Updating the Windows ClearCase ALBD password

A utility to change user account passwords

In any IBM® Rational® ClearCase® environment that uses Microsoft Windows, ClearCase requires a Windows user account to start the ClearCase Atria Location Broker Daemon (ALBD) service. This article explains one way of changing the ALBD password, which you typically must do frequently for security.

Michael Nellis (mrnellis@us.ibm.com), Senior Software Engineer, IBM

Mike Nellis has been with Rational ClearCase for almost 17 years. He has worked for many years implementing ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest, DDTs and other tools at numerous companies, both large and small. Mike has also worked in the Rational ClearCase support organization, supporting UCM, clearmake, and CCRC, as well as all other areas of ClearCase. He is now on the ClearCase development team.



16 October 2012 (First published 18 January 2007)

One of the tasks of IBM® Rational® ClearCase® administrators when working in Microsoft Windows environments is managing the account required to start the Rational ClearCase Atria Location Broker Daemon (ALBD) service. Most companies' security policies require that all account passwords must change periodically, typically about every 90 days, and the ClearCase password is usually no exception, of course. Changing the password every 90 days is relatively easy, but the fact that this change must now be propagated to tens, hundreds, or even thousands of Windows clients can make it a difficult and time-consuming task. There are numerous ways to automate this task, though, and each has its own pros and cons. This article explains one method (see Resources for an article about alternatives).

The ClearCase context

Rational ClearCase has three services, or processes, that must run in the background on a Windows platform:

  • The lock manager (lockmgr)
  • The credentials manager (cccredmgr)
  • The ALBD service

The last one, the ALBD service, requires a Windows user account with ClearCase privileges to function properly. In the definition of this service, during ClearCase installation, the ClearCase administrator must specify the name of this privileged account, the password, the Windows domain, and the Windows group for this account. In some cases, only the password will ever change for this account. In other installations, there may be a requirement to change another or all of these values.

Note:
To change these values, you need administrator's rights on the Windows client machine.


A utility to automate password changes

To make changing multiple ClearCase passwords easier, you can use a utility (ccalbdpw.exe) that can reside on the client or on a network share. This utility reads a sitedefs.dat file on a network release area and simply updates the Windows registry information for the ALBD service. The utility must be run by using an account that has permission to change the registry values.

To use this utility, follow this three-step process:

  1. Change the Windows ALBD service account password.
  2. Update the ClearCase network release area in the sitedefs.dat file with the new password.
  3. Run the password update utility, ccalbdpw.exe, on each client.

The ccalbdpw.exe utility reads the new password value from the sitedefs.dat file and updates the Windows registry value. The new password value takes effect when you reboot the machine or when you stop and restart the ClearCase services.


Advantages of the using this utility

The advantages of this utility are that the password is secure and that the utility works with the existing ClearCase installation information on your workstation. If you prefer, you can modify the script for this utility to run on every reboot of a workstation and automatically pick up any changes.

To make maintenance tasks of the ALBD service account easier, this script also enables you to change this data in the Windows registry:

  • Password
  • ALBD service account name
  • ALBD group name

Contents of the updated file included with this article

This password change utility currently supports Rational ClearCase Versions 7 and 8, and it has been tested on Windows 7, Windows 2008, Windows XP and Windows 2003. The .zip file included as a download with this article contains these elements:

  • A Windows-executable file for the utility
  • A readme.txt file with a detailed instructions and a complete listing of all error codes

This new version, 5.0.0 has new features that different administrators have requested:

Removed the need to execute siteprep.exe to create the sitedefs.dat file
The new version has incorporated this functionality, so now ccalbdpw.exe -c can be used to create the sitedefs.dat file

Added the -f command line option
Compatible only with the creation of the sitedefs.dat file (-c option). This forces the creation of the sitedefs.dat file (or whatever name is specified) rather than prompting to overwrite.

Added a command line option to specify ALBD account
One request was to provide ALBD account information on the command line to allow for overwriting the ALBD account listed in the sitedefs.dat file.


Download

DescriptionNameSize
readme and executable fileccalbdpw_v404.zip57KB

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