Chapter 2. Pieces of the Puzzle
In the previous chapter, we examined the ideas and history behind the
Kerberos network authentication system. Now we'll
begin to discover how Kerberos works. Instead of introducing these
concepts as they're needed in the next chapter, I
feel that it is easier to understand the nitty-gritty details of
Kerberos when you have a working background in the surrounding
terminology. To emphasize the importance of a solid understanding in
these concepts, I have set aside this chapter to introduce you to the
essential concepts and terminology that surround the use and
administration of a Kerberos authentication system. While you may be
familiar with some of these concepts, we're going to
examine each one in turn and describe how it relates to Kerberos.
Kerberos is a complex system, with many parts. It requires the proper
functioning of many separate software components, and with each comes
a set of terms and concepts that underlie the entire system. A
complete introduction to all of these concepts is critical to the
understanding of the whole.
After all of these terms have been introduced, we'll
finish off by putting all of the pieces together and set the stage
for the detailed description of the Kerberos protocols in Chapter 3. For those who simply wish to implement a
Kerberos realm and not worry about the low-level details of the
protocol, this chapter will prepare you to skip directly to Chapter 4.