Chart version: 1.0.2
Api version: v2
App version: 1.0.20
An automation portal for Kubernetes providing authentication vi...
Chart Type
Set me up:
helm repo add center
Install Chart:
helm install openunison-k8s-activedirectory center/tremolosecurity/openunison-k8s-activedirectory
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Orchestra For Kubernetes - Active Directory and LDAP

Orchestra is an automation portal for Kubernetes built on OpenUnison. Orchestra integrates a user’s identity into Kubernetes enabling:

  1. SSO between the API server and your LDAP infrastructure
  2. SSO with the Kubernetes Dashboard
  3. Self service access to existing Namespaces
  4. Self service creation of new Namespaces
  5. Workflows for automating access approvals without getting system administrators involved
  6. Built in self service reporting

Orchestra Portal Screen Shot

When a user accesses Kubernetes using Orchestra, they’ll access both the self service portal and the dashboard through OpenUnison’s reverse proxy (instead of directly via an ingress). OpenUnison will inject the user’s identity into each request, allowing the dashboard to act on their behalf.

Orchestra stores all Kubernetes access information as a groups inside of a relational database, as opposed to a group in an external directory. OpenUnison will create the appropriate Roles and RoleBindings to allow for the access.

Kubernetes Identity Manager Architecture

Roles Supported


  1. Administration - Full cluster management access


  1. Administrators - All operations inside of a namespace
  2. Viewers - Can view contents of a namespace (except Secrets), but can not make changes


  1. System Approver - Able to approve access to roles specific to OpenUnison
  2. Auditor - Able to view audit reports, but not request projects or approve access


What You Need To Start

Prior to deploying OpenUnison you will need:

  1. Kubernetes 1.10 or higher
  2. The Nginx Ingress Controler deployed (
  3. A MySQL or MariaDB Database
  4. The certificate authority certificate for your Active Directory forest
  5. An SMTP server for sending notifications
  6. Deploy the dashboard to your cluster
  7. helm 3.0+

The deployment is a four step process:

  1. Add Tremolo Security’s Helm repo to your own
  2. Deploy the OpenUnison Operator
  3. Create a secret for your Active Directory password
  4. Deploy OpenUnison

Add Tremolo Security’s Helm Repo

helm repo add tremolo
helm repo update

Deploy The OpenUnison Operator

Create your namespace

kubectl create ns openunison

Deploy the operator

helm install openunison tremolo/openunison-operator --namespace openunison

Wait for the operator pod to be available

watch kubectl get pods -n openunison

Create A Secret For Your Active Directory Password

Create a secret in the openunison namespace:

apiVersion: v1
type: Opaque
  name: orchestra-secrets-source
  namespace: openunison
  unisonKeystorePassword: aW0gYSBzZWNyZXQ=
kind: Secret
Property Description
AD_BIND_PASSWORD The password for the ldap service account used to communicate with Active Directory/LDAP
unisonKeystorePassword The password for OpenUnison’s keystore, should NOT contain an ampersand (&)
K8S_DB_SECRET A random string of characters used to secure the SSO process with the dashboard. This should be long and random, with no ampersands (&)
OU_JDBC_PASSWORD The password for accessing the database
SMTP_PASSWORD Password for accessing the SMTP server (may be blank)

Deploy OpenUnison

Copy values.yaml ( and update as appropriate:

Property Description
network.openunison_host The host name for OpenUnison. This is what user’s will put into their browser to login to Kubernetes
network.dashboard_host The host name for the dashboard. This is what users will put into the browser to access to the dashboard. NOTE: network.openunison_host and network.dashboard_host Both network.openunison_host and network.dashboard_host MUST point to OpenUnison
network.api_server_host The host name to use for the api server reverse proxy. This is what kubectl will interact with to access your cluster. NOTE: network.openunison_host and network.dashboard_host
network.k8s_url The URL for the Kubernetes API server
network.session_inactivity_timeout_seconds The number of seconds of inactivity before the session is terminated, also the length of the refresh token’s session
active_directory.base The search base for Active Directory The host name for a domain controller or VIP. If using SRV records to determine hosts, this should be the fully qualified domain name of the domain
active_directory.port The port to communicate with Active Directory
active_directory.bind_dn The full distinguished name (DN) of a read-only service account for working with Active Directory
active_directory.con_type ldaps for secure, ldap for plain text
active_directory.srv_dns If true, OpenUnison will lookup domain controllers by the domain’s SRV DNS record
cert_template.ou The OU attribute for the forward facing certificate
cert_template.o The O attribute for the forward facing certificate
cert_template.l The L attribute for the forward facing certificate The ST attribute for the forward facing certificate
cert_template.c The C attribute for the forward facing certificate
certs.use_k8s_cm Tells the deployment system if you should use k8s’ built in certificate manager. If your distribution doesn’t support this (such as Canonical and Rancher), set this to false
myvd_config_path The path to the MyVD configuration file, unless being customized, use WEB-INF/myvd.conf
dashboard.namespace The namespace for the dashboard. For the 1.x dashboard this is kube-system, for the 2.x dashboard this is kubernetes-dashboard
dashboard.cert_name The name of the secret in the dashboard’s namespace that stores the certificate for the dashboard
dashboard.label The label of the dashboard pod, this is used to delete the pod once new certificates are generated
dashboard.service_name The name of the service object for the dashboard
k8s_cluster_name The name of the cluster to use in the ./kube-config. Defaults to kubernetes
image The name of the image to use
enable_impersonation If true, OpenUnison will run in impersonation mode. Instead of OpenUnison being integrated with Kubernetes via OIDC, OpenUnison will be a reverse proxy and impersonate users. This is useful with cloud deployments where oidc is not an option
monitoring.prometheus_service_account The prometheus service account to authorize access to the /monitoring endpoint
database.hibernate_dialect Hibernate dialect for accessing the database. Unless customizing for a different database do not change
database.quartz_dialect Dialect used by the Quartz Scheduler. Unless customizing for a different database do not change
database.driver JDBC driver for accessing the database. Unless customizing for a different database do not change
database.url The URL for accessing the database
database.user The user for accessing the database
database.validation A query for validating database connections/ Unless customizing for a different database do not change Host for an email server to send notifications
smtp.port Port for an email server to send notifications
smtp.user Username for accessing the SMTP server (may be blank)
smtp.from The email address that messages from OpenUnison are addressed from
smtp.tls true or false, depending if SMTP should use start tls

