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Teleport

Machine ID Troubleshooting Guide

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A bot failed to renew a certificate due to a "generation mismatch"

Symptoms

The bot will log an error like this:

ERROR: renewable cert generation mismatch: stored=3, presented=2

Subsequent connection attempts by the bot may see errors like the following:

ERROR: failed direct dial to auth server: auth API: access denied [00]
"\tauth API: access denied [00], failed dial to auth server through reverse tunnel: Get \"https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name\": Get \"https://example.com:3025/webapi/find\": x509: cannot validate certificate for example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs"
"\tGet \"https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name\": Get \"https://example.com:3025/webapi/find\": x509: cannot validate certificate for example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs"

In particular, note the message auth API: access denied.

The Teleport Auth Service will also provide some additional context:

[AUTH]      WARN lock targeting User:"bot-example" is in force: The bot user "bot-example" has been locked due to a certificate generation mismatch, possibly indicating a stolen certificate. auth/apiserver.go:224

Explanation

Machine ID (with token-based joining) uses a certificate generation counter to detect potentially stolen renewable certificates. Each time a bot fetches a new renewable certificate, the Auth Service increments the counter, stores it on the backend, and embeds a copy of the counter in the certificate.

If the counter embedded in your bot certificate doesn't match the counter stored in Teleport's Auth Server, the renewal will fail and the bot user will be automatically locked.

Renewable certificates are exclusively stored in the bot's internal data directory, by default /var/lib/teleport/bot. It's possible to trigger this by accident if multiple bots are started using the same internal data directory, or if this internal data is otherwise being shared between multiple bot instances.

Additionally, if a bot fails to save its freshly renewed certificates (for example, due to a filesystem error) and crashes, it will attempt a renewal with old certificates and trigger a lock.

Resolution

Before unlocking the bot, try to determine if either of the two scenarios described above apply. If the certificates were stolen, there may be underlying security concerns that need to be addressed.

Otherwise, first ensure only one bot instance is using the internal data directory. Multiple bots can be run on a single system, but separate data directories must be configured for each.

Additionally, ensure the internal data is not being shared with or copied to any other nodes, for example via a shared NFS volume. If you'd like to share certificates between nodes, only copy or share content from destination directories (usually /opt/machine-id) rather than the internal data directory (by default, /var/lib/teleport/bot).

Once you have addressed the underlying cause, follow these steps to reset a locked bot:

  1. Remove the lock on the bot's user
  2. Reset the bot's generation counter by deleting and re-creating the bot

To remove the lock, first find and remove the lock targeting the bot user:

tctl get locks

kind: lock

metadata:

id: 1658359514703080513

name: 5cee949f-5203-4f3b-9805-dac35d798a16

spec:

message: The bot user "bot-example" has been locked due to a certificate generation

mismatch, possibly indicating a stolen certificate.

target:

user: bot-example

version: v2

tctl rm lock/5cee949f-5203-4f3b-9805-dac35d798a16

Next, reset the generation counter by deleting and recreating the bot:

tctl bots rm example

tctl bots add example --roles=foo,bar

Finally, reconfigure the bot with the new token and restart it. It will detect the new token and automatically reset its internal data directory.

tbot shows a "bad certificate error" at startup

Symptoms

Restarting a tbot process outputs a log like the following:

INFO [TBOT]      Successfully loaded bot identity, valid: after=2022-07-21T21:49:26Z, before=2022-07-21T22:50:26Z, duration=1h1m0s | kind=tls, renewable=true, disallow-reissue=false, roles=[bot-test], principals=[-teleport-internal-join], generation=2 tbot/tbot.go:281
ERRO [TBOT]      Identity has expired. The renewal is likely to fail. (expires: 2022-07-21T22:50:26Z, current time: 2022-07-25T20:18:33Z) tbot/tbot.go:415
WARN [TBOT]      Note: onboarding config ignored as identity was loaded from persistent storage tbot/tbot.go:288
ERRO [TBOT]      Failed to resolve tunnel address Get "https://auth.example.com:3025/webapi/find": x509: cannot validate certificate for auth.example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs reversetunnel/transport.go:90
ERRO [TBOT]      Failed to resolve tunnel address Get "https://auth.example.com:3025/webapi/find": x509: cannot validate certificate for auth.example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs reversetunnel/transport.go:90
ERROR: failed direct dial to auth server: Get "https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name": remote error: tls: bad certificate
"\tGet \"https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name\": remote error: tls: bad certificate, failed dial to auth server through reverse tunnel: Get \"https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name\": Get \"https://auth.example.com:3025/webapi/find\": x509: cannot validate certificate for auth.example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs"
"\tGet \"https://teleport.cluster.local/v2/configuration/name\": Get \"https://auth.example.com:3025/webapi/find\": x509: cannot validate certificate for auth.example.com because it doesn't contain any IP SANs"

In particular, note the log line: "Identity has expired. The renewal is likely to fail."

