Configuration of pySAML2 entities

Whether you plan to run a pySAML2 Service Provider, Identity Provider or an attribute authority you have to configure it. The format of the configuration file is the same regardless of which type of service you plan to run. What differs are some of the directives. Below you will find a list of all the used directives in alphabetical order. The configuration is written as a python module which contains a named dictionary (“CONFIG”) that contains the configuration directives.

The basic structure of the configuration file is therefore like this:

from saml2 import BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT

CONFIG = {
    "entityid" : "http://saml.example.com:saml/idp.xml",
    "name" : "Rolands IdP",
    "service": {
        "idp": {
            "endpoints" : {
                "single_sign_on_service" : [
                        ("http://saml.example.com:saml:8088/sso",
                            BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)],
                "single_logout_service": [
                        ("http://saml.example.com:saml:8088/slo",
                            BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)]
            },
            ...
        }
    },
    "key_file" : "my.key",
    "cert_file" : "ca.pem",
    "xmlsec_binary" : "/usr/local/bin/xmlsec1",
    "metadata": {
        "local": ["edugain.xml"],
    },
    "attribute_map_dir" : "attributemaps",
    ...
}

Note

You can build the metadata file for your services directly from the configuration.The make_metadata.py script in the pySAML2 tools directory will do that for you.

Configuration directives

General directives

attribute_map_dir

Format:

"attribute_map_dir": "attribute-maps"

Points to a directory which has the attribute maps in Python modules. A typical map file will looks like this:

MAP = {
    "identifier": "urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:attrname-format:basic",
    "fro": {
        'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aRecord': 'aRecord',
        'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aliasedEntryName': 'aliasedEntryName',
        'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aliasedObjectName': 'aliasedObjectName',
        'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:associatedDomain': 'associatedDomain',
        'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:associatedName': 'associatedName',
        ...
        },
    "to": {
        'aRecord': 'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aRecord',
        'aliasedEntryName': 'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aliasedEntryName',
        'aliasedObjectName': 'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:aliasedObjectName',
        'associatedDomain': 'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:associatedDomain',
        'associatedName': 'urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:associatedName',
        ...
    }
}

The attribute map module contains a MAP dictionary with three items. The identifier item is the name-format you expect to support. The to and fro sub-dictionaries then contain the mapping between the names.

As you see the format is again a python dictionary where the key is the name to convert from, and the value is the name to convert to.

Since to in most cases is the inverse of the fro file, the software allowes you to only specify one of them and it will automatically create the other.

cert_file

Format:

cert_file: "cert.pem"

This is the public part of the service private/public key pair. cert_file must be a PEM formatted certificate chain file.

contact_person

This is only used by make_metadata.py when it constructs the metadata for the service described by the configuration file. This is where you describe who can be contacted if questions arise about the service or if support is needed. The possible types are according to the standard technical, support, administrative, billing and other.:

contact_person: [{
    "givenname": "Derek",
    "surname": "Jeter",
    "company": "Example Co.",
    "mail": ["jeter@example.com"],
    "type": "technical",
},{
    "givenname": "Joe",
    "surname": "Girardi",
    "company": "Example Co.",
    "mail": "girardi@example.com",
    "type": "administrative",
}]

debug

Format:

debug: 1

Whether debug information should be sent to the log file.

entityid

Format:

entityid: "http://saml.example.com/sp"

The globally unique identifier of the entity.

Note

It is recommended that the entityid should point to a real webpage where the metadata for the entity can be found.

key_file

Format:

key_file: "key.pem"

key_file is the name of a PEM formatted file that contains the private key of the service. This is presently used both to encrypt/sign assertions and as the client key in an HTTPS session.

metadata

Contains a list of places where metadata can be found. This can be either a file accessible on the server the service runs on, or somewhere on the net.:

"metadata" : {
    "local": [
        "metadata.xml", "vo_metadata.xml"
        ],
    "remote": [
        {
            "url":"https://kalmar2.org/simplesaml/module.php/aggregator/?id=kalmarcentral2&set=saml2",
            "cert":"kalmar2.cert"
        }],
},

The above configuration means that the service should read two local metadata files, and on top of that load one from the net. To verify the authenticity of the file downloaded from the net, the local copy of the public key should be used. This public key must be acquired by some out-of-band method.

organization

Only used by make_metadata.py. Where you describe the organization responsible for the service.:

"organization": {
    "name": [("Example Company","en"), ("Exempel AB","se")],
    "display_name": ["Exempel AB"],
    "url": [("http://example.com","en"),("http://exempel.se","se")],
}

Note

You can specify the language of the name, or the language used on the webpage, by entering a tuple, instead of a simple string, where the second part is the language code. If you don’t specify a language the default is “en” (English).

service

Which services the server will provide; those are combinations of “idp”, “sp” and “aa”. So if a server is a Service Provider (SP) then the configuration could look something like this:

"service": {
    "sp":{
        "name" : "Rolands SP",
        "endpoints":{
            "assertion_consumer_service": ["http://localhost:8087/"],
            "single_logout_service" : [("http://localhost:8087/slo",
                           'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-Redirect')],
        },
        "required_attributes": ["surname", "givenname", "edupersonaffiliation"],
        "optional_attributes": ["title"],
        "idp": {
            "urn:mace:umu.se:saml:roland:idp": None,
        },
    }
},

There are two options common to all services: ‘name’ and ‘endpoints’. The remaining options are specific to one or the other of the service types. Which one is specified along side the name of the option.

accepted_time_diff

If your computer and another computer that you are communicating with are not in synch regarding the computer clock, then here you can state how big a difference you are prepared to accept.

