Key Capabilities and Features of Banyan's Desktop App
- Supported Platforms
- Banyan Desktop App Capabilities
The Banyan Desktop Apps allow your end users to register their device with Banyan and access Banyan-secured Services.
Detailed installation instructions for your users to install the Banyan Desktop Apps can be found in the Support Portal.
Even though the Banyan Desktop Apps run in user-space, an end user must have administrative privileges on their device in order to install the apps. If your users do not have admin privileges, you can use a Device Manager to distribute the Banyan Apps.
The Banyan Desktop App can be installed on the following platforms:
|Platform||Operating System Versions|
|macOS||10.14 (Mojave) or later|
|Windows||Windows 10 or later|
|Linux||Ubuntu 18.04 or later, Fedora 28 or later (
Banyan Desktop App Capabilities
The Banyan Apps securely registers an end user’s device, allowing organizations to roll out a Zero Trust security model where corporate applications are only accessed by Registered Devices. By default, Banyan’s “Device Registration” flow is designed for that security model, and requires the end user to perform the following steps:
- Provide the Invite Code needed to register a device to an organization
- Authenticate with the organization’s Identity Provider
- Set device ownership type
- (Optional) Verify email address via an One Time Passcode (OTP) mechanism
Once the end user has completed these steps, a Trusted Device Certificate is issued for the device and placed in the device’s keychain or certificate manager. Read more in our article on Trusted Device Certificate management and expiration.
Browser-based Authentication Flow
The Banyan Desktop App listens on a local port at
localhost:8118 to facilitate user authentication via a browser-based standards-compliant OpenID Connect flow.
However, if the device has another application running on port 8118, the Desktop App will raise an error, displaying a message of the type:
In this scenario, the end user must stop the application that is using port 8118 before the Desktop App authentication flow can proceed.
Configuration and Log Files
The Desktop App automatically installs a
config.json file and logs files when an end user installs the Desktop App on their device. Occasionally, when troubleshooting issues with the Banyan Desktop App, we may ask you to send us the configuration file and log file from the app.
The Banyan Desktop App places these files in a specific directory depending on your Operating System.
In order for your end users to access Infrastructure services, they need to use the
banyanproxy component of the Desktop App. When you run the installer, the Banyan Desktop App places the
banyanproxy executable in a specific directory. Then, when the Desktop App is run, and the user clicks connect, it launches the
banyanproxy executable to set up the connection.
banyanproxy executable location depends on your Operating System:
|Operating System||Executable Location||Symbolic Link Location|
banyanproxy functions as a forward proxy to establish the secure connection, using the TrustCert, between the end user’s device and the TCP service, via the Banyan Netagent.
banyanproxy has the following capabilities, in order to support any type of TCP client and service.
||In this mode,
||Operates similar to SSH Mode, except that banyanproxy is listening for client network connection rather than stdin/stdout. Designed for TCP client/server communication.|
||In this mode,
Banyan Tunnel Service
In order for end users to connect to Service Tunnels, the Banyan app must install the
Tunnel Service which creates and maintains the Wireguard tunnel interface. This one time installation requires admin privileges and is triggered when the end user connects to their first Service Tunnel. The service runs on port
Currently, Linux users must install the wireguard-tools manually via https://www.wireguard.com/install/. We are looking to automate this via the Banyan App in an upcoming release.
Occasionally, when troubleshooting issues with the
Tunnel Service, log files may need to be obtained from the device.
Tunnel Service logs are located in the following locations depending on your Operating System:
|Operating System||Log Location|
When the end user logs in via the Desktop App, a cryptographic key-pair is generated and two short-lived certificates are obtained for use in authenticating the user and device. The X.509 format TrustCert is used for Mutually-authenticated TLS. The SSH format SSHCert is used for SSH certificate authentication.
In addition to short-lived certificates, Banyan requires a valid device certificate in order to access protected services. Upon registering a device, Banyan issues a trusted device certificate to the device and places it in the device’s keychain or certificate manager.
|Cert Nickname||Format||Subject CN / KeyID||Cert Filename||Private Key Filename|
Both the short-lived X.509 certificate
login-cert.pem and the short-lived SSH certificate
login-key.pem-cert.pub use the same private key
The Banyan Desktop App places the certs and key files in a specific directory depending on your Operating System. Because these certificates are short-lived, they can be stored safely in the file system (instead of your device certificate manager).
|Operating System||Short-lived Certificate Location|
You can use standard
ssh-keygen commands to examine the short-lived certificates.
$> openssl x509 -in login-cert.pem -noout -text Certificate: Data: Version: 3 (0x2) Serial Number: 17:dd:b3:7c:3a:aa:71:42:90:1d:a7:ab:43:db:2d:df:69:fc:52:3d Signature Algorithm: sha512WithRSAEncryption Issuer: O = novpntest, OU = Certificate Authority, CN = testorg Banyan Private Root CA Validity Not Before: Jul 2 04:57:00 2020 GMT Not After : Jul 3 03:57:00 2020 GMT Subject: OU = "Banyan Client firstname.lastname@example.org", CN = Banyan Client email@example.com Subject Public Key Info: Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption RSA Public-Key: (2048 bit) Modulus: 00:c7:10:a7:8d:9f:18:06:f3:4e:1f:4b:20:f6:27: ...
$> ssh-keygen -L -f login-key.pem-cert.pub login-key.pem-cert.pub: Type: firstname.lastname@example.org user certificate Public key: RSA-CERT SHA256:yv/nypkONDQF+rS8pJd5pJvItB7Y7wol1KjJfIxhMdE Signing CA: RSA SHA256:LGvtbCthk48jqxuggCJKAw6stao7VDIvd2OuRipczcs Key ID: "email@example.com ABCD8BL00KH" Serial: 0 Valid: from 2020-07-01T22:02:21 to 2020-07-02T21:02:21 Principals: ANY new-role Critical Options: (none) Extensions: permit-X11-forwarding permit-agent-forwarding permit-port-forwarding permit-pty permit-user-rc
One-click SSH Access
You can define a service of type SSH for your end users. Now, when your end user clicks Connect in the Desktop App to connect to the SSH service, the Desktop App will automatically update the device’s SSH Config file with the
banyanproxy settings needed.
The Desktop App uses an SSH config location depending on the Operating System of the device:
|Operating System||SSH Config Location|
When an end user connects to a SSH service, the app places Banyan’s SSH configurations in a file called
banyan.config in the SSH config location. The app also add the SSH
Include command to the
.config file to incorporate Banyan’s SSH configurations.
Prior to Desktop App 1.10, the app would write to the device’s SSH config file directly. In Desktop App 1.10 and later, the app places Banyan’s SSH configurations in a file called
If the SSH Config directory or file doesn’t exist, the Desktop App will automatically create it. However, if the SSH Config file or directory is not writable, End users will see an error message when they try to connect to an SSH service.
One-click Kubernetes Access
You can define a service of type Kubernetes for your end users. Now, when your end user clicks Connect in the Desktop App to connect to the Kubernetes API service, the Desktop App will automatically create the Kube Config file with the
banyanproxy and token settings needed.
The Desktop App uses a Kubernetes config location depending on the Operating System of the device:
|Operating System||Kube Config Location|
When an end user connects to a Kubernetes service, the app creates a kube config file
banyan in the Kube Config location. To make the Banyan Kubernetes Service the default method to access their cluster, your end users can set the
KUBECONFIG env variable and the use the
config use-context commands as detailed in the kubectl docs.
This feature uses the
proxy-url capability available in
kubectl v1.19+. If your end users are using an older version of
kubectl they will need to add
https_proxy env var in front of their
Last modified: Oct 14, 2021