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Identity and Access Management

'a' - The Authenticate Command

The authenticate command is specific to the authentication DBM. It allows a person to prove his or her identity to an authentication realm by providing a PUID or alias and a password.


The puidnetd.h symbol for the authenticate command is PUIDNETD_CMD_AUTHC.


The standard keys for the authenticate command are either PUID or alias.

a -- alias (PUIDNETD_DATA_AKA); do an exact match on the alias fielda value.
p -- PUID (PUIDNETD_DATA_PUID); do an exact match on the PUID field value.


If the specified key is found and the authentication is successful, the reply message will contain a positive acknowledgement (ACK); if not, a negative acknowledgement (NAK). N.B.: a NAK may result even if the password matches, e.g., if the account is frozen.

A NAK may be accompanied by these fields. The field symbols come from puidnetd.h.

e -- an error code (PUIDNETD_DATA_ERRC); it accompanies a NAK reply.
M -- a message (PUIDNETD_DATA_MSG); it accompanies a NAK reply.

Required Fields

The authenticate command requires a realm record containing an unencrypted,  base 64 encoded password field.

Additional Fields



Suppose the user with PUID 00123-45678 and alias "jdoe" is a member of the Purdue realm, with password "secret0" (base 64 encoded as "c2VjcmV0MA=="):

Authenticate by providing PUID and password:

a p12345678 @Rpurdue Pc2VjcmV0MA== @

Authenticate by providing alias and password:

a ajdoe @Rpurdue Pc2VjcmV0MA== @


Because passwords are sent unencrypted, authentication requests must use an SSL connection. Authentication requests sent over a non-SSL connection are rejected with the error PUIDNETD_EORSSLC:

Error: Operation requires SSL connection (42)

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