technical Archive

Configuring Shibboleth Service Provider for SAFIRE

The Shibboleth Service Provider has good documentation, and so this is not a complete/worked example of how to configure it. Instead, this provides the SAFIRE-specific snippets you may need when working through that documentation. Installing Shibboleth Service Provider Note that some package repositories ship out-of-date and vulnerable versions of the Shibboleth SP. However, the Swiss federation operator (SWITCHaai) maintains up-to-date packages for Debian and Ubuntu. Configuring a metadata provider to fetch SAFIRE metadata Shibboleth Service Provider provides a dynamic metadata provider that allows you to periodically fetch metadata.

Configuring ADFS for SAFIRE

Note: While it is possible to use ADFS with SAFIRE, it has known interoperatability problems with the sort of multi-party federation used in the R&E world. SAFIRE’s architecture shields you from some of these effects, but you do sacrifice some flexibility and control. In order to configure Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as an identity provider for SAFIRE, you need to do four things: Create a Relying Party Trust that fetches the federation hub’s metadata from https://metadata.

Generating eduPersonAffiliation from your internal directory

This page is intended to give you some ideas about how to generate an eduPersonAffiliation attribute that is useful to SAFIRE by reusing existing information you may already have in your internal directory services. What’s shown below are SimpleSAMLphp config snippets, but the ideas translate to pretty much all identity provider software. If you’re not using SimpleSAMLphp, hopefully the comments help you understand what is going on. All the authproc filters shown here are documented in SimpleSAMLphp’s docs.

Generating eduPersonPrincipalName from your internal directory

This page is intended to give you some ideas about how to generate an eduPersonPrincipal attribute that is useful to SAFIRE by reusing existing unique user identifiers from your internal directory services. What’s shown below are SimpleSAMLphp config snippets, but the ideas translate to pretty much all identity provider software. If you’re not using SimpleSAMLphp, hopefully the comments help you understand what is going on. All the authproc filters shown here are documented in SimpleSAMLphp’s docs.

Configuring SimpleSAMLphp for SAFIRE

SimpleSAMLphp has good documentation, and so this is not a complete/worked example of how to configure it. Instead this provides the SAFIRE-specific snippets you may need when working through that documentation. Configuring metarefresh to fetch SAFIRE metadata You should use the metarefresh and cron modules to manage SAFIRE’s metadata automatically. SimpleSAMLphp provides documentation on automated metadata management which explains the basics of how you set this up. This document assumes you have a working cron module and have enabled metarefresh.

Generating certificates for SAFIRE

Types of certificates SAML installations typically use at least two1 different certificates: one of the public facing portions of a website, and one to establish a private trust relationship between providers. Whilst it is possible to use the same certificate for these two roles, this is not best practice nor is it recommended. The technical requirements for identity- and service-providers definitively specify the requirements and recommendations for these two types of certificates.

Theme generator for SimpleSAMLphp

A number of people seem to find SimpleSAMLphp’s theming system intimidating. To aid with this, we’ve written a simple theme generator for SimpleSAMLphp. The generator takes SSP’s stock templates and massages them to include some branding – amongst other things, a logo on the top right of the page and corporate colours in the header bar. The generator is a bash script, and is available here. It takes a number of command line options which can be used to manipulate the resulting theme:

SAML 101 - An intro to SAML for sysadmin

This document intends to be a quick primer on SAML for those who want to get on with the rest of their todo list. SAML seems big and scary, because it has a lot of decisions and moving parts. But the reality is that many of these decisions have already been made for you, and you don’t need to know about the moving parts to make it work for you. Thus this primer attempts to distill out the most important bits in a way that’s easy to skim.

South African Identity Federation