Additionally, add a base 64 encoded PEM certificate to your values under trusted_certs for pem_b64. This will allow OpenUnison to talk to Active Directory using TLS.

Finally, run the helm chart:

helm install orchestra tremolo/openunison-k8s-activedirectory --namespace openunison -f /path/to/values.yaml

Complete SSO Integration with Kubernetes

If using impersonation, you can skip this section. Run kubectl describe configmap api-server-config -n openunison to get the SSO integration artifacts. The output will give you both the API server flags that need to be configured on your API servers. The certificate that needs to be trusted is in the ou-tls-certificate secret in the openunison namespace.

First Login to Orchestra

At this point you should be able to login to OpenUnison using the host specified in the OU_HOST of your properties. Once you are logged in, logout. Users are created in the database “just-in-time”, meaning that once you login the data representing your user is created inside of the database deployed for Orchestra.

Create First Administrator

The user you logged in as is currently unprivileged. In order for other users to login and begin requesting access to projects this first user must be enabled as an approver. Login to the MySQL database deployed for Orchestra and execute the following SQL:

insert into userGroups (userId,groupId) values (2,1);

This will add the administrator group to your user. Logout of Orchestra and log back in.

Self Request & Approve Cluster Administrator

Once SSO is enabled in the next step, you’ll need a cluster administrator to be able to perform cluster level operations:

  1. Login to Orchestra
  2. Click on “Request Access” in the title bar
  3. Click on “Kubernetes Administration”
  4. Click “Add To Cart” next to “Cluster Administrator”
  5. Next to “Check Out” in the title bar you’ll see a red 1, click on “Check Out”
  6. For “Supply Reason”, give a reason like “Initial user” and click “Submit Request”
  7. Since you are the only approver refresh OpenUnison, you will see a red 1 next to “Open Approvals”. Click on “Open Approvals”
  8. Click “Review” next to your email address
  9. Specify “Initial user” for the “Justification” and click “Approve”
  10. Click on “Confirm Approval”

At this point you will be provisioned to the k8s-cluster-administrators group in the database that has a RoleBinding to the cluster-admin Role. Logout of Orchestra and log back in. If you click on your email address in the upper left, you’ll see that you have the Role k8s-cluster-administrators.

Using Your Own Certificates

If you want to integrate your own certificates see our wiki entry -

Monitoring OpenUnison

This deployment comes with a /metrics endpoint for monitoring. For details on how to integrate it into a Prometheus stack -

Trouble Shooting Help

Please take a look at if you’re running into issues. If there isn’t an entry there that takes care of your issue, please open an issue on this repo.

Customizing Orchestra

Orchestra is an application built on OpenUnison with several “opinions” on how you should manage authentication in your cluster. These opinions my be close to what you need, but not exact. In order to customize Orchestra you’ll need:

  1. git
  2. OpenJDK 8
  3. Apache Maven
  4. Docker registry

First, fork this GitHub project. Then make your edits. To deploy to a local Docker daemon that you want to then use to push to a registry:

mvn clean package
mvn compile jib:dockerBuild
docker tag image:version registry/image:version
docker push registry/image:version

If you have credentials to access a registry remotely and are not running docker locally, you can push the image directly to your registry:

mvn clean package
export OU_CONTAINER_DEST=registry/image:version
export OU_REG_USER=registry_user
export OU_REG_PASSWORD=registry_password
mvn compile jib:build

Whats next?

Users can now login to create namespaces, request access to cluster admin or request access to other clusters.

Now you can begin mapping OpenUnison’s capabilities to your business and compliance needs. For instance you can add multi-factor authentication with TOTP or U2F, Create privileged workflows for onboarding, scheduled workflows that will deprovision users, etc.

Customizing Directory Connections

If you’re running multiple directories, or need to connect to a generic LDAP directory isntead of Active Directory you can provide a custom MyVirtualDirectory configuration file without a re-build of your containers. Start with the myvd.conf file at ONLY edit the section that begins with server.activedirectory. As an example, the below configuration works against a generic LDAPv3 directory with the VirtualMemberOf insert configured to create a memeberOf attribute on users so we can supply groups to Kubernetes:

#Global AuthMechConfig





Once Orchestra is deployed, create a directory with your myvd.conf file in it and deploy it as a ConfigMap:

kubectl create configmap myvd --from-file . -n openunison

Next edit the openunison deployment to mount the ConfigMap to /etc/myvd and change the environment variable MYVD_CONFIG_PATH to /etc/myvd/myvd.conf. Once the OpenUnison pods have been recreated, you can login with your LDAP uid (as opposed to an Active Directory samAccountName).