Cloud security

Some Background

I keep a private development server (on DigitalOcean) running FreeBSD. None of the users have passwords, I only use certificate based authentication to get in.

Ever since I first heard of Duo ( I’ve wanted to integrate it into some of my projects. I figured hey, why not start with my dev server!

Getting Started

Honestly, Duo has done an amazing job at making the process extremely easy.

First, create your free account at

In the process, you will want to download their app to your phone (if you want to use push notifications, otherwise you can use SMS).

After you have followed the wizard, you are ready to integrate it into your system, your application, or whatever else you want.

Integrating Duo with FreeBSD

After signing into the Duo administrative dashboard, simply create a new Integration and choose UNIX Integration. Then, at the top of the page click the Duo Unix documentation and follow the guide. Consistent with everything Duo has done so far, it is both thorough and clear.

I chose only to integrate Duo with SSH, not with PAM. So for me I simply had to:

  1. Download duo_unix (
  2. Compile and install it
  3. Configure /etc/duo/login_duo.conf with the keys generated on your integration page
  4. Execute /usr/sbin/login_duo to test the configuration
  5. Add this to my sshd_config:
    ForceCommand /usr/sbin/login_duo

    That’s it! Now I login to my server with my SSH key, approve the login on my phone, and I’m good to go!

I’ve chosen to configure login_duo.conf to automatically choose push notifications (as opposed to SMS or phone call), and also configured it to only be enabled from the wheel group. For reference, here is my configuration:

; Duo integration key
ikey = ***
; Duo secret key
skey = ***
; Duo API host
host = ***
; Send command for Duo Push authentication
pushinfo = yes
group = wheel
autopush = yes
prompts = 1

What’s Next?

Next, I might choose to integrate Duo with PAM (documented in the same integration guide), add it to WordPress, add it to my own applications, who knows?! Either way, I’m certainly impressed with what Duo has come up with.

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Getting Spring and Hibernate to place nice with WebSphere via JPA is an adventure in trial and error. In this post, I will guide you through what you need to make it work!

Just want the code? Head over to my GitHub at

WebSphere 8.5 Users

Before we get started: WebSphere 8.5 supports JPA 2.0, not JPA 2.1. Be careful not to grab Hibernate JARs for JPA 2.1.

Obtaining Dependencies and Initial Setup

First thing’s first, I grabbed the following dependencies:

  • Hibernate 4.2.17.Final

    • lib/jpa/hibernate-entitymanager-4.2.17.Final.jar
    • lib/required/antlr-2.7.7.jar
    • lib/required/dom4j-1.6.1.jar
    • lib/required/hibernate-commons-annotations-4.0.2.Final.jar
    • lib/required/hibernate-core-4.2.17.Final.jar
    • lib/required/javassist-3.18.1-GA.jar
    • lib/required/jboss-logging-3.1.0.GA.jar
    • WARNING: Do not take the following JARs, they conflict with the APIs built in to WebSphere:

      *   lib/required/hibernate-jpa-2.0-api-1.0.1.Final.jar
      • lib/required/jboss-transaction-api_1.1_spec-1.0.1.Final.jar
  • Spring 4.1.6.RELEASE

    • aopalliance-1.0.jar
    • commons-codec-1.10.jar
    • spring-aop-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-beans-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-context-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-context-support-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-core-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-expression-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-instrument-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-jdbc-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-orm-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-tx-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-web-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
    • spring-webmvc-4.1.6.RELEASE.jar
  • slf4j (Logging)

    • slf4j-api-1.7.12.jar
    • slf4j-simple-1.7.12.jar (just for the example)
    • jcl-over-slf4j-1.7.12.jar
      Additionally, I setup my application to use PARENT_LAST classloading. This is just something I have gotten used to, so if you have difficulties getting your code to work and you are not in PARENT_LAST, give that a try.

Setting up web.xml

First, add the following for Spring:




Next, I have my datasource bound to jdbc/ExampleDb, and my Persistence Unit name will be Example Unit, so I added:



Don’t forget to bind your data source resource in ibm-web-bnd.xml:

<resource-ref name="jdbc/ExampleDb" binding-name="jdbc/ExampleDb" />

Spring Configuration

The servlet-context.xml has nothing special in it for this example, but the application-context.xml does. It points Spring to the WebSphere UOW Transaction Manager, and references the persistence unit to use:

    <bean id="entityManagerFactory" class="javax.persistence.Persistence" factory-method="createEntityManagerFactory">
        <constructor-arg type="java.lang.String" value="ExampleUnit" />

    <bean id="transactionManager"
        class="org.springframework.transaction.jta.WebSphereUowTransactionManager" />
    <tx:annotation-driven transaction-manager="transactionManager" proxy-target-class="true" />


And lastly, the persistence.xml:

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>
<persistence xmlns=”
<persistence-unit name=”ExampleUnit” transaction-type=”JTA”>
<property name=”hibernate.dialect” value=”org.hibernate.dialect.PostgreSQLDialect” />
<property name=”hibernate.transaction.factory_class” value=”org.hibernate.transaction.CMTTransactionFactory” />
<property name=”hibernate.transaction.jta.platform” value=”org.hibernate.service.jta.platform.internal.WebSphereExtendedJtaPlatform” />
<property name=”hibernate.transaction.flush_before_completion” value=”true” />
<property name=”hibernate.transaction.auto_close_session” value=”true” />
<property name=”hibernate.temp.use_jdbc_metadata_defaults” value=”false” />
<property name=”hibernate.show_sql” value=”false” />
<property name=”hibernate.query.substitutions” value=”true ‘Y’, false ‘N’” />
<property name=”hibernate.cache.use_second_level_cache” value=”true” />

Here we are doing the following:

  • Setting transaction-type to JTA (Java Transaction API)
  • Setting the JPA Provider to Hibernate
  • Setting the data source to our web component’s ExampleDb
  • Setting Hibernate to use the PostgreSQL dialect
  • Setting Hibernate to use the CMTTransactionFactory for container managed transactions
  • Setting Hibernate to use Webphere’s JTA Platform
  • And so on
    Note that I did have an issue with Hibernate on startup trying to determine type information, which is what hibernate.temp.use_jdbc_metadata_defaults resolved for me. I did not have to set this when using Oracle. This did not used to occur with older versions of Hibernate (e.g. 4.1.9.Final).


WebSphere is now running a Spring MVC web application, leveraging JPA 2.0 and Hibernate! For my full source, checkout GitHub at

WebSphere 7.0 Users

I have had success using Hibernate 4.1.9.Final using the same configuration, though I was using version 1.0 in my persistence.xml. Also, you must place the Hibernate JPA API 2.0 JAR that is included with Hibernate in the lib directory. If you migrate to WebSphere 8.5, you must remove that JAR.

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Craig St. Jean

Father, programmer, constant learner, @pluralsight author

Software Architect