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MUNGE Uid 'N' Gid Emporium

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important software information
company name:
Chris Dunlap
license: Freeware
minimum requirements: No special requirements.
functional limitations:
MUNGE Uid 'N' Gid Emporium description

MUNGE Uid 'N' Gid Emporium is an authentication service for creating and validating credentials. It is designed to be highly scalable for use in an HPC cluster environment.

It allows a process to authenticate the UID and GID of another local or remote process within a group of hosts having common users and groups. These hosts form a security realm that is defined by a shared cryptographic key.

Clients within this security realm can create and validate credentials without the use of root privileges, reserved ports, or platform-specific methods.


The need for MUNGE arose out of the HPC cluster environment. Consider the scenario in which a local daemon running on a login node receives a client request and forwards it on to remote daemons running on compute nodes within the cluster. Since the user has already logged on to the login node, the local daemon just needs a reliable means of ascertaining the UID and GID of the client process. Furthermore, the remote daemons need a mechanism to ensure the forwarded authentication data has not been subsequently altered.

A common solution to this problem is to use Unix domain sockets to determine the identity of the local client, and then forward this information on to remote hosts via trusted rsh connections. But this presents several new problems. First, there is no portable API for determining the identity of a client over a Unix domain socket. Second, rsh connections must originate from a reserved port; the limited number of reserved ports available on a given host directly limits scalability. Third, root privileges are required in order to bind to a reserved port. Finally, the remote daemons have no means of determining whether the client identity is authentic.


A process creates a credential by requesting one from the local MUNGE service. The encoded credential contains the UID and GID of the originating process. This process sends the credential to another process within the security realm as a mean. .

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downloads 7
version 0.5.8
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