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Manual Chapter: Local User Account Management
Manual Chapter
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Local User Account Management

About local user accounts

Managing local user accounts refers to the tasks of creating, viewing, modifying, and deleting user accounts that reside on the BIG-IP® system.

The BIG-IP system stores local user accounts (including user names, passwords, and user roles) in a local user-account database. When a user logs into the BIG-IP system using one of these locally-stored accounts, the BIG-IP system checks the account to determine the user role assigned to that user account for each partition to which the user has access.

For example, suppose you grant local user jsmith access to partitions A and B, and in the process, assign her a role of Manager for partition A and a role of Operator for partition B. This means that user jsmith can create, modify, and delete several types of local traffic objects that reside in partition A, but in partition B, she is restricted to enabling and disabling nodes, pool members, virtual servers, and virtual addresses.

For user rjones, you can grant him access to the same partitions A and B, but assign him the roles of Certificate Manager and Guest, respectively. For user rjones, this means that with respect to partition A, he can fully manage digital certificates that reside in that partition, but he has no permission to manage other types of objects in the partition. For objects in partition B, he has read access only.

Displaying a list of local user accounts

Before performing this task, ensure that you have a role of Administrator or that you have a role of User Manager for the relevant partition.

Using the BIG-IP® Configuration utility, you can display a list of existing local user accounts. If the user role assigned to your account is Administrator, you can view any user account on the BIG-IP® system, in any partition. If the user role assigned to your account is User Manager, you can view any user account in any partition to which you have access on the BIG-IP system.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
  2. From the Partition list in the upper-left corner of the screen, set the current partition to the partition in which the relevant user accounts reside.
  3. View the list of user accounts.

Creating a local user account

To perform this task, you must have the Administrator or User Manager user role assigned to your user account. Note that if the user role assigned to your account is User Manager, you can only create a user account in the partitions to which you have access.

You perform this task to create a local user account for BIG-IP ®administrative users.

Note: User accounts on the BIG-IP® system are case-sensitive. Thus, the system treats user accounts such as JONES and Jones as two separate user accounts. Note, however, that certain user names, such as admin, are reserved, and are therefore exempt from case-sensitivity. For example, you cannot create a user account named Admin, aDmin, or ADMIN.
  1. Access the BIG-IP ® Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
    The BIG-IP system displays the list of user accounts that reside in the current partition and in partition Common. Note that all users except those with a user role of No Access have at least read access to partition Common.
  3. From the Partition list in the upper-left corner of the screen, set the current partition to the partition in which you want the user account to reside.
    Important: The partition you select in this step is not the partition to which you want the user account to have access.
  4. Click the Create button.
    If the Create button is unavailable, you do not have permission to create a local user account. You must have the Administrator or User Manager role assigned to your user account in order to create a local user account.
  5. For the Password setting:
    1. In the New field, type a password for the user account.
    2. In the Confirm field, type the password again.
      If the two passwords match, the BIG-IP system assigns the password to the user account. The user can log in to the system later and change this password.
  6. For the Partition Access setting:
    1. From the Role list to select a user role.
    2. From the Partition list, select a partition name.
    3. Click the Add button.
      A user role pertaining to a partition now appears in the box.
    4. Repeat these steps for each partition to which you want to assign a role for this user.
    Sample partition access configuration for a BIG-IP user

    Granting partition access to a BIG-IP user account

    After you configure this setting, one or more role-partition combinations are specified for assignment to this user account.
  7. If you want to allow user access to the command line interface, then from the Terminal Access list, select a level of access.
    Note: The advanced shell is only available for accounts with the Administrator or Resource Administrator user role.
  8. Click the Finished button.
After you perform this task, a user account exists on the BIG-IP system that assigns one or more roles, each corresponding to a partition on the system. The task also grants some level of terminal access, either tmsh or Bash shell access.

Viewing the properties of a local user account

Before performing this task, ensure that you have a user role of Administrator or that you have a role of User Manager for the relevant partition.

Using the BIG-IP® Configuration utility, you can view the properties of an individual account.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
  2. From the Partition list in the upper-left corner of the screen, set the current partition to the partition in which the relevant user accounts reside.
  3. In the user-account list, find the user account you want to view and click the account name. This displays the properties of that user account.

