Security with KeyCloak and Google Services on Android

The KeyCloak project is a phenomenal resource for authentication and authorization services for almost any application. The default use case for it involves using OAuth redirects to send a client to a web page hosted by KeyCloak or a trusted Identity Provider, perform a log in, and the exchange tokens on the client application. This prevents potentially untrusted clients from stealing logins from users while also allowing trustworthy applications to log in using a third party. This is how websites are able to use social logins from Google, Facebook, Github, etc. However on Android the operating system provides many ways to manage log ins locally via an account picker. Google goes one step further and can provide tokens via its client sdk.

Because Google will provide a application with a token directly, we can bypass the website redirect skip on Android with Keycloak by using “External to Internal Token Exchange“. The Keycloak documentation will walk you through setting up the IdP, but you have to make sure that you configure the Google IdP as a “OpenID Connect v1.0” provider and not as a “Google” provider. Fortunately you can use Google’s well-known OpenID configuration to prepopulate most of the fields. One thing I had to change was flipping “Disable User Info” to “ON”. In order to fetch the user info, Google needs an bearer token that Keycloak does not provide.

I’ve made a simple Android application which exchanges a Google token for a Keycloak token here. The source code is on my GitHub and a demo is on my YouTube channel.

AeroGear Unified Push and OpenShift Origin


For people who are making mobile applications, managing the various server components and technologies is a challenge.
This post will demonstrate how to use OpenShift Origin to host an instance of Aerogear Unified Push Server and then start development on an Android application on your development machine.
AeroGear Unified Push Server is a project that provides a single service to manage multiple push networks for your mobile applications. OpenShift Origin is a container management platform build on Kubernetes and Docker technologies. Both are Open Source and sponsored by RedHat.

Getting and Starting OpenShift Origin


Before you can use Origin you need to have Docker installed on your computer as well as configure its to use OpenShift’s internal Docker registry. You can do this by passing the following parameter to Docker when the service starts --insecure-registry System specific details can be found here.

You will also need the tool oc. It can be found on the Origin’s GitHub releases page.

Launching OpenShift Origin

oc cluster up.

Yup that is all you need. Now you can browse to and login as developer:developer.

Deploying AeroGear UPS

We will use the Unified Push Server image found on Docker Hub. Reviewing that page we see that it needs two MySQL instances named “unifiedpush” and “keycloak”. We can create those in Origin, deploy UnifiedPush, and then add a route for our Android emulator.

Deploying MySQL containers

oc new-app mysql MYSQL_USER=unifiedpush MYSQL_PASSWORD=unifiedpush MYSQL_DATABASE=keycloak --name=keycloak

oc new-app mysql MYSQL_USER=unifiedpush MYSQL_PASSWORD=unifiedpush MYSQL_DATABASE=unifiedpush --name=unifiedpush

You can watch both systems come online in your console, or view their status with oc status.

Deploying AeroGear UnifiedPush

oc new-app aerogear/unifiedpush-wildfly \
 UNIFIEDPUSH_PORT_3306_TCP_ADDR=unifiedpush \
 KEYCLOAK_PORT_3306_TCP_ADDR=keycloak \

This command will deploy UnifiedPush and connect it to your MySQL containers. If you are work with Docker then the environment variables we use should be familiar; that is because this is a plain Docker container.

Adding Routes to the UnifiedPush application

By default OpenShift applications are not routable. This means that we can not point a web browser to UnifiedPush to configure it nor can an Android device connect to it to receive push messages. We will add two routes to enable both of these behaviors.

oc expose service unifiedpush-wildfly --port=8080-tcp --name=ups-local-unsecured
oc expose service unifiedpush-wildfly --port=8080-tcp --name=ups-android-unsecured

The first route exposes UPS on the local machine’s IP address, and the second exposes on which is the hardcoded IP address for the host of an Android emulator. These hostnames use to fake the DNS lookup.

Fixing Keycloak Linking

UPS uses an embedded Keycloak server to handle its authentication. Right now there is an issue when the UPS pod starts up it can’t route to Keycloak using the public route. To work around this you will need to use the OpenShift web console to navigate to the unifiedpush-wildfly pod and execute “wget http://localhost:8080/ag-push/index.html” in the terminal after the application loads.

Configuring UnifiedPush

You should be able to navigate to now and set up UnifiedPush. The full instructions for configuring this can be found on

Configuring you Android Push Application

You can follow the HelloPush tutorial here. The only change is you will use “” as your push URL.

JRebel and WildFly Swarm in NetBeans

I’m not a great company man; I use NetBeans instead of RedHat’s JBDS. However, I am at least a GOOD company man because I am using WildFly Swarm instead of Sprint Boot. I also use JRebel because I don’t like wasting my time waiting on my projects to build. The combination of the three, however, gave me quite a headache today.

First, NetBeans is the only IDE that gets Maven correct. A Maven project is almost always a valid NetBeans project without any extra configuration. On top of this NetBeans makes it very easy to configure custom Maven goals and map them to your standard IDE actions. Second, WildFly Swarm is an awesome project that is basically Spring Boot but with real, rightsized Java EE. It also has awesome Maven support and I can’t say enough good things about how it. Finally, JRebel should need no introduction. It hot deploys Java code to just about anything and makes the write -> run -> debug cycle as fast as it can be.

My problems began when I imported my Swarm project into NetBeans. NetBeans recognized the fact the project was a war file and offered to deploy it to my installed WildFly server instead of running the Swarm plugin’s run goal. I created a custom NetBeans action to run the Swarm goal. This worked perfectly and all that was missing was JRebel.

JRebel did not want to play nice with the Swarm run goal. I’m not sure why, but eventually I decided to give running the project using the maven exec goal and passing in the Swarm Main class. This worked, but NetBeans wasn’t loading JRebel right out of the box. Finally, I copied over the exec arguments from a working Jar project into my custom run goal and JRebel successfully started (with errors that don’t seem to matter). Hot deploy worked!

If you are wondering here is my configuration :

Execute Goals : process-classes org.codehaus.mojo:exec-maven-plugin:1.2.1:exec
Set Properties : exec.args=-Dexec.args=-Drebel.env.ide.plugin.version=6.5.1 -Drebel.env.ide.version=8.2 -Drebel.env.ide.product=netbeans -Drebel.env.ide=netbeans -Drebel.base=/home/summers/.jrebel -Drebel.notification.url=http://localhost:17434 -agentpath:/home/summers/netbeans-8.2/java2/griffin/lib/ -classpath %classpath org.wildfly.swarm.Swarm

So with that all working my Project Properties looks like this :


Implementing Chip-8

It has been a hobby of mine to create a video game console, but we live in a world where anyone can buy a $35 Raspberry Pi and install every 8, 16, and 32 bit game on it. So I have focused more on how consoles and software work and are made than actually making one. As part of this I have actually implemented an emulator of sorts, “Chip-8”.

Chip 8 was not a game console, but instead it is a byte-code interpreter that was originally run on 8-bit computers in the 1970s. It is, however, a good beginners project. My implementation took about 2 weeks to program and test. I have had a lot of success with running roms I have found online, and I am documenting it to share as a learning project for people that want to learn more about emulation, low level programming, or just like programming.

Now, enjoy my demo :