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End to End Passport-SAML Proof of Concept with Gluu Server#


This tutorial offers a step-by-step guide for setting up a basic proof-of-concept environment showcasing an Inbound SAML user authentication flow. Refer to general documentation describing each component for more details.


This configuration is PURELY FOR SANDBOX / POC. NO ELEMENT OF THIS DOC SHOULD BE USED IN PRODUCTION SETTINGS WITHOUT THOROUGH TESTING. If a reader of this doc uses any element in their production environment, they do so at their own risk.

If you have further questions or confusion, feel free to open ticket in portal.

Before we begin..#

We have three servers here in this setup.

  • Gluu Server 4.1 which has Passport.js. Test FQDN: ""
  • Gluu Server 3.1.7 which will act as 'remote authentication server'. Test FQDN: ""
  • A simple Shibboleth SP which is protecting its resource. Test FQDN: ""

After configuration and setup, the whole flow will look like this:


The Gluu Server versions can match if desired. We used an existing authentication server in this proof of concept.

Configure Passport Server ( Gluu Server )#

Install Gluu Server 4.1 while selecting:

  • Install Shibboleth SAML IDP?: Yes
  • Install Passport?: Yes

Configure SAML SP#

Used components#

  • Shibboleth SP 3.1.0
  • OS: CentOS 7

Shibboleth SP installation and configuration#

Install and configure Self Signed certificate along with Apache#

  • yum update
  • yum install httpd
  • yum install openssl
  • mkdir /etc/certs/
  • yum install mod_ssl
  • Create a Self signed cert with command: openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/certs/apache-selfsigned.key -out /etc/certs/apache-selfsigned.crt
  • vim -N /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf

    SSLCryptoDevice builtin
    #SSLCryptoDevice ubsec
    ## SSL Virtual Host Context
    <VirtualHost _default_:443>
    # General setup for the virtual host, inherited from global configuration
    #DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
    #   Server Certificate:
    # Point SSLCertificateFile at a PEM encoded certificate.  If
    # the certificate is encrypted, then you will be prompted for a
    # pass phrase.  Note that a kill -HUP will prompt again.  A new
    # certificate can be generated using the genkey(1) command.
    SSLCertificateFile /etc/certs/apache-selfsigned.crt
    #   Server Private Key:
    #   If the key is not combined with the certificate, use this
    #   directive to point at the key file.  Keep in mind that if
    #   you've both a RSA and a DSA private key you can configure
    #   both in parallel (to also allow the use of DSA ciphers, etc.)
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/certs/apache-selfsigned.key
    - apachectl configtest

  • Check if mod_headers enabled or not:

    [root@ip-xxxx ~]# httpd -t -D DUMP_MODULES | grep header
    headers_module (shared)
    [root@ip-xxxx ~]#

  • service httpd restart

  • Test your Apache and cert with in a web browser. You should get the Apache2 default page.

Install Shibboleth SP#

  • Configure Shibboleth SP:

  • Prepare repo:

    • Create a file named "Shib_SP.repo" inside /etc/yum.repos.d
    • Add below snippet there
      name=Shibboleth (CentOS_7)
      # Please report any problems to
    • yum update
  • yum install shibboleth.x86_64

  • Generate the cert and key for Shibboleth SP:

  • cd /etc/certs/

  • openssl genrsa -des3 -out sp.key 2048
  • openssl rsa -in sp.key -out sp.key.insecure
  • mv sp.key.insecure sp.key
  • openssl req -new -key sp.key -out sp.csr
  • openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in sp.csr -signkey sp.key -out sp.crt
  • vim -N /etc/shibboleth/shibboleth2.xml

  • Add your SP name here:

    <ApplicationDefaults entityID=""
       REMOTE_USER="eppn subject-id pairwise-id persistent-id"
    - Add the location of SP key and cert like below:

