1.4.3. Security Service

1.4.3. Security Service

The security domain information is stored in the file conf/login-config.xml as a list of named security domains, each of which specifies a number of JAAS [1] login modules which are used for authentication purposes in that domain. When you want to use security in an application, you specify the name of the domain you want to use in the application’s JBoss-specific deployment descriptors, jboss.xml (used in defining jboss specific configurations for an enterprise application) and/or jboss-web.xml (used in defining jboss for a Web application. We'll quickly look at how to do this to secure the JMX Console application that ship with JBoss.

Almost every aspect of the JBoss server can be controlled through the JMX Console, so it is important to make sure that, at the very least, the application is password protected. Otherwise, any remote user could completely control your server. To protect it, we will add a security domain to cover the application. [2] This can be done in the jboss-web.xml file for the JMX Console, which can be found in deploy/jmx-console.war/WEB-INF/ directory. Uncomment the security-domain in that file, as shown below.


This links the security domain to the web application, but it doesn't tell the web application what security policy to enforce, what URLs are we trying to protect, and who is allowed to access them. To configure this, go to the web.xml file in the same directory and uncomment the security-constraint that is already there. This security constraint will require a valid user name and password for a user in the JBossAdmin group.

   A security constraint that restricts access to the HTML JMX console
   to users with the role JBossAdmin. Edit the roles to what you want and
   uncomment the WEB-INF/jboss-web.xml/security-domain element to enable
   secured access to the HTML JMX console.
            An example security config that only allows users with the
            role JBossAdmin to access the HTML JMX console web application

That's great, but where do the user names and passwords come from? They come from the jmx-console security domain we linked the application to. We have provided the configuration for this in the conf/login-config.xml.

<application-policy name="jmx-console">
        <login-module code="org.jboss.security.auth.spi.UsersRolesLoginModule"
            <module-option name="usersProperties">
            <module-option name="rolesProperties">

This configuration uses a simple file based security policy. The configuration files are found in the conf/props directory of your server configuration. The usernames and passwords are stored in the conf/props/jmx-console-users.properties file and take the form "username=password". To assign a user to the JBossAdmin group add "username=JBossAdmin" to the jmx-console-roles.properties file (additional roles on that username can be added comma separated). The existing file creates an admin user with the password admin. For security, please either remove the user or change the password to a stronger one.

JBoss will re-deploy the JMX Console whenever you update its web.xml. You can check the server console to verify that JBoss has seen your changes. If you have configured everything correctly and re-deployed the application, the next time you try to access the JMX Console, it will ask you for a name and password. [3]

The JMX Console isn't the only web based management interface to JBoss. There is also the Web Console. Although it's a Java applet, the corresponding web application can be secured in the same way as the JMX Console. The Web Console is in the file deploy/management/console-mgr.sar/web-console.war.. The only difference is that the Web Console is provided as a simple WAR file instead of using the exploded directory structure that the JMX Console did. The only real difference between the two is that editing the files inside the WAR file is a bit more cumbersome.

[1] The Java Authentication and Authorization Service. JBoss uses JAAS to provide pluggable authentication modules. You can use the ones that are provided or write your own if you have more specific requirements.

[2] If you installed JBoss using the Graphical Installer and set the JMX Security up, then you will not have to uncomment the sections, because they are already uncommented. Additionally, the admin password will be set up to whatever you had specified.

[3] Since the username and password are session variables in the web browser you may need to shut down your browser and come back in to see the login dialog come back up.