Use nzpassword!

How to authenticate securely on Netezza.

Netezza

Motivation

Automating authentication to a Netezza database from a shell session could expose your credentials. If you write your password in your command line, other users could see your history. If you write your password in a file, it can be seen as well. Even if you set your NZ_PASSWORD environment variable, it can be seen by other users that have rights on /proc. The right and also the most comfortable way to perform a Netezza authentication is using nzpassword.

Requirements

I assume you are on a Linux host, with Netezza tools like nzpassword and nzsql, in your path. I recommend that Netezza tools are installed by root in the usual path, that is /usr/local/nz. So, if you don’t have nzpassword in your path, just to your .bash_profile something like this

Set your environment

$ export NZ_HOST=netezza-twinfin-1.mycompany.com
$ export NZ_USER=pippo
$ export NZ_DATABASE=system

It is not specify to specify a database to use nzpassword, but, it is a good idea, so you can test it immediatly.

Set everything, except NZ_PASSWORD. You can check your environment like this

$ env | grep NZ
NZ_USER=pippo
NZ_HOST=netezza-twinfin-1.mycompany.com
NZ_DATABASE=system

How to use nzpassword

List cached passwords

$ env | grep NZ
NZ_USER=pippo
NZ_HOST=netezza-twinfin-1.mycompany.com
NZ_DATABASE=system

Add a cached password

$ nzpassword add

Add a cached password

If you add a cached password you will be prompted to add password once and in a secure way. Since the environment is setted properly, it will be as easy as do

$ nzpassword add
Password:

Now you can see the authentication you just cached.

$ nzpassword
Host                           User
------------------------------ -------
netezza-skimmer-1.mycompany.com admin
netezza-twinfin-1.mycompany.com pippo

Test your cached authentication

Since the environment is setted properly, it will be as easy as do

$ nzsql
Welcome to nzsql, the Netezza SQL interactive terminal.
Type:  \h for help with SQL commands
       \? for help on internal slash commands
       \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
       \q to quit
SYSTEM(PIPPO)=>

Remove a cached password

When you are done, just to

$ nzpassword delete

or even

$ nzpassword delete -all

You could also keep password cached and avoid writing Netezza users passwords in the config files of your scripts. That is the way nerds like it :)