    <!-- Simple file-based resolvers for separate signing/encryption keys. -->
       <CredentialResolver type="File" use="signing"
           key="/etc/certs/sp.key" certificate="/etc/certs/sp.crt"/>
       <CredentialResolver type="File" use="encryption"
           key="/etc/certs/sp.key" certificate="/etc/certs/sp.crt"/>
    - service shibd restart - service httpd restart

Connect Shibboleth SP with Gluu Server#

  • Download your Gluu Server's metadata
  • shibboleth2.xml configuration. Location: /etc/shibboleth in SP server:
  • Provide your Gluu Server's address like below:

    <SSO entityID=""
         discoveryProtocol="SAMLDS" discoveryURL="">
         SAML2 SAML1
    - Assuming your Gluu Server's metadata is downloaded in same directory ( /etc/shibboleth/ ):

    <MetadataProvider type="XML" file="test41_gluu_org_metadata.xml"/>
    - service shibd restart - service httpd restart

Create and configure sample protected page#

  • yum install epel-release
  • yum install php
  • mkdir /var/www/html/secure
  • touch /var/www/html/secure/index.php
  • Edit index.php, add this sample script:
<head><title>Shibboleth test</title></head>
<body><pre><?php print_r($_SERVER); ?></pre></body>
  • Restart shibd and httpd again.

Connect Gluu Server with Shibboleth SP#

  • Grab your Shibboleth SP's metadata. Shibboleth SP metadata can be loaded by calling this URL: https://testappsaml.hostname/Shibboleth.sso/Metadata
  • Create a trust relationship like below.


Test SSO#

  • Point your browser to If everything goes well, you will be redirected to your Gluu Server, after successful authentication you will land in to SP's 'Environment Variable' page.

Configure Passport Server#

Enable Passport:#

As we installed 'Passport' during the installation of Gluu Server, Passport and itss required scripts are already enabled.

Configure SAML authentication strategy in Passport#

  • From oxTrust, go to Passport > Providers
  • Hit "Add New Provider"
  • Provider ID: anything you can recognize.
  • Display Name: same .. anything you / your end user can recognize
  • Type: Select saml
  • Most of the box will be automatically populated and new option list will appear below where you have to put some information of your remote authentication server. In our case, our remote authentication server is a Gluu Server 3.1.7.

    • entryPoint:
    • identifierFormat: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient
    • authnRequestBinding: HTTP-POST
    • issuer: urn:test:example
    • cert: The IDP's public PEM-encoded X.509 certificate used to validate incoming SAML responses. Include only the body of the certificate: suppress the BEGIN CERTIFICATE and END CERTIFICATE lines, any whitespace, and all line breaking characters (new line/carriage return). As for example if your remote IDP is another Gluu Server, you need to grab the idp-signing.crt from that server. Command can be used: cat /etc/certs/idp-signing.crt | grep -v '^---' | tr -d '\n';
    • skipRequestCompression : true


Configure Remote Authentication Server#

Passport will automatically generate SP metadata for every enabled IDP that is added through the admin UI. The next step is to register this metadata at every external IDP.

Metadata can be accessed in a browser at https://[your-gluu-host-which-has-passport]/passport/auth/meta/idp/[PROVIDER-ID] where "PROVIDER-ID" is the identifier assigned to the IDP added. For our case it will be

In oxTrust for the Gluu-passport server, navigate to Passport > Providers and see the ID column in the providers table. Metadata can also be found in the Gluu chroot under /opt/gluu/node/passport/server/idp-metadata.

Registering metadata contents at remote IDPs is a process that may differ across IDP implementations. As an example, when the remote IDP is another Gluu Server, a trust relationship should be created. Review the corresponding documentation for your IDPs.


Test Passport-SAML#

Now it's time to test our Passport-SAML workflow....

Work in Gluu-passport Server ( )#

Change Authentication method: Configuration > Manage Authentication > Default Authentication Method tab: select "passport_saml". And "Update" configuration.

Work in Remote Authentication Server ( )#

Make sure to create a sample user. We are not going to use 'admin' for testing SSO.


Hit and you will see rest like already shared video.