Using Keystone Tokens

Tokens are used to authenticate and authorize your interactions with the various Metacloud APIs. Tokens come in many flavors, representing various authorization scopes and sources of identity. There are also several different “token providers”, each with their own user experience, performance, and deployment characteristics. See Using Tokens for more information.

Authorization Scopes

Tokens can express your authorization in different scopes. You likely have different sets of roles, in different projects, and in different domains. While tokens always express your identity, they may only ever express one set of roles in one authorization scope at a time.

Each level of authorization scope is useful for certain types of operations in certain Metacloud services, and are not interchangeable.

Unscoped Tokens

An unscoped token contains neither a service catalog, any roles, a project scope, nor a domain scope. Their primary use case is to prove your identity to Keystone at a later time (usually to generate scoped tokens), without repeatedly presenting your original credentials.

The following conditions must be met to receive an unscoped token:

  • You must not specify an authorization scope in your authentication request (for example, on the command line with arguments such as --os-project-name or --os-domain-id),

  • Your identity must not have a “default project” associated with it that you also have role assignments, and thus authorization, upon.

Project-scoped Tokens

Project-scoped tokens express your authorization to operate in a specific tenancy of the cloud and are useful to authenticate yourself when working with most other services.

They contain a service catalog, a set of roles, and details of the project upon which you have authorization.

Domain-scoped Tokens

Domain-scoped tokens also have limited use cases in OpenStack. They express your authorization to operate a domain-level, above that of the user and projects contained therein (typically as a domain-level administrator). Depending on Keystone’s configuration, they are useful for working with a single domain in Keystone.

They contain a limited service catalog (only those services which do not explicitly require per-project endpoints), a set of roles, and details of the project upon which you have authorization.

They can also be used to work with domain-level concerns in other services, such as to configure domain-wide quotas that apply to all users or projects in a specific domain.

Token Providers

The token type issued by keystone is configurable by Metacloud engineering. Currently, there are two supported token types and they include UUID and fernet.

UUID Tokens

UUID was the first token type supported and is currently the default token provider. UUID tokens are 32 bytes in length and must be persisted in a back end. Clients must pass their UUID token to the Identity service in order to validate it.

Fernet Tokens

The fernet token format was introduced in the OpenStack Kilo release. Unlike the other token types mentioned in this document, fernet tokens do not need to be persisted in a back end. AES256 encryption is used to protect the information stored in the token and integrity is verified with a SHA256 HMAC signature. Only the Identity service should have access to the keys used to encrypt and decrypt fernet tokens. Like UUID tokens, fernet tokens must be passed back to the Identity service in order to validate them.