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dacscred - acquire and manage DACS credentials


dacscred [-dd dir] [-ll log_level] [-v] op [opargs]


This program is part of the DACS suite.

The dacscred utility supports simple DACS authentication, optionally storing the returned
DACS identities securely for future use by non-browser applications. Basic maintenance
operations are provided for this cache of credentials.

DACS per-user information, including the cache, is kept within a directory that must be
owned by the user. Additionally, the directory must be accessible only by the user. DACS
will refuse to use any per-user information if file permissions are inappropriate.

If this directory is not specified on the command line, the following is the default
behaviour. If an environment variable named DACSDIR is available, its value is used for
the name of this directory; otherwise, DACS will use a directory named .dacs in the user's
home directory.

The contents of the cache file are encrypted. A password must be provided when the cache
is created and before each subsequent access. Currently, AES-128-CFB is used along with a
SHA1-based HMAC[1].

A jurisdiction may reject credentials that are used from an IP address that does not
match the IP address from which the credentials were initially requested (see the
VERIFY_IP configuration directive). This means that if a cache is moved to a different
host, the credentials may be treated as invalid if they are used from that host.


The following command line flags are common to all operations:

-dd directory
The DACS directory to use instead of the default is directory.

-ll log_level
Set the debugging output level to log_level (see dacs(1)[2]). The default level is

The -v flag bumps the debugging output level to debug or (if repeated) trace.

The op argument specifies the operation to be performed. The following operations are

Try to authenticate as username by invoking dacs_authenticate[3] at the URL auth-URL.
username has the syntax [[federation]::]jurisdiction:username (the jurisdiction
component of the name must be provided; see dacs(1)[4]). An SSL connection is always
used for this purpose.

If authentication is successful and the -s flag is not given, the (username, auth-URL)
pair will be recorded; subsequent invocations of the command can omit the auth-URL
argument if it is unchanged. If the -p flag is given, the user is prompted for a
password to pass to dacs_authenticate; if -pf is given instead, a password is read
from file (stdin is read if file is "-"). If aux is given, it is used as the value of
the AUXILIARY argument to dacs_authenticate. The -caf (-ccf) flag identifies file as a
file of CA certificates (client certificates) in PEM format, respectively; see

New credentials replace old credentials in the cache. Credentials and authentication
mappings in the cache are not automatically managed, so the cache may contain
credentials that have expired.

The following example prompts the user for a password before trying to authenticate as

% dacscred auth -p DSS:smith \

The following example might be used within a script to test if $passwd is the correct
password for DSS:smith:

% echo $passwd | dacscred auth -s -pf - DSS:smith \

The exit status will be 0 only if the password is correct.

Delete all credentials with a name that matches a regular expression (see

Print all credentials to stdout that should be sent along with a service request to
the given URL. If no URL is given, print all credentials in the cache. Note that these
credentials represent DACS identities and should be kept secret.

List the names of all credentials in the cache, by default. This is equivalent to
providing the cred argument. If the auth argument is given, a list of identities and
the auth-URL arguments that were used to authenticate those identities is displayed.
If a regex is given, the list is limited to those identities matched by it (cred
behaviour) or those "username auth-URL" strings that match it (auth behaviour).

Change the password that protects the cache. The current password must first be


The program exits 0 if everything was fine, 1 if an error occurred.

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