The kinit Command


kinit - obtain and cache Kerberos ticket-granting tickets


Initial ticket request:

kinit [-A] [-f] [-p] [-c cache_name] [-l lifetime] [-r renewable_time] [[-k [-t keytab_file_name]] [principal] [password]

Renew a ticket:

kinit -R [-c cache_name] [principal]


This tool is similar in functionality to the kinit tool that is commonly found in other Kerberos implementations, such as SEAM and MIT Reference implementations. The user must be registered as a principal with the Key Distribution Center (KDC) prior to running kinit.

By default, on Windows, a cache file named USER_HOME\krb5cc_USER_NAME is generated.

The identifier USER_HOME is obtained from the java.lang.System property user.home. USER_NAME is obtained from the java.lang.System property If USER_HOME is null, the cache file is stored in the current directory from which the program is running. USER_NAME is the operating system's login user name. This user name could be different than the user's principal name. For example, on Windows, the cache file could be C:\Windows\Users\duke\krb5cc_duke, in which duke is the USER_NAME and C:\Windows\Users\duke is the USER_HOME.

By default, the keytab name is retrieved from the Kerberos configuration file. If the keytab name isn't specified in the Kerberos configuration file, the kinit tool assumes that the name is USER_HOME\krb5.keytab

If you don't specify the password using the password option on the command line, the kinit tool prompts you for the password.


The password option is provided only for testing purposes. Don't specify your password in a script or provide your password on the command line. Doing so will compromise your password.


You can specify one of the following commands. After the command, specify the options for it.

Doesn't include addresses.
Issues a forwardable ticket.
Issues a proxiable ticket.
-c cache_name
The cache name (for example, FILE:D:\temp\mykrb5cc).
-l lifetime
Sets the lifetime of a ticket. The value can be one of "h:m[:s]", "NdNhNmNs", and "N". See the MIT krb5 Time Duration definition for more information.
-r renewable_time
Sets the total lifetime that a ticket can be renewed.
Renews a ticket.
Uses keytab
-t keytab_filename
The keytab name (for example, D:\winnt\profiles\duke\krb5.keytab).
The principal name (for example,
The principal's Kerberos password. Don't specify this on the command line or in a script.

Run kinit -help to display the instructions above.


Requests credentials valid for authentication from the current client host, for the default services, storing the credentials cache in the default location (C:\Windows\Users\duke\krb5cc_duke):


Requests proxiable credentials for a different principal and store these credentials in a specified file cache:

kinit -l 1h -r 10h

Requests a TGT for the specified principal that will expire in 1 hour but is renewable for up to 10 hours. Users must renew a ticket before it has expired. The renewed ticket can be renewed repeatedly within 10 hours from its initial request.

kinit -R

Renews an existing renewable TGT for the specified principal.

kinit -p -c FILE:C:\Windows\Users\duke\credentials\krb5cc_cafebeef

Requests proxiable and forwardable credentials for a different principal and stores these credentials in a specified file cache:

kinit -f -p -c FILE:C:\Windows\Users\duke\credentials\krb5cc_cafebeef

Displays the help menu for the kinit tool:

kinit -help