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Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for Linux Logon and SSH Access


miniOrange Two Factor Authentication (2FA) SSH Module provides a secure way to login into the linux servers that enhance the security and makes the brute force attacks more difficult. Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on top of SSH Access, adds an extra layer of security to increase the identity assurance and reduce risk and exposure. miniOrange Two Factor Authentication (2FA) module can be installed on Linux operating systems to add Two-Factor authentication on the top of local and Remote login.

miniOrange supports following methods for Linux Two Factor Authentication (2FA):

  • miniOrange Push Notifications (miniOrange Authenticator App)
  • miniOrange Soft Token (miniOrange Authenticator App)
  • OTP Over SMS / Email
  • Google Authenticator
  • Hardware Token

The miniOrange Linux 2FA module has been well tested on the following Linux distributions.

(If you have other than the following mentioned distributions please Contact us)

  • Ubuntu
  • RHEL based systems
    e.g. Red Hat, CentOS

Connect with External Source of Users


miniOrange provides user authentication from various external sources, which can be Directories (like ADFS, Microsoft Active Directory, Azure AD, OpenLDAP, Google, AWS Cognito etc), Identity Providers (like Shibboleth, Ping, Okta, OneLogin, KeyCloak), Databases (like MySQL, Maria DB, PostgreSQL) and many more.



Video Setup Guide


Get Free Installation Help - Book a Slot


miniOrange offers free help through a consultation call with our System Engineers to Install or Setup Two-Factor Authentication for Linux solution in your environment with 30 days trial.

For this, you need to just send us an email at idpsupport@xecurify.com to book a slot and we'll help you setting it up in no time.



Step by step guide to enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) ​on SSH access (Linux)

1. Download 2FA for Linux SSH Module

  • Login into miniOrange Admin Console.
  • Go to Apps >> Manage Apps.
  • Linux 2FA/MFA manage apps

  • Click on Add Applicaton button.
  • Linux 2FA/MFA add app

  • In Choose Application Type click on Create App button in Desktop application type.
  • Linux 2FA/MFA add desktop app

  • Click on Linux/Unix.
  • Linux 2FA/MFA linux app

  • Click on download the 2FA Module link to download the module.
  • Linux 2FA/MFA download module

2. Install and Configure MO-SSH Module

  • Install the following extensions which are required to proceed for further configuration.
    curl, jq & python
  • Download the “mo-ssh” file.
  • Open your Linux terminal and make sure you are the root user.
  • Execute the following command to install “mo-ssh” module.
    # bash mo-ssh install < path >
    e.g. # bash mo-ssh install /usr/local/bin
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux ssh install

  • Enter the miniOrange account credentials.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux enter credentials

  • Proceed for the following steps once you have successfully logged in.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux customer verified

  • Execute the below command to enable the Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for the users.
    ‹path of mo-ssh file› enable ‹local_username› ‹miniOrange_email›
    e.g. # /usr/local/bin enable ec2-user ec2user@xecurify.com
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux enable 2fa

  • Two Factor Authentication (2fa) is now enabled for the user. You can now test your 2fa setup.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux 2fa enabled

  • In case you have set OTP over SMS 2FA method. Enter the otp that you will recieve on your phone number. Please enter the otp.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux otp verification

  • After entering the correct otp the test authentication will be successful.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for otp verification successful

  • In case you have set Google Authenticator 2FA method. You will need to enter the token number.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux google authenticator

  • Enter the token number from google authenticator app. The test authentication will be successful.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux google authentication success

  • Execute the below command to restart the sshd service.
    $ service sshd restart
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux service sshd restart

3. Configure Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

  • Login into your End-User Dashboard using Active Directory Credentials.
  • Select Configure 2FA from left panel.
  • 2FA two factor authentication for   End-User Dashboard

  • Browse through the Second factor options and choose an appropriate method to be used by the particular End-User during login.
  • In this guide, we have selected the method "OTP OVER SMS". You can explore the guide to setup other methods here.
  • 2FA two factor authentication for   Enduser 2fa configuration

  • Click on configure/reconfigure "OTP OVER SMS".
  • Enter you phone number along with the necessary country code and click on SAVE below. After the Phone details are saved successfully, click on the Save button on the top bar to set this as your 2FA method.
  • 2FA two factor authentication for   Enduser 2fa phone

  • To use a particular method of 2FA, we configure that method first and then select the method and click on SAVE.
  • Currently used method is denoted by green color.
  • 2FA two factor authentication for   Enduser 2fa phone active

  • Click Here to configure the 2FA method from miniOrange Admin dashboard.
  • Click here for step by step guide to configure 2FA methods for end-users.

