Sam Stelfox

Thoughts from a software engineer, systems hacker and Linux gubernāre.


Qpid is an open source AMQP broker, providing transaction management, queuing, distribution, security, management, clustering, and federation.


Fedora provides a package for qpid called qpid-cpp-server which can be installed like so:

yum install qpid-cpp-server qpid-cpp-server-ssl qpid-cpp-server-store \
  qpid-cpp-server-ha -y

Additional packages that may be of use:


The following configuration file assumes the rest of the configuration on this page. You'll want to replace the existing configuration at /etc/qpidd.conf with the following:

##### General Configuration #####

# Directory to contain persistent data


##### Queue Configuration #####

# Set queue events async, used for services like replication

# How often to attempt purging expired messages from the queues

# Default storage limit of any given queue

# The ratio of any specified queue limit at which an event will be raised

# Percent of queues maximum capacity at which flow control is activated and
# deactivated.

# Group identifier to assign to messages delivered to a message group queue that
# do not contain an identifier.

# Add current time to each received message

##### Management Options #####

# Enable management, publishing data every 10 seconds, with QMF protocol 1 and
# 2

##### Networking Configuration #####



# Maximum time a connection can take to send the initial protocol negotiation
# (in milliseconds).

# Port to listen on for unencrypted connections

# Set TCP_NODELAY on TCP connections

##### Logging Options #####




##### Persistent Storage Options #####

# Number of pages in each journal (1 page is 64Kb)

# Default number of files for each journal instance (queue)


# Size of the pages in the write page cache in Kb, allowable values are powers
# of 2

##### Authentication & Authorization Configurations #####

# Enable authentication, and configured to use the QPID realm

# Get SASL configuration from standard redhat location

# The policy file to load from, loaded from the data dir

# Maximum combined number of connections allowed (0 is no limit)

##### SSL Settings #####


# File containing password to use for accessing the certificate database

# Where the cert database is stored, the data directory is as good as any

# Name of the cerificate to use (usually the hostname)

# Whether or not the server will accept unencrypted connections, there is of
# course overhead to encrypted connections and if the only services that will
# be talking to it will be the localhost then there is no need to require it...
# External connections should of course be encrypted wherever possible.

You'll want to enable and start the service once the configuration is complete.

systemctl enable qpidd.service
systemctl start qpidd.service

Enabling User/Pass Authentication

By default only ANONYMOUS authentication is enabled which isn't good for any production systems... Qpid uses SASL for user authentication and that is how we need to configure what system to make use of. Open up the file /etc/sasl2/qpidd.conf and replace it's contents with the following:

auxprop_plugin: sasldb
pwcheck_method: auxprop
sasldb_path: /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb
sql_select: dummy select

Creating Users

I've named the SASL authentication realm after the service that uses it, in this case Qpid (makes sense no?). You'll need to create at least one user to make use of authentication, I chose to make one user for administration tasks (admin), and one per server named after the server (in this case the server is named openstack after the service I mainly use Qpid for).

Create the user's as root:

saslpasswd2 -f /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb -u QPID admin
saslpasswd2 -f /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb -u QPID openstack

Set STRONG passwords for both as arbitrary instructions can be provided to various openstack services through this service.

The saslpasswd2 command will additionally create the password file, but with incorrect permissions. Set the ownership and strengthen the permissions like so:

chown qpidd:qpidd /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb
chmod 0640 /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb

If you have started Qpid with auth=yes configured before creating the account it will automatically create this file and add a user with the username and password 'guest'.

Listing Users

You can list all the configured realm / username combinations with the following command:

sasldblistusers2 -f /var/lib/qpidd/qpidd.sasldb

User ACLs

The ACL files are pretty straight-forward and plain text. The file lives at /var/lib/qpidd/qpid.acl which doesn't exist initially and will need to be created. This is a solid initial ACL allowing the admin and openstack access to any permissions they need while preventing anything else.

In the future I'll need to make this more fine-grained. This is more useful when using Kerberos as the back end which would have more users you wouldn't want to have access.

