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Spacetime uses Private-Public Keypairs and JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) to authenticate with its services.

In order to authenticate, you’ll need to generate a Private-Public keypair and send a self-signed x509 certificate containing the public key to Aalyria. You will then be provided with a USER_ID and a KEY_ID that can be used, together with your Private-Public Keypair, with Spacetime SDK libraries or the nbictl command line utility.

Creating Private-Public Keypairs

Using nbictl

$ nbictl generate-keys --org ""
private key is stored under: ~/.config/nbictl/keys/922e75e63659b29b76631275.key
certificate is stored under: ~/.config/nbictl/keys/922e75e63659b29b76631275.crt

Using Openssl

# generate a private key of size 4096 and save it to priv_key.pem
openssl genrsa -out priv_key.pem 4096

# extract the public key and save it to an x509 certificate named
# pub_key.cer (with an expiration far into the future)
openssl req -new -x509 -key priv_key.pem -out pub_key.cer -days 36500

Production Keypairs

In production, you’ll want to create and store your keypair using a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to ensure that your private key cannot be exfiltrated. While the instructions for using TPM to create a use a keypair are platform-specific, you can use this document as a reference for how to manually create and sign the JWT tokens required to successfully authenticate with the NBI server.

Connect to Spacetime APIs

Using command line tool nbictl

Once you have created private key and have shared the certificate with Aalyria, you can configure nbictl with the set-config command:

$ nbictl set-config --url "nbi.$"
$ nbictl set-config --key_id "$KEY_ID"
$ nbictl set-config --user_id "$USER_ID"
$ nbictl set-config --priv_key "$PRIVATE_KEY_FILE_NAME"

Once nbictl is configured, you can verify access to the Spacetime APIs by creating a request as follows:

$ nbictl list --type "NETWORK_NODE"

If successful, you should see a list of network nodes. The results returned will of course depend on the state of the Spacetime instance. It is normal for the results to be empty if no network nodes have yet been created in the instance.

Programmatically with Java, Go or Python

Libraries and code samples are available for authenticating and interacting with Spacetime API in Java, Go and Python.

Creating the gRPC request manually with grpcurl

To interact manually with the Spacetime API it’s possible to use the grpcurl tool.

Example: list the methods available on the Spacetime NBI API.

grpcurl -H "Authorization: Bearer $SPACETIME_AUTH_JWT" \
        -H "Proxy-Authorization: Bearer $OIDC_TOKEN" \
        nbi.$ \
        list \

As described in the example above, to authenticate with Spacetime API it’s necessary to include two different headers:

  • Authorization: A self-signed JWT Token called SPACETIME_AUTH_JWT

  • Proxy-Authorization: A supplementary OIDC Token obtained after authenticating with Google Cloud using a self-signed JWT Token called PROXY_AUTH_JWT

Manually generate JWT Tokens

The requirements of each JWT are described in the table below.

Field Spacetime JWT Proxy JWT
algorithm (alg) RS256 RS256
issuer (iss) $USER_ID $USER_ID
subject (sub) $USER_ID $USER_ID
audience (aud) $DOMAIN
key ID (kid) $KEY_ID $KEY_ID
lifetime (exp) Long-lived Short-lived (now + 1h)
target_audience N/A

A tool to generate self-signed JWT tokens is included in the Spacetime API public repository (tools/generate_jwt) and can be used as follow:

# Customer-specific details:
DOMAIN="${DOMAIN:?should be provided by your Aalyria contact}"
USER_ID="${USER_ID:?should be provided by your Aalyria contact}"
KEY_ID="${KEY_ID:?should be provided by your Aalyria contact}"

# Spacetime-specific details:

SPACETIME_AUTH_JWT=$(bazel run //tools/generate_jwt \
  --issuer "$USER_ID" --subject "$USER_ID" \
  --key-id "$KEY_ID" --private-key "$PRIV_KEY_FILE" \
  --audience "$DOMAIN")

PROXY_AUTH_JWT=$(bazel run //tools/generate_jwt \
  --issuer "$USER_ID" --subject "$USER_ID" \
  --key-id "$KEY_ID" --private-key "$PRIV_KEY_FILE"
  --audience "$PROXY_AUDIENCE" --target-audience "$PROXY_TARGET_AUDIENCE")

Manually obtain the OIDC Token

To obtain the OIDC Token you need to authenticate with Google Cloud API using the JWT Token PROXY_AUTH_JWT generated in previous step.

This can be done manually by using curl and jq commands as described in the example below.

curl -s \
      --data-urlencode "grant_type=urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant-type:jwt-bearer" \
      --data-urlencode "assertion=${PROXY_AUTH_JWT}" \ | jq -r '.id_token'