Archive for December 10, 2021

Obtaining, checking and renewing Bearer Tokens for the Jamf Pro API

December 10, 2021 1 comment

I’ve recently begun looking into uses for the Jamf Pro API, the API which Jamf makes available for Jamf Pro in addition to the Classic API. The two APIs handle authentication differently and for folks coming over to using the Jamf Pro API from the Classic API, the extra steps involved may be a surprise.

For the Classic API, here’s what’s required for authentication:

  • One step process.
  • Only username and password needed to authenticate an API call.
  • Username and password can be in plaintext.
  • No tokens are used.

Example Classic API call process:

# Provide username and password as part of the API call:
/usr/bin/curl -su "username_here:password_here" -H "Accept: application/xml"

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For the Jamf Pro API, here’s what’s required for authentication:

  • Multi-step process involving multiple API calls.
  • Username and password only used to get authentication token, known as a Bearer Token. The Bearer Token is subsequently used for authentication.
  • Username and password must be base64-encoded.
  • Bearer Tokens are valid for 30 minutes maximum.
  • Introduces need to validate authentication Bearer Tokens before making an API call.

Example Jamf Pro API call process:

# Get username and password encoded in base64 format and stored as a variable in a script:
encodedCredentials=$(printf username_here:password_here | /usr/bin/iconv -t ISO-8859-1 | /usr/bin/base64 -i -)
# Use encoded username and password to request a token with an API call and store the output as a variable in a script:
authToken=$(/usr/bin/curl –silent –request POST –header "Authorization: Basic ${encodedCredentials}”)
# Read the output, extract the token information and store the token information as a variable in a script:
api_token=$(/usr/bin/plutil -extract token raw -o – – <<< “$authToken”)
# Verify that the token is valid and unexpired by making a separate API call, checking the HTTP status code and storing status code information as a variable in a script:
api_authentication_check=$(/usr/bin/curl –write-out %{http_code} –silent –output /dev/null –request GET –header "Authorization: Bearer ${api_token}")
#Assuming token is verified to be valid, use the token information to make an API call:
/usr/bin/curl –silent -H "Accept: application/xml" –header "Authorization: Bearer ${api_token}"

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Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 9.39.57 AM

The differences in authentication are significant enough that I decided to write functions for shell scripting to handle the following tasks for the Jamf Pro API:

  • Obtaining Bearer Token.
  • Verifying that current Bearer Token is valid and unexpired.
  • Renewing Bearer Tokens by using current Bearer Token to authenticate the issuing of a new Bearer Token. (This renewal process creates a new Bearer Token and invalidates the old Bearer Token.)
  • Invalidating current Bearer Token.

For more details, please see below the jump.

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