Working around a lack of NTLM / ISA Proxy server support in Linux

Posted by mcasperson on Jul 7, 2010 10:49 AM EDT
Brighthub; By Matthew Casperson
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Microsofts ISA proxy server is popular in many corporations. Unfortunately support for NTLM authentication is spotty in Linux at best. This article will show you how to connect to the internet via an ISA proxy when NTLM is not supported.

NTLM (NT LAN Manager) is a Microsoft authentication protocol. It is used extensively in older versions of Windows, and Microsoft has embedded the NTLM authentication into several communication protocols, such as HTTP, POP3 and SMTP. One benefit of NTLM authentication is that Windows users can get transparent access through an ISA proxy server. While the proxy does require a username and password, IE will happily send the users current credentials without any additional prompt.

Linux users don't tend to be so lucky. Most web browsers will support NTLM authentication when using an ISA proxy, but there are some cases, like when using the proxy settings in OpenSuse 11.2, where the lack of support for NTLM can effectively prevent internet access.

Fortunately there is a fairly simple way around this limitation.

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