Modifying the properties of a local user account

Before performing this task, ensure that you have a user role of Administrator or that you have a role of User Manager for the relevant partition.

Using the BIG-IP® Configuration utility, you can modify the properties of an existing local user account, other than the root account.

Warning: If you change a role on a user account while the user is logged into the system through the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh), the BIG-IP system terminates the user's tmsh session when the user subsequently issues another tmsh command.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
  2. From the Partition list in the upper-left corner of the screen, set the current partition to the partition in which the relevant user accounts reside.
  3. In the user account list, find the user account you want to view and click the account name. This displays the properties of that user account.
  4. To change the user's password, locate the Password setting and replace the existing password in the New and Confirm fields with the new password.
  5. To modify a user's role and partition access, do any of the following:
    1. To add a role for a partition, from the Role list select a role, and from the Partition list, select a partition. Then click the Add button.
      The new role-partition entry appears in the Partitian Access box.
    2. To modify a role or partition, in the Partition Access box, select the role-partition entry you want to modify, and click the Edit button. Then from the Role or Partition list, select a new role or partition. Then click the Add button.
    3. To delete a role-partition entry, in the Partition Access box, select the role-partition entry you want to delete, and click the Delete button.
    You can add, modify, or delete only those role-partition entries that you are authorized to manage based on your own user role and partition access.
  6. If you want to change the user's access to the command line interface, then from the Terminal Access list, select a level of access.
    Note: The advanced shell is only available for accounts with the Administrator or Resource Administrator user role.
  7. Click the Update button.

Deleting a local user account

Before performing this task, ensure that you have a user role of Administrator or that you have a role of User Manager for the relevant partition.

When you delete a local user account, you remove it permanently from the local user-account database on the BIG-IP system. If the account you are using has the Administrator or User Manager user role, you can delete other local user accounts. A user with the Administrator role can delete any user account on the BIG-IP® system in any partition. A user with the User Manager role can delete user accounts on the BIG-IP system in only those partitions to which she has access.

Note: You cannot delete the admin user account, nor can you delete the user account with which you are logged in.
Warning: The Administrator user role provides access to the BIG-IP system prompt. If another user with the Administrator user role is currently logged in to the system and you delete the user account, the user can still run commands at the BIG-IP system command prompt until he or she logs off of the system.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
  2. In the user-account list, locate the name of the account you want to delete and select the check box to the left of the account name.
  3. Click the Delete button.
  4. Click Delete again.

Properties of a local BIG-IP system user account

This table lists and describes the properties that define a local BIG-IP user account.

Property Description Default Value
User Name Specifies the name of the user account. The BIG-IP system is case-sensitive, which means that names such as JONES and Jones are treated as separate user accounts. No default value
Partition When viewing the properties of an existing user account, displays the name of the partition in which the user account object resides. All partitionable BIG-IP system objects (including user account objects) have the Partition property. Note that you cannot edit the value of this setting. No default value
Password Specifies a password that the user will use to log in to the BIG-IP system. No default value
Partition Access Specifies a user role for each partition to which the user has access when logged on to the BIG-IP system. When you assign the user role of Administrator, Resource Administrator, or Auditor, the list of partitions to choose from becomes unavailable. (Accounts with these roles always have universal partition access, that is, access to all partitions.) All
Terminal Access Specifies the level of access to the BIG-IP system command line interface. Possible values are: Disabled and Advanced shell. Users with the Administrator or Resource Administrator role assigned to their accounts can have advanced shell access, that is, permission to use all BIG-IP system command line utilities, as well as any Linux commands. Disabled

About secure password policy configuration

The BIG-IP® system includes an optional administrative feature: a security policy for creating passwords for local BIG-IP system user accounts. A secure password policy ensures that BIG-IP system users who have local user accounts create and maintain passwords that are as secure as possible.

The secure password policy feature includes two distinct types of password restrictions:

Enforcement restrictions
These are, specifically, character restrictions that you can enable or disable. They consist of the minimum password length and the required character types (numeric, uppercase, lowercase, and other kinds of characters). When enabled, the BIG-IP system never enforces restrictions on user accounts that have the Administrator role assigned to them. Consequently, a user with Administrator permissions does not need to adhere to these restrictions when either changing his or her own password, or changing the passwords of other user accounts.
Policy restrictions
These restrictions represent the minimum and maximum lengths of time that passwords can be in effect. Also included in this type of policy restriction are the number of days prior to password expiration that users are warned, and the number of previous passwords that the BIG-IP system should store, to prevent users from re-using former passwords. These restrictions are always enabled, although using the default values provides a minimal amount of restriction.

