As described in the official LoRa Basics™ Station documentation - Credentials, a Basics™ Station client needs some credentials to establish a secure connection to LNS/CUPS compatible endpoints.
Supported authentication modes
The following table describes the supported authentication modes with the LoRaWan Network Server provided in Azure IoT Edge LoRaWAN Starter Kit
|Server Authentication only
|Mutual (server + client) authentication
Importing certificate for server authentication in LoRaWan Network Server module
LoRaWan Network Server IoT Edge module allows to import a certificate in 'pkcs12' format (.pfx) to be used for server authentication for both LNS and CUPS endpoints.
Two environment variables need to be set in the deployment manifest for making this happen:
- LNS_SERVER_PFX_PATH: It's the absolute path to the .pfx certificate in the IoT Edge module filesystem (i.e.:
- LNS_SERVER_PFX_PASSWORD (optional): needs to be set if the .pfx was exported with password
Instructions on how to modify deployment manifest can be found in documentation (Learn how to deploy modules and establish routes in IoT Edge)
Assuming the .pfx file is located in a folder on the host OS at
/mnt/lora/certs, you will need to 'bind' this path to one in the IoT Edge module itself. In order to do so:
Log into your Azure Portal
Identify the IoT Edge Device in IoT Hub
Set the 'LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule' HostConfiguration to include a binding for the folder under "Container Create Options"
"Binds": [ "/mnt/lora/certs/:/var/lorastarterkit/certs/" ]
Additional information on this process can be found in the documentation - Use IoT Edge device local storage from a module.
Importing 'tc.trust/cups.trust' in bundled 'LoRaBasicsStationModule'
If you are making use of the bundled 'LoRaBasicsStationModule', it's possible to import a tc.trust/cups.trust certificate in the module itself.
The default path where the trust file(s) will be searched is
/var/lorastarterkit/certs/. As described in the previous section, it is possible to bind a folder on the host OS to the one mentioned above.
The default path of the tc.trust file can be overridden by using the 'TC_TRUST_PATH' environment variable (i.e.: setting it to
/var/otherfolder/my.ca will make the module copy the my.ca file to a tc.trust in the LoRa Basics™ Station working directory).
Same can be done for a cups.trust file by overriding the 'CUPS_TRUST_PATH' environment variable
The LoRaWan Network Server implementation provided by this starter kit is allowing client authentication from a Basics Station client.
Changing 'Client Certificate Mode' in 'LoRaWan Network Server module' and trusting certificate chain
By default, the 'LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule' is not accepting/requiring any client certificate for its exposed endpoints.
It is possible to modify the behavior of the module to actually either allow or require a client certificate for accessing to its endpoints.
For example, to always require a client certificate for reaching LNS/CUPS endpoints, you should set the 'CLIENT_CERTIFICATE_MODE' environment variable in 'LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule' to a value of '2' or 'RequireCertificate'.
Supported values for 'CLIENT_CERTIFICATE_MODE' environment variables are:
NoCertificate: client certificate is not required and will not be requested from clients
AllowCertificate: client certificate will be requested; however, authentication will not fail if a certificate is not provided by the client
RequireCertificate: client certificate will be requested, and the client must provide a valid certificate for authentication to succeed
When a client certificate is used, two verifications are done on the 'LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule' side:
- The certificate chain is validated.
This implies that
LoRaWanNetworkSrvModulewill need to trust the root/intermediate certificates that generated the client one.
If your certificate was not signed by a well-known CA, you will need to import one (or more)
.crtPEM-encoded files for trusting the chain. The instructions for mounting volumes can be found in previous paragraphs.
The client certificate will be searched by default at
You can override this path to pass multiple files by specifying a
;separated list of paths in the
Exempli gratia, if you need to trust one root certificate located at module path
/var/lorastarterkit/certs/root.crtplus one intermediate certificate at
/var/lorastarterkit/certs/intermediate.crtyou will need to set the CLIENT_CA_PATH environment variable to
- The certificate thumbprint gets compared with what is stored in the Concentrator Twin in IoT Hub.
Importing 'tc.crt/tc.key/cups.crt/cups.key' in bundled 'LoRaBasicsStationModule'
If you are making use of the bundled 'LoRaBasicsStationModule', it's possible to import a client certificate (.crt + .key files) in the module itself.
The default path where the files will be searched is
var/lorastarterkit/certs/. As described in the previous section, it is possible to bind a folder on the host OS to the one mentioned above.
The default path of the tc.crt/tc.key/cups.crt/cups.key file can be overridden by using the related environment variable (i.e.: setting any of 'TC_CRT_PATH', 'TC_KEY_PATH', 'CUPS_CRT_PATH', 'CUPS_KEY_PATH' to
/var/otherfolder/my.crt will make the module copy the my.crt file to a *.crt in the LoRa Basics™ Station working directory).
Providing a list of allowed client thumbprints for connection
At the server side, the validation of the certificate is happening by comparing the thumbprint of the certificate provided for authentication with a list of allowed thumbprints stored in the Concentrator Twin (more information on 'clientThumbprint' property of Twin in related ADR)
When using the provided Cli-LoRa-Device-Provisioning tool to provision a concentrator device to IoT Hub, you can pass the '--client-certificate-thumbprint' option to specify the thumbprint of an allowed certificate.
If you can't use the tool, when creating the Concentrator device in IoT Hub, all you need to do is to add a desired property named 'clientThumbprint' (being an array of allowed certificate thumbprints) and specify the thumbprint in this array.
Self-signed certificates generator (for tests only)
This starter kit is providing a BasicStation Certificates Generation tool for helping its users to generate LoRaWAN Network Server certificates and Basics Station certificates for testing secure communication between a Basics Station client and the CUPS/LNS Protocol Endpoint in Network Server.
Please refer to tool documentation for instructions on how to use it.