Creating a grid proxy without LbScripts

On the grid VOMS (Virtual Organization Membership Service) is used to provide authentication when accessing grid resources. This works by using your certificate to create a local proxy credential which can then be used by applications for a limited time.

LbScripts provides a useful command lhcb-proxy-init which is used to create a proxy. It is sometimes useful however, to create a grid proxy when LbScripts is unavailable. The most commonly use for this is to be able to access data at grid sites using XRootD. Fortunately VOMS can be easily installed and used without requiring the full LHCb environment.


The VOMS client can be installed in the following ways, if your operating system isn’t listed see here (and consider making a pull request to update this guide).

macOS with homebrew

brew cask install java
brew install voms


sudo apt-get install voms-clients


sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install voms-clients

Arch Linux

Install voms from the AUR.

Getting the required files and certificates

In order to create a proxy you must have a copy of your personal grid certificate, assuming this is already set up on lxplus this can be copied using:

scp -r ~/.globus

Additionally, you will need a copy of the central LHCb grid certificates. If you have cvmfs installed this is already available at /cvmfs/ If not, they can be copied from lxplus to ~/grid-security/ using:

scp -r ~/grid-security

Note these will need updating occasionally by rerunning the above commands.

Creating a proxy

Once the voms have been installed and the files have been copied a grid certificate with a 168 hour (1 week) validity can be created using:

export X509_CERT_DIR="$HOME/grid-security/certificates"
export X509_VOMS_DIR="$HOME/grid-security/vomsdir"
voms-proxy-init -voms "lhcb:/lhcb/Role=user" -vomses "$HOME/grid-security/vomses" -r --valid 168:00 -cert "$HOME/.globus/usercert.pem" -key "$HOME/.globus/userkey.pem"

Alternatively, an alias can be created to allow proxies to be created using an lhcb-proxy-init. This can be setup by appending the following to ~/.bashrc and then opening a new terminal.

export X509_CERT_DIR="$HOME/grid-security/certificates"
export X509_VOMS_DIR="$HOME/grid-security/vomsdir"
alias lhcb-proxy-init='voms-proxy-init -voms "lhcb:/lhcb/Role=user" -vomses "$HOME/grid-security/vomses" -r --valid 168:00 -cert "$HOME/.globus/usercert.pem" -key "$HOME/.globus/userkey.pem"'

Managing the proxy

The status of the current proxy can be checked using voms-proxy-info.

The current proxy can be deleted using voms-proxy-destroy.