Explanation

Token-joined bots are unable to reauthenticate to the Teleport Auth Service once their certificates have expired. Tokens in token-based joining (as opposed to AWS IAM joining) can only be used once, so when the bot's internal certificates expire, it will not be able to connect.

When a bot's identity expires, certain parameters associated with the bot on the Auth Service must be reset and a new joining token must be issued. The simplest way to accomplish this is by removing and recreating the bot, which purges all server-side data and issues a new joining token.

Resolution

Remove and recreate the bot, replacing the name and role list as desired:

sudo tctl bots rm example
sudo tctl bots add example --roles=access

Copy the resulting join token into the existing bot config—either the --token CLI flag or the onboarding.token parameter in tbot.yaml—and restart the bot. It will detect the new token and rejoin the cluster as normal.

SSH connections fail with ssh: handshake failed: ssh: unable to authenticate

Symptoms

When attempting to connect to a node via SSH, connections fail with an error like the following:

ssh -F /opt/machine-id/ssh_config [email protected]

ERROR: ssh: handshake failed: ssh: unable to authenticate, attempted methods [none publickey], no supported methods remain

ERROR: unable to execute tsh

executing `tsh proxy`

exit status 1

kex_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host

Connection closed by UNKNOWN port 65535

In particular, note the ssh: unable to authenticate message.

Explanation

This can occur when attempting to log into the node as a user not listed as a principal on the SSH certificate.

You can verify this by viewing the tbot logs and looking for the log message when impersonated certificates for the matching destination were renewed.

In the following example, the only principal listed for the identity in /opt/machine-id is alice (via the access role):

INFO [TBOT]      Successfully renewed impersonated certificates for directory /opt/machine-id, valid: after=2022-07-21T21:49:26Z, before=2022-07-21T22:50:26Z, duration=1h1m0s | kind=tls, renewable=false, disallow-reissue=true, roles=[access], principals=[alice -teleport-internal-join], generation=0 tbot/renew.go:630

However, the SSH command attempted to log in as bob.

Resolution

Ensure the bot identity is allowed to log in as the requested user by taking any of the following actions:

  1. Changing the SSH command to log in as an allowed user
  2. Modifying the access role to allow the alice principal
  3. Adding a role granting login via the bob principal

Note that if roles are added or modified, the certificates will need to be renewed for the changes to take effect. The bot will renew certificates on its own after the renewal interval (by default, 20 minutes), but you can trigger a renewal immediately by either restarting the tbot process or sending it a reload signal:

# If using systemd, you can restart the process:

systemctl restart machine-id

# Alternatively, you can send `tbot` a reload signal directly:

pkill -sigusr1 tbot

Database requests fail with database "example" not found, but the database exists

Symptoms

When requesting Database Access certificates, the certificate request fails with an error like the following:

ERROR: Failed to generate impersonated certs for directory /opt/machine-id: database "example" not found
database "example" not found

However, the database exists and can be seen by regular users via tsh:

tsh db ls

Name Description Allowed Users Labels Connect

---------- ----------- ------------- ------- -------

example [alice] env=dev

Explanation

Unlike regular Teleport users, Machine ID bot users are granted only minimal Teleport RBAC permissions and are not allowed to view or list databases by default unless granted permission via one or more roles.

Resolution

Per the Machine ID Database Access Guide, ensure at least one role providing database permissions has been granted to the destination listed in the error.

For example, note the rules section in the following example role:

kind: role
version: v5
metadata:
  name: machine-id-db
spec:
  allow:
    db_labels:
      '*': '*'
    db_names: [example]
    db_users: [alice]
    rules:
      - resources: [db_server, db]
        verbs: [read, list]

Ensure the bot has a role that grants it at least these RBAC rules. If desired you can examine bot roles with tctl to ensure the necessary rules have been granted:

tctl get role/machine-id-db

If the role is missing database permissions, it can be modified:

# save the role to a local file

tctl get role/machine-id-db > db-role.yaml

# edit the role as necessary

nano db-role.yaml

# replace the existing role with the modified copy

tctl create -f db-role.yaml

By default, destinations (like /opt/machine-id) are granted all roles provided to the bot via tctl bots add --roles=..., but it's possible to grant only a subset of these roles using the roles: ... parameter in tbot.yaml.

If permissions are unexpectedly missing, ensure tbot.yaml requests your database role, either by relying on default behavior or adding the role to the roles: ... list.

Once fixed, restart or reload the tbot clients for the updated role to take effect.

If the bot was not granted the role initially, the simplest solution is to delete and recreate the bot, being sure to include the role in the --roles=... flag:

tctl bots rm example
tctl bots add example --roles=foo,bar,machine-id-db