Preparing for your Deployment

Software Installation Method

We provide docker images for the server components. They can be found at:

You can fetch these by running the commands:

docker pull kanidm/server:latest
docker pull kanidm/radius:latest
docker pull kanidm/tools:latest

NOTE Our preferred deployment method is in containers, and this documentation assumes you're running in docker. Kanidm will alternately run as a daemon/service, and server builds are available for multiple platforms if you prefer this option. You may need to adjust the example commands throughout this document to suit your desired server type if you choose not to use containers.

Development Version

If you are interested in running the latest code from development, you can do this by changing the docker tag to kanidm/server:devel instead. Many people run the development version, and it is extremely reliable, but occasional rough patches may occur. If you report issues, we will make every effort to help resolve them.

System Requirements


Kanidm relies on modern CPU optimisations for many operations. As a result your cpu must be either:

  • x86_64 supporting x86_64_v2 operations.
  • aarch64 supporting neon_v8 operations.

Older or unsupported CPUs may raise a SIGILL (Illegal Instruction) on hardware that is not supported by the project.

Kani Alert Tip
You can check your cpu flags on Linux with the command `lscpu`


Kanidm extensively uses memory caching, trading memory consumption to improve parallel throughput. You should expect to see 64KB of ram per entry in your database, depending on cache tuning and settings.


You should expect to use up to 8KB of disk per entry you plan to store. At an estimate 10,000 entry databases will consume 40MB, 100,000 entry will consume 400MB.

For best performance, you should use non-volatile memory express (NVME), or other Flash storage media.


You'll need a volume where you can place configuration, certificates, and the database:

docker volume create kanidmd

You should have a chain.pem and key.pem in your kanidmd volume. The reason for requiring Transport Layer Security (TLS, which replaces the deprecated Secure Sockets Layer, SSL) is explained in why tls. In summary, TLS is our root of trust between the server and clients, and a critical element of ensuring a secure system.

The key.pem should be a single PEM private key, with no encryption. The file content should be similar to:


The chain.pem is a series of PEM formatted certificates. The leaf certificate, or the certificate that matches the private key should be the first certificate in the file. This should be followed by the series of intermediates, and the final certificate should be the CA root. For example:

<leaf certificate>
<intermediate certificate>
[ more intermediates if needed ]
<ca/croot certificate>

HINT If you are using Let's Encrypt the provided files "fullchain.pem" and "privkey.pem" are already correctly formatted as required for Kanidm.

You can validate that the leaf certificate matches the key with the command:

openssl ec -in key.pem -pubout | openssl sha1
openssl x509 -in chain.pem -noout -pubkey | openssl sha1

# openssl rsa -noout -modulus -in key.pem | openssl sha1
# openssl x509 -noout -modulus -in chain.pem | openssl sha1

If your chain.pem contains the CA certificate, you can validate this file with the command:

openssl verify -CAfile chain.pem chain.pem

If your chain.pem does not contain the CA certificate (Let's Encrypt chains do not contain the CA for example) then you can validate with this command.

openssl verify -untrusted fullchain.pem fullchain.pem

NOTE Here "-untrusted" flag means a list of further certificates in the chain to build up to the root is provided, but that the system CA root should be consulted. Verification is NOT bypassed or allowed to be invalid.

If these verifications pass you can now use these certificates with Kanidm. To put the certificates in place you can use a shell container that mounts the volume such as:

docker run --rm -i -t -v kanidmd:/data -v /my/host/path/work:/work opensuse/leap:latest \
    /bin/sh -c "cp /work/* /data/"

OR for a shell into the volume:

docker run --rm -i -t -v kanidmd:/data opensuse/leap:latest /bin/sh