Passwords for remotely-stored user accounts are not subject to this password policy, but might be subject to a separate password policy defined on the remote system.

Configuration settings for a secure password policy

This table lists and describes the settings for a password policy.

Setting Description Default value
Secure Password Enforcements Enables or disables character restrictions, that is, a policy for minimum password length and required characters. When you enable this setting, the BIG-IP Configuration utility displays the Minimum Length and Required Characters settings. Disabled
Minimum Length Specifies the minimum number of characters required for a password, and the allowed range of values is 6 to 255. This setting appears only when you enable the Secure Password Enforcement setting. 6
Required Characters Specifies the number of numeric, uppercase, lowercase, and other characters required for a password. The allowed range of values is 0 to 127. This setting appears only when you enable the Secure Password Enforcement setting. 0
Password Memory Specifies, for each user account, the number of former passwords that the BIG-IP system retains to prevent the user from re-using a recent password. The range of allowed values is 0 to 127. 0
Minimum Duration Specifies the minimum number of days before a user can change a password. The range of allowed values is 0 to 255. 0
Maximum Duration Specifies the maximum number of days that a user's password can be valid. The range of allowed values is 1 to 99999. This setting applies to all user accounts. 99999
Expiration Warning Specifies the number of days prior to password expiration that the system sends a warning message to a user. The range of allowed values is 1 to 255. This setting applies to all user accounts. 7
Maximum Login Failures Denies access to a user after the specified number of failed authentication attempts. The administrator can then reset the lock to re-enable access for the user. 0

Configuring a password policy for administrative users

Use this procedure to require BIG-IP® system users to create strong passwords and to specify the maximum number of BIG-IP login failures that the system allows before the user is denied access.

Important: You must have the user role of Administrator assigned to your account to configure this feature.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Users .
  2. On the menu bar, click Authentication.
  3. From the Secure Password Enforcement list, select Enabled.
    Additional settings appear on the screen.
  4. For the Minimum Length and Required Characters settings, configure the default values, according to your organization's internal security requirements.
  5. In the Password Memory field, type the number of passwords that the user cannot re-use. The valid range is from 0 to 127.
  6. In the Minimum Duration field, type the minimum number of days before which users cannot change their passwords. The valid range is from 0 to 255.
  7. In the Maximum Duration field, type the maximum number of days that a password is valid. Users must change their passwords before the maximum duration is reached.
    The value of this setting determines when users receive warning messages to change their passwords. If you change the value of this setting, any subsequent warning messages that users receive indicate the previous maximum duration value, rather than the new value. Once a user changes the password, however, subsequent reminder messages show the new value.
  8. In the Expiration Warning field, type the number of days before the password expires that the user receives a password expiration warning. The valid range is from 1 to 255.
  9. In the Maximum Login Failures field, specify a number.
    If the user fails to log in the specified number of times, the user is locked out of the system. Therefore, F5 Networks recommends that you specify a value that allows for a reasonable number of login failures before user lockout.
  10. Click Update.

User authentication lockout

When you configure the password policy restrictions for user accounts, you can configure the number of failed authentication attempts that a user can perform before the user is locked out of the system. If a user becomes locked out, you can remove the lock to re-enable access for the user.

Unlocking a user account

Before performing this task, you must have an Administrator user role or have a User Manager role with access to the partition containing the locked user account.

If a user exceeds the number of failed login attempts that the password policy allows, the BIG-IP® system locks the user account. You can perform this task to unlock the account.

  1. Access the BIG-IP ® Configuration utility.
  2. On the Main tab, click System > Users > User List .
    The BIG-IP system displays the list of user accounts that reside in the current partition and in partition Common. Note that all users except those with a user role of No Access have at least read access to partition Common.
  3. In the upper-left corner of the screen, from the Partition list, select the partition in which the user account that you want to unlock resides.
  4. In the user account list, locate the name of the account you want to unlock and select the check box to the left of the account name.
  5. Click the Unlockbutton.
After you perform this task, the user can attempt to log in to the BIG-IP system.
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