# Define the admins and let them do whatever they want
group admins [email protected]
acl allow admins all all

# Define the server accounts and set their permissions
group servers [email protected]
acl allow servers all all

# Default deny with logging on any other attempts
acl deny-log all all

Ensure the ownership and permissions on the file are appropriate:

chown qpidd:qpidd /var/lib/qpidd/qpid.acl
chmod 0640 /var/lib/qpidd/qpid.acl

ACL BML Syntax

ACLs are case-insensitve, all white space is essentially ignored except when delimiting between syntax types. Lines can be wrapped by ending the line with a backslash.

user = username[/domain[@realm]]
user-list = user1 user2 user3 ...
group-name-list = group1 group2 group3 ...

group <group-name> = [user-list] [group-name-list]

permission = [allow|allow-log|deny|deny-log]
action = [consume|publish|create|access|bind|unbind|delete|purge|update]
object = [virtualhost|queue|exchange|broker|link|route|method]
property = [name|durable|owner|routingkey|autodelete|exclusive|

acl permission {<group-name>|<user-name>|"all"} {action|"all"} [object|"all" 
            [property=<property-value> ...]]

Action Listing

Action Description
consume Applied when subscriptions are created
publish Applied on a per message basis on publish message transfers, this rule consumes the most resources
create Applied when an object is created, such as bindings, queues, exchanges, links
access Applied when an object is read or accessed
bind Applied when objects are bound together
unbind Applied when objects are unbound
delete Applied when objects are deleted
purge Similar to delete but the action is performed on more than one object
update Applied when an object is updated

Object Listing

Object Description
queue A queue
exchange An exchange
broker The broker
link A federation or inter-broker link
method Management or agent or broker method

Property Listing

Property Type Description Usage
name String Object name, such as a queue name or exchange name.
durable Boolean Indicates the object is durable CREATE QUEUE, CREATE EXCHANGE
routingkey String Specifies routing key BIND EXCHANGE, UNBIND EXCHANGE, ACCESS EXCHANGE
autodelete Boolean Indicates whether or not the object gets deleted when the connection is closed CREATE QUEUE
exclusive Boolean Indicates the presence of an exclusive flag CREATE QUEUE
type String Type of exchange, such as topic, fanout, or xml CREATE EXCHANGE
alternate String Name of the alternate exchange CREATE EXCHANGE, CREATE QUEUE
queuename String Name of the queue ACCESS EXCHANGE
schemapackage String QMF schema package name ACCESS METHOD
schemaclass String QMF schema class name ACCESS METHOD
queuemaxsizelowerlimit Integer Minimum value for queue.max_size CREATE QUEUE
queuemaxsizeupperlimit Integer Maximum value for queue.max_size CREATE QUEUE
queuemaxcountlowerlimit Integer Minimum value for queue.max_count CREATE QUEUE
queuemaxcountupperlimit Integer Maximum value for queue.max_count CREATE QUEUE


Unfortunately SSL for Qpid isn't as easy as generating PEM certificates and pointing the config at them. Qpid makes use of a Mozilla Network Security Services database. These databases can be created using certutil.

First we'll need to initialize the database:

certutil -N -d /var/lib/qpidd/

Provide a strong password to the database and put a copy in the file /var/lib/qpidd/ssl-db-pass on it's own with no newline.

I already have PKI in place and a trusted Certificate Authority, so I just have to import my trusted certificate authority chain. Generate a certificate for this server and import it's certificate and chain.

Import the CA cert:

certutil -A -n cert-authority -t "TC,," -i ca.crt -d /var/lib/qpidd

The server certificate is a bit trickier, before we can import an OpenSSL generated PEM format key set we'll need to convert it to a pkcs12 file, luckily OpenSSL plays well with others:

openssl pkcs12 -export -out qpid.pfx -inkey qpid.key -in qpid.crt -certfile ca.crt

Import the newly generate pkcs12 file, it will firstly ask for the password for the database, and then the password for the pkcs12 file:

pk12util -d /var/lib/qpidd/ -i qpid.pfx

And be sure to clean up after yourself:

rm qpid.pfx

Set the permissions on all of the files we just created:

chown qpidd:qpidd /var/lib/qpidd/{cert8.db,key3.db,ssl-db-pass}
chmod 0640 /var/lib/qpidd/{cert8.db,key3.db,ssl-db-pass}


# Encrypted Qpid connections (Unencrypted are 5672 but those shouldn't be
# accessed remotely)
-A SERVICE -m tcp -p tcp --dport 5671 -j ACCEPT