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Using Passbolt pro virtual machine appliance

Passbolt Pro provides a virtual appliance in OVA format. Users can import this appliance on their private virtualization platform and start enjoying Passbolt Pro. The VM includes the following software:

  • Debian 9.6
  • Nginx
  • Php-fpm
  • Mariadb
  • Passbolt Pro preinstalled
  • certbot
  • haveged to fill the entropy pool faster
  • Scripts to easy managing SSL setup of the VM

1. Getting started with Passbolt Pro VM

1.1 Download

Download the ova and the SHA512SUM.txt:

Import the ova file using virtualbox, vmware (ESXi >= 6.0) or any other platform that supports import OVA files.

Once imported into users should be able to boot the VM and just point to the VM ip address with their web browser to initiate the passbolt install process.

1.2 Credentials

The appliance performs some actions on the first boot:

  • Creates ssh host keys
  • Enables ssh
  • Creates a set of random mariadb credentials for the mariadb server installed on the appliance
  • Creates an empty database where passbolt can be installed.

For the first login the appliance comes with the following ssh default credentials:

VM login credentials:
username: passbolt
password: admin

Mariadb credentials are stored on /root/.mysql_credentials the file should contain:

  • Random password for root user
  • Empty database name. It follows the pattern passbolt_random_id
  • Random user and password with permissions for the passbolt database

1.3. SSL setup process:

On the first login through SSH a script will automatically run to configure SSL that will ask you some questions. Keep in mind that unless you don’t complete all the steps the SSL script will prompt on every login.

Important note: It is recommended to run the SSL setup before running the installation wizard to avoid secrets to be transmitted unencrypted during the installation process.

If you just want to test the appliance or you don’t need SSL:

  • Provide a hostname for the script
  • Select (3) for ‘none’ on the second question to setup nginx without SSL
  • Later on make sure you set PASSBOLT_SECURITY_COOKIE_SECURE environment variable to false if you want to test MFA.

2. Configure passbolt

Before you can use the application, you need to configure it. Point your browser to the hostname / ip where passbolt can be reached. You will reach a getting started page.

passbolt welcome page before configuration fig. passbolt welcome page before configuration

Two options are available: Manual configuration and Wizard configuration. Choose Wizard configuration.

This tutorial will guide you through the different steps of the wizard. The manual configuration is not covered in this article.

2.1. Healthcheck

The first page of the wizard will tell you if your environment is ready for passbolt. Solve any issues and click on “Start configuration” when ready.

wizard - healthcheck fig. wizard - healthcheck

2.2. Subscription key

At this step, the wizard will ask you for your subscription key. You should have received it by email soon after your online purchase. Enter it in the box.

wizard - subscription key fig. wizard - subscription key

2.3. Database

This step is about telling passbolt which database to use. Enter the host name, port number, database name, username and password.

wizard - database fig. wizard - database

2.4. GPG key

In this section you can either generate or import a GPG key pair. This key pair will be used by passbolt API to authentify itself during the authentication handshake process.

Generate a key if you don’t have one.

wizard - generate a key pair fig. wizard - generate a key pair

Import a key if you already have one and you want your server to use it.

wizard - import a key pair fig. wizard - import a key pair

2.5. Mail server (SMTP)

At this stage, the wizard will ask you to enter the details of your SMTP server.

wizard - smtp mail server details fig. wizard - smtp mail server details

You can also test that your configuration is correct by using the test email feature at the right of your screen. Enter the email address at which you want the wizard to send you a test email and click on “Send test email”.

wizard - test smtp settings fig. wizard - test smtp settings

2.6. Preferences

The wizard will then ask you what preferences you prefer for your instance of passbolt. The recommended defaults are already pre-populated but you can also change them if you know what you are doing.

wizard - preferences fig. wizard - preferences

2.7. First user creation

You need to create the first admin user account. This first admin user is probably you, so enter your details and click on next.

wizard - first user fig. wizard - first user

2.8. Installation

That’s it. The wizard has now enough information to proceed with the configuration of passbolt. Sit back and relax for a few seconds while the configuration process is going on.

wizard - installation fig. wizard - installation

Your user account is now created. You will see a redirection page for a few second and then will be redirected to the user setup process so that you can configure your user account.

wizard - completion and redirection fig. wizard - completion and redirection

3. Configure your administrator account

3.1. Download the plugin

Before continuing passbolt will require you to download its plugin. If you already have it installed you can go to the next step.

3.2. Check the server identity

Passbolt will ask you to check the URL passbolt is associated with.

If you recognize the domain name, check the checkbox and then click “Next”. It is a formality here, but it is a security mesure that will help later your users to identify you passbolt instance.

Validation of the domain fig. Validation of the domain

3.3. Create a new key

Passbolt will ask you to create or import a key that will be later use to identify you and encrypt your passwords.

Generate a key fig. Generate a key

3.4. Choose a password

Your key needs to be protected by a password. Choose it wisely, it will be the gatekeeper to all your other passwords.

setting a passphrase fig. setting a passphrase

3.5. Backup your key

This step is essential. Your key is the only way to access your account and passwords. If you lose this key (by breaking or losing your computer and not having a backup for example), your encrypted data will be lost even if you remember your passphrase.

backup your key fig. backup your key

3.6. Define your security token

Choosing a color and a three character token is a secondary security mechanism that helps you to mitigate phishing attacks. Each time you are performing a sensitive operation on passbolt, you should see this token.

define your security token fig. define your security token

3.6. That’s it!

Your administrator account is configured. You will be redirected to the login page of passbolt. Enjoy!

Last updated

This article was last updated on August 7th, 2019.

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