to be an
infrastructure managing the key signing. Either there is an already existing
should take part in, or there will be
a need to set one up. The procedures for using a pre-existing PKI varies
depending on the actual Certificate Authority (CA) used, and is therefore not
covered here, other than mentioning that
be used to create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) that the CA understands.
A number of methods exist to allow authentication:
- This method does not use keys at all, but relies on a
- Host Keys:
- Public keys are used to authenticate. See
- X.509 Certificates:
- X.509 Certificates are used to authenticate. See
- Keynote Certificates:
- Keynote Certificates are used to authenticate. See
When configuring isakmpd
for key- and
certificate-based authentication, the “Transforms” tag in
should include “RSA_SIG”. For example, the transform
“3DES-SHA-RSA_SIG” means: 3DES encryption, SHA hash,
authentication using RSA signatures.
It is possible to store trusted public keys to make them directly usable by
, bypassing the need to use certificates.
The keys should be saved in PEM format (see
named and stored after this easy formula:
- For IPv4 identities:
- For IPv6 identities:
- For FQDN identities:
- For UFQDN identities:
Depending on the
keys may be named after their IPv4 address (IPV4_ADDR or IPV4_ADDR_SUBNET),
IPv6 address (IPV6_ADDR or IPV6_ADDR_SUBNET), fully qualified domain name
(FDQN), user fully qualified domain name (USER_FQDN), or key ID (KEY_ID).
For example, isakmpd
can authenticate using the
pre-generated keys if the local public key, by default
, is copied to the remote
and the remote gateway's public key is copied to the local gateway as
Of course, new keys may also be generated (the user is not required to use the
pre-generated keys). In this example,
would also have to be set to
IPV4_ADDR or IPV4_ADDR_SUBNET in
X.509 is a framework for public key certificates. Certificates can be generated
and provide a means for PKI authentication. In the following example, a CA is
created along with host certificates to be signed by the CA.
- Create your own Certificate Authority (CA).
First, create a private key for the CA, and a Certificate Signing Request
(CSR) to enable the CA to sign its own key:
openssl req will prompt for information that
will be incorporated into the certificate request. The information entered
comprises a Distinguished Name (DN). There are quite a few fields, but
some can be left blank. For some fields there will be a default value; if
‘.’ is entered, the field will be left blank.
After the CSR has been generated, it is used to create and sign a
certificate for the CA:
# openssl genrsa -out /etc/ssl/private/ca.key 2048
# openssl req -new -key /etc/ssl/private/ca.key \
# openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in /etc/ssl/private/ca.csr \
-signkey /etc/ssl/private/ca.key \
-extfile /etc/ssl/x509v3.cnf -extensions x509v3_CA \
- Create Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs) for IKE peers.
The CSRs are signed with a pre-generated private key.
This step, as well as the next one, needs to be done for every peer.
Furthermore the last step will need to be done once for each ID you want
the peer to have. The 10.0.0.1 below symbolizes that ID, in this case an
IPv4 ID, and should be changed for each invocation. You will be asked for
a DN for each run. Encoding the ID in the common name is recommended, as
it should be unique.
Now take these certificate signing requests to your CA and process them as
below. A subjectAltName extension field
should be added to the certificate. Replace 10.0.0.1 with the IP address
which isakmpd will use as the certificate
# openssl req -new -key /etc/isakmpd/private/local.key \
For a FQDN certificate, do:
# env CERTIP=10.0.0.1 openssl x509 -req \
-days 365 -in 10.0.0.1.csr \
-CA /etc/ssl/ca.crt -CAkey /etc/ssl/private/ca.key \
-CAcreateserial -extfile /etc/ssl/x509v3.cnf \
-extensions x509v3_IPAddr -out 10.0.0.1.crt
If CERTFQDN is being used, make sure that the
subjectAltName field of the certificate
is specified using srcid in
A similar setup will be required if
is being used instead.
Put the certificate (the file ending in .crt) in
/etc/isakmpd/certs/ on your local system.
Also carry over the CA cert /etc/ssl/ca.crt
and put it in /etc/isakmpd/ca/.
# env CERTFQDN=somehost.somedomain openssl x509 -req \
-days 365 -in somehost.somedomain.csr \
-CA /etc/ssl/ca.crt -CAkey /etc/ssl/private/ca.key \
-CAcreateserial -extfile /etc/ssl/x509v3.cnf \
-extensions x509v3_FQDN -out somehost.somedomain.crt
To revoke certificates, create a Certificate Revocation List (CRL) file and
install it in the /etc/isakmpd/crls/
the ‘crl’ subcommand for more info.
Keynote is a trust-management framework. Keys can be generated using
provide an alternative means for isakmpd
- The directory where CA certificates are kept.
- The directory where IKE certificates are kept, both the
local certificate(s) and those of the peers, if a choice to have them kept
permanently has been made.
- The directory where CRLs are kept.
- The configuration file. As this file can contain sensitive
information it must not be readable by anyone but the user running
- The keynote policy configuration file. The same mode
requirements as isakmpd.conf.
- The directory where KeyNote credentials are kept.
- The directory where local private keys used for public key
authentication are kept. By default, the system startup script
rc(8) generates a
key-pair when starting, if one does not already exist. The entire keypair
is in local.key, and a copy of the public key
suitable for transferring to other hosts is extracted into
/etc/isakmpd/local.pub. There has to be a
certificate for local.key in the certificate
local.key has the same mode requirements as
- The directory in which trusted public keys are kept. The
keys must be named in the fashion described above.
- The FIFO used to manually control
- The default IKE packet capture file.
- The PID of the current daemon.
- The report file written when
SIGUSR1 is received.
- The report file written when the ‘S’ or
‘C get’ command is issued in the command FIFO.
The Internet IP Security Domain of Interpretation for
ISAKMP, RFC 2407, November
M. Schertler, M. Schneider,
and J. Turner, Internet Security
Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP), RFC
2408, November 1998.
D. Harkins and
D. Carrel, The Internet Key
Exchange (IKE), RFC 2409,
B. Swander, A. Huttunen, and
V. Volpe, Negotiation of
NAT-Traversal in the IKE, RFC 3947,
This implementation of the ISAKMP/Oakley key management protocol was done in
1998 by Niklas Hallqvist and Niels Provos, sponsored by Ericsson Radio
When storing a trusted public key for an IPv6 identity, the
form of address representation,
i.e. "::" instead of ":0:0:0:", must be used or the
matching will fail. isakmpd
uses the output from
for the address-to-name translation. The privileged process only allows
binding to the default port 500 or unprivileged ports (>1024). It is not
possible to change the interfaces isakmpd
on without a restart.
For redundant setups,
manually restarted every time isakmpd