GNU Shishi


This page contains information about Shishi, a free implementation of the Kerberos 5 network security system.

If you do not know what Kerberos 5 is, I suggest to read the Kerberos V5 standard. Also see the page with related research papers that may be of interest.

The goals of this project are:

Shishi is licensed under the GPLv3, and the Shishi manual is licensed under the GFDL.

Table of Contents

Documentation and Status

Refer to the Shishi Manual web page for links to the manual in all formats; however, quick links to the most popular formats:

Shishi has received some real-world testing and should be considered stable, although it is still a fairly young implementation. Basic support for acquiring and managing tickets are working, as well as serving requests in a Key Distribution Center daemon. DES, 3DES and AES cipher suites are supported. A PAM module for host security is included, as well as a Shishi port of a rsh/rlogin client.

A telnet client and server with Kerberos authentication is supported via GNU InetUtils. A SSH client and server with Kerberos authentication is supported via GSS and GSS-LSH. A IMAP server with Kerberos authentication (GSSAPI SASL mechanism) is supported via GNU MailUtils. A IMAP command line client with Kerberos authentication (GSSAPI SASL mechanism) is supported via GNU SASL, which also provide authentication (including Kerberos 5 via GSSAPI) via the SASL API for any application.

Shishi is developed for the GNU/Linux system, but runs on over 20 platforms including most major Unix platforms and Windows, and many kind of devices including iPAQ handhelds and S/390 mainframes.

Shishi requires GNU Libtasn1, which is included in the package, so you do not need to install it separately.

Shishi can optionally use GnuTLS (for OpenPGP and X.509 authentication), GNU Libidn (recommended for non-ASCII support), and GNU libgcrypt.


Note that new releases are only mentioned here if they introduce a major feature or is significant in some other way. Read the info-gnu mailing list if you seek more frequent announcements.


A mailing list where Shishi users may help each other exists, and you can reach it by sending e-mail to Archives of the mailing list discussions, and an interface to manage subscriptions, is available through the World Wide Web at

If you are interested in paid support of Shishi, or sponsor the development, please contact me. If you provide paid services for Shishi, and would like to be mentioned here, also contact me.

The following organizations provide paid support for Shishi:


The stable releases are distributed from

The latest release is signed with OpenPGP key with fingerprint F8C4 D73C F638 C53C 06BE. Earlier releases were signed with an OpenPGP key with fingerprint B565716F or OpenPGP key with fingerprint 5A33 0664 A769 5426 5E8C.


There is a Savannah Shishi project page. You can check out the sources by using git as follows:

$ git clone

The online git interface is available.

See the file README-alpha on how to bootstrap and build the package from version controlled sources.

We publish cyclomatic code complexity charts, self-test code coverage charts, and Clang code analysis


Since Shishi is a library, there isn't much in the way of graphical user interfaces to show. However, the GNOME 2 port of Ticket Applet support Shishi, so we can at least show how it looks.


There is a snapshot release of Ticket Applet available from*.tar.gz.