Files Provider Removal

The SSSD team has announced the removal of the files provider feature in recent versions of SSSD in Fedora/CentOS Stream/RHEL. This document describes how to switch to using the SSSD ‘proxy’ provider to replace files provider functionality.

Practically, there are only two use cases that currently justify usage of the files provider feature:

  • smart card authentication of local users

  • session recording for local users

For both cases the proxy provider is a viable substitute. Otherwise, there is no benefit in SSSD handling local users. The SSSD proxy provider is just a relay, an intermediary configuration. SSSD connects to its proxy service, and then that proxy loads the specified libraries. This allows SSSD to use some resources that it otherwise would not be able to use.

Follow the steps below based on the use case you are using.

An example of the old files provider smartcard configuration which will no longer function properly is:

pam_cert_auth = True

id_provider = files

Now let’s look at the steps to setup the proxy provider replacement. First, make sure to install the sssd-proxy package.

$ dnf install sssd-proxy

Configure SSSD for smart card authentication as below:

id_provider = proxy
proxy_lib_name = files
local_auth_policy = only


An explicit proxy_pam_target is only needed if you want Smartcard authentication be an additional method besides the method provided by the proxy_pam_target (in this case you should also use local_auth_policy = enable:smartcard). This is typically not needed for password authentication because pam_unix should be present in the PAM configuration to handle this.


The domain name in the certmap rule needs to be updated if the domain name was modified from the previous configuration, shadowutils to myproxy as shown here.

Choose one of the following authselect profiles and run the appropriate command:

authselect select sssd with-smartcard
authselect select sssd with-smartcard-lock-on-removal
authselect select sssd with-smartcard-required

Now you are done!

Configure SSSD for session recording as below:

services=nss, pam


The proxy_lib_name option specifies which existing NSS library to proxy identity requests through.

The proxy_pam_target specifies the target to which PAM must proxy as an authentication provider. This PAM target is a file containing PAM stack information in the default PAM directory, /etc/pam.d/. The file sssd-shadowutils is packaged with upstream SSSD and shipped in Fedora.


Ensure that the proxy PAM target stack does not recursively include

~# cat /etc/pam.d/sssd-shadowutils
auth        [success=done ignore=ignore default=die] nullok try_first_pass
auth        required

account     required
account     required

Add SSSD session recording configuration, refer to man sssd-session-recording for more details:

scope = some
users = contractor1, contractor2
groups = students

Next it is required to set the sss module as the first module in the list for the passwd and group databases of /etc/nsswitch.conf. On systems managed by authselect, the following command should be run:

authselect select sssd with-tlog