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6.9. Renaming Machines and Reconfiguring FreeIPA Client Configuration

The hostname of a system is critical for the correct operation of Kerberos and SSL. Both of these security mechanisms rely on the hostname to ensure that communication is occurring between the specified hosts. Infrastructures which use virtual machines or clustered servers will commonly have hosts which are renamed because systems are copied, moved, or renamed.
Fedora does not provide a simple rename command to facilitate the renaming of a FreeIPA host. Renaming a host in a FreeIPA domain involves deleting the entry in FreeIPA, uninstalling the client software, changing the hostname, and re-enrolling using the new name. Additionally, part of renaming hosts requires regenerating service principals.
To reconfigure the client:
  1. Identify which services are running on the machine. These need to be re-created when the machine is re-enrolled.
    # ipa service-find
    Each host has a default service which does not appear in the list of services. This service can be referred to as the "host service". The service principal for the host service is host/<hostname>, such as host/ This principal can also be referred to as the host principal.
  2. Identify all host groups to which the machine belongs.
    # ipa hostgroup-find
    Identify which of the services have certificates associated with them. This can be done using the ldapsearch command to check the entries in the FreeIPA LDAP database directly:
    # ldapsearch -x -b "cn=accounts,dc=example,dc=com" "(&(objectclass=ipaservice)(userCertificate=*))" krbPrincipalName
  3. For any service principals (in addition to the host principal), determine the location of the corresponding keytabs on The keytab location is different for each service, and FreeIPA does not store this information.
    Each service on the client system has a Kerberos principal in the form service name/hostname@REALM, such as ldap/
  4. Unenroll the client machine from the FreeIPA domain:
    # ipa-client-install --uninstall
  5. For each identified keytab other than /etc/krb5.keytab, remove the old principals:
    # ipa-rmkeytab -k /path/to/keytab -r EXAMPLE.COM
  6. On another FreeIPA machine, as a FreeIPA administrator, remove the host entry. This removes all services and revokes all certificates issued for that host:
    # ipa host-del
    At this point, the host is completely removed from FreeIPA.
  7. Rename the machine.
  8. Re-enroll the system with FreeIPA:
    # ipa-client-install
    This generates a host principal for with the new hostname in /etc/krb5.keytab.
  9. For every service that needs a new keytab, run the following command:
    # ipa service-add serviceName/new-hostname
  10. To generate certificates for services, use either certmonger or the FreeIPA administration tools.
  11. Re-add the host to any applicable host groups.