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Simple and Protected GSSAPI Negotiation Mechanism (SPNEGO) is a GSSAPI "pseudo mechanism" used by client-server software to negotiate the choice of security technology. SPNEGO is used when a client application wants to authenticate to a remote server, but neither end is sure what authentication protocols the other supports.

SPNEGO is used when a client application wants to authenticate to a remote server, but neither end is sure what authentication protocols the other supports.

The pseudo-mechanism uses a protocol to determine what common GSSAPI mechanisms are available, selects one and then dispatches all further security operations to it. This can help organizations deploy new security mechanisms in a phased manner.

Originally drafted in 1996 and finalized in 1998 as RFC-2487. In 2005 RDF-2478 was obsoleted by the publication of RFC-4178.