ref: fefa8a67d1bb4afa2d24cda3dea66e940a5f9a95 vpn-documentation/SHIBBOLETH_SP.md -rw-r--r-- 3.5 KiB
fefa8a67François Kooman remove EXPIRY_AT_NIGHT 4 months ago

#title: Shibboleth SP (Debian) description: SAML Authentication using Shibboleth category: authentication

This document describes installing Shibboleth on Debian 9 and 10.


#Debian 9

$ sudo apt install libapache2-mod-shib2
$ sudo shib-keygen

#Debian 10

$ sudo apt install libapache2-mod-shib
$ sudo shib-keygen -n sp-encrypt
$ sudo shib-keygen -n sp-signing


Modify /etc/shibboleth/shibboleth2.xml:

  • Set entityID to https://vpn.example.org/shibboleth in the <ApplicationDefaults> element.
  • Set handlerSSL to true and cookieProps to https in the <Sessions> element
  • Set the entityID to the entity ID of your IdP, or configure the discoveryURL in the <SSO> element
  • Remove SAML1 from the <SSO> attribute content as we no longer need SAML 1.0 support (only on Debian 9)
  • Set the path (or file on Debian 9) in the <MetadataProvider> element for a simple static metadata file, e.g.: <MetadataProvider type="XML" validate="false" path="idp.tuxed.net.xml"/> and put the idp.tuxed.net.xml file in /etc/shibboleth. Set validate to false to keep the IdP working in case it has validUntil specified in the XML

Configuring automatic metadata refresh is outside the scope of this document, refer to your identity federation documentation.

Verify the Shibboleth configuration:

$ sudo shibd -t
overall configuration is loadable, check console for non-fatal problems

Restart Shibboleth:

$ sudo systemctl restart shibd

Next: register your SP in your identity federation, or in your IdP. The metadata URL is typically https://vpn.example.org/Shibboleth.sso/Metadata.


In /etc/apache2/sites-available/vpn.example.org.conf add the following:

<VirtualHost *:443>


    <Location /vpn-user-portal>
        AuthType shibboleth
        ShibRequestSetting requireSession 1
            Require shib-session
            #Require shib-attr entitlement "http://eduvpn.org/role/admin"
            #Require shib-attr unscoped-affiliation staff

    # do not secure API endpoint
    <Location /vpn-user-portal/api.php>
        Require all granted

    # do not secure OAuth endpoint
    <Location /vpn-user-portal/oauth.php>
        Require all granted



If you have a case where only one attribute needs to match, you can use <RequireAny>instead of <RequireAll>. You will also need to remove the Require shib-session.

Make sure you restart Apache after changing the configuration:

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

NOTE if you are using IDs such as entitlement and unscoped-affiliation make sure they are correctly enabled/set in /etc/shibboleth/attribute-map.xml.


In order to configure the VPN portal, modify /etc/vpn-user-portal/config.php and set the authMethod and ShibAuthentication options:


'authMethod' => 'ShibAuthentication',


'ShibAuthentication' => [
    'userIdAttribute' => 'persistent-id',
    'permissionAttribute' => 'entitlement',


The mentioned attributes persistent-id and entitlement are configured in the Shibboleth configuration. Modify/add others as required in /etc/shibboleth/attribute-map.xml. Do not forget to restart Shibboleth if you make any changes to its configuration.