4. Test your setup

  • Initiate SSH into your system and enter your username. It will prompt for the two factor authentication (2fa) verification.
  • If you have set OTP over SMS 2FA method. Enter the otp will recieve on your phone number.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux login verify the otp

  • After entering the correct otp the authentication will be successful.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux succesful otp verfication

  • If you have set Google Authenticator 2FA method. You will need to enter the token number.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux prompt for token

  • Enter the token number from google authenticator app. The authentication will be successful.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux google authentication successful

  • Execute the below command to uninstall the module.
    # < path > mo-ssh uninstall
    e.g. # /usr/local/bin/mo-ssh uninstall
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux uninstall the module

  • The module is uninstalled successfully.
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for linux module unistalled successfully

5. Configure Your User Directory


  • Log in to miniOrange Admin Console.
  • From the left side menu, click on User Stores >> Add User Store.
  •  2FA: Configure User Store

  • Select User Store type as AD/LDAP.
  •  2FA: Select AD/LDAP as user store

    1. STORE LDAP CONFIGURATION IN MINIORANGE: Choose this option if you want to keep your configuration in miniOrange. If active directory is behind a firewall, you will need to open the firewall to allow incoming requests to your AD.
    2. STORE LDAP CONFIGURATION ON PREMISE: Choose this option if you want to keep your configuration in your premise and only allow access to AD inside premises. You will have to download and install miniOrange gateway in your premise.
    3.  Two-Factor Authentication : Select ad/ldap user store type

  • Enter LDAP Display Name and LDAP Identifier name.
  • Select Directory Type as Active Directory.
  • Enter the LDAP Server URL or IP Address against LDAP Server URL field.
  • Click on Test Connection button to verify if you have made a successful connection with your LDAP server.
  •  MFA/2FA: Configure LDAP server URL Connection

  • In Active Directory, go to the properties of user containers/OU's and search for Distinguished Name attribute.
  •  MFA: Configure user bind account domain name

  • Enter the valid Bind account Password.
  • Click on Test Bind Account Credentials button to verify your LDAP Bind credentials for LDAP connection.
  •  MFA: Check bind account credentials

  • Search Base is the location in the directory where the search for a user begins. You will get this from the same place you got your Distinguished name.
  •  2FA : Configure user search base

  • Select a suitable Search filter from the drop down menu. To use custom Search Filter select "Custom Search Filter" option and customize it accordingly.
  •  MFA/2FA : Select user search filter

  • You can also configure following options while setting up AD. Enable Activate LDAP in order to authenticate users from AD/LDAP. Click on the Save button to add user store.
  •  MFA : Activate LDAP options

    Here's the list of the attributes and what it does when we enable it. You can enable/disable accordingly.

    Attribute Description
    Activate LDAP All user authentications will be done with LDAP credentials if you Activate it
    Sync users in miniOrange Users will be created in miniOrange after authentication with LDAP
    Backup Authentication If LDAP credentials fail then user will be authenticated through miniOrange
    Allow users to change password This allows your users to change their password. It updates the new credentials in your LDAP server
    Enable administrator login On enabling this, your miniOrange Administrator login authenticates using your LDAP server
    Show IdP to users If you enable this option, this IdP will be visible to users
    Send Configured Attributes If you enable this option, then only the attributes configured below will be sent in attributes at the time of login

  • Click on Save. After this, it will show you the list of User stores. Click on Test Configuration to check whether you have enter valid details. For that, it will ask for username and password.
  •  2FA: Test AD/Ldap connection

  • On Successful connection with LDAP Server, a success message is shown.
  • Click on Test Attribute Mapping.
  •  LDAP successful connection

  • Enter a valid Username. Then, click on Test. Mapped Attributes corresponding to the user are fetched.
  •  MFA: Fetch mapped attributes for user

  • After successful Attribute Mapping Configuration, go back to the ldap configuration and enable Activate LDAP in order to authenticate users from AD/LDAP.
  • Refer our guide to setup LDAPS on windows server.


  • Log in to miniOrange Admin Console.
  • Go to Userstore >> Add Userstore.
  •  MFA: Add User Store

  • Select Userstore type as miniOrange and click on Add miniOrange Identity Source.
  •  2FA: Add miniOrange as Idetity source

  • Once done with adding Identity Source, make it default by clicking on Select against the recently added miniOrange Identity Source.
     MFA: Make Identity Source as Default

  • There are 3 ways to add users in miniOrange:
  • 1. Create User in miniOrange

    • Click on Users >> Add User.
    •  VPN 2FA : Add user in miniOrange

    • Here, fill the user details without the password and then click on the Create User button.
    •  MFA: Add user details

    • After successful user creation a notification message "An end user is added successfully" will be displayed at the top of the dashboard.
    •  Two-Factor Authentication: Add user details

    • Click on On Boarding Status tab. Check the email, with the registered e-mail id and select action Send Activation Mail with Password Reset Link from Select Action dropdown list and then click on Apply button.
    •  2FA: Select email action

    • Now, Open your email id. Open the mail you get from miniOrange and then click on the link to set your account password.
    • On the next screen, enter the password and confirm password and then click on the Single Sign-On (SSO) reset password button.
    •  Multi-Factor Authentication: Reset user password
    • Now, you can log in into miniOrange account by entering your credentials.

    2. Bulk Upload Users in miniOrange via Uploading CSV File.

    • Navigate to Users >> User List. Click on Add User button.
    •  2FA: Add users via bulk upload

    • In Bulk User Registration Download sample csv format from our console and edit this csv file according to the instructions.
    •  Two-Factor authentication: Download sample csv file

    • To bulk upload users, choose the file make sure it is in comma separated .csv file format then click on Upload.
    •  2FA : Bulk upload user

    • After uploading the csv file successfully, you will see a success message with a link.
    • Click on that link you will see list of users to send activation mail. Select users to send activation mail and click on Send Activation Mail. An activation mail will be sent to the selected users.

    3. Self User Registration

    • miniOrange self user registration allows end users to register themselves using customized registration form. miniOrange admin users can customize the registration form by adding more custom fields according to their choice. Follow the miniOrange guide to customize user self registration page.

Further References

Our Other Identity & Access Management Products