Note

This will indiscriminately effect all time comparisons. Hence your server my accept a statement that in fact is to old.

xmlsec_binary

Presently xmlsec1 binaries are used for all the signing and encryption stuff. This option defines where the binary is situated.

Example:

"xmlsec_binary": "/usr/local/bin/xmlsec1",

valid_for

How many hours this configuration is expected to be accurate.:

"valid_for": 24

This of course is only used by make_metadata.py. The server will not stop working when this amount of time has elapsed :-).

Specific directives

Directives that are specific to a certain type of service.

idp/aa

Directives that are specific to an IdP or AA service instance

sign_assertion

Specifies if the IdP should sign the assertion in an authentication response or not. Can be True or False. Default is False.

sign_response

Specifies if the IdP should sign the authentication response or not. Can be True or False. Default is False.

policy

If the server is an IdP and/or an AA then there might be reasons to do things differently depending on who is asking; this is where that is specified. The keys are ‘default’ and SP entity identifiers. Default is used whenever there is no entry for a specific SP. The reasoning is also that if there is no default and only SP entity identifiers as keys, then the server will only except connections from the specified SPs. An example might be:

"service": {
    "idp": {
        "policy": {
            "default": {
                "lifetime": {"minutes":15},
                "attribute_restrictions": None, # means all I have
                "name_form": "urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:attrname-format:uri"
            },
            "urn:mace:example.com:saml:roland:sp": {
                "lifetime": {"minutes": 5},
                "attribute_restrictions":{
                    "givenName": None,
                    "surName": None,
                }
            }
        }
    }
}
lifetime
This is the maximum amount of time before the information should be regarded as stale. In an Assertion this is represented in the NotOnOrAfter attribute.
attribute_restrictions
By default there is no restrictions as to which attributes should be return. Instead all the attributes and values that are gathered by the database backends will be returned if nothing else is stated. In the example above the SP with the entity identifier “urn:mace:umu.se:saml:roland:sp” has an attribute restriction: only the attributes ‘givenName’ and ‘surName’ are to be returned. There is no limitations as to what values on these attributes that can be returned.
name_form
Which name-form that should be used when sending assertions. Using this information the attribute name in the data source will be mapped to the friendly name, and the saml attribute name will be taken from the uri/oid defined in the attribute map.

If restrictions on values are deemed necessary those are represented by regular expressions.:

"service": {
    "aa": {
        "policy": {
            "urn:mace:umu.se:saml:roland:sp": {
                "lifetime": {"minutes": 5},
                "attribute_restrictions":{
                     "mail": [".*\.umu\.se$"],
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

Here only mail addresses that end with ”.umu.se” will be returned.

sp

Directives specific to SP instances

authn_requests_signed

Indicates if the Authentication Requests sent by this SP should be signed by default. This can be overriden by application code for a specific call.

This sets the AuthnRequestsSigned attribute of the SPSSODescriptor node of the metadata so the IdP will know this SP preference.

Valid values are True or False. Default value is True.

Example:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "authn_requests_signed": True,
    }
}
idp

Defines the set of IdPs that this SP is allowed to use; if unset, all listed IdPs may be used. If set, then the value is expected to be a list with entity identifiers for the allowed IdPs. A typical configuration, when the allowed set of IdPs are limited, would look something like this:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "idp": ["urn:mace:umu.se:saml:roland:idp"],
    }
}

In this case the SP has only one IdP it can use.

optional_attributes

Attributes that this SP would like to receive from IdPs.

Example:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "optional_attributes": ["title"],
    }
}

Since the attribute names used here are the user friendly ones an attribute map must exist, so that the server can use the full name when communicating with other servers.

required_attributes

Attributes that this SP demands to receive from IdPs.

Example:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "required_attributes": ["surname", "givenName", "mail"],
    }
}

Again as for optional_attributes the names given are expected to be the user friendly names.

want_assertions_signed

Indicates if this SP wants the IdP to send the assertions signed. This sets the WantAssertionsSigned attribute of the SPSSODescriptor node of the metadata so the IdP will know this SP preference.

Valid values are True or False. Default value is False.

Example:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "want_assertions_signed": True,
    }
}

idp/aa/sp

If the configuration is covering both two or three different service types (like if one server is actually acting as both an IdP and a SP) then in some cases you might want to have these below different for the different services.

endpoints

Where the endpoints for the services provided are. This directive has as value a dictionary with one or more of the following keys:

  • artifact_resolution_service (aa, idp and sp)
  • assertion_consumer_service (sp)
  • assertion_id_request_service (aa, idp)
  • attribute_service (aa)
  • manage_name_id_service (aa, idp)
  • name_id_mapping_service (idp)
  • single_logout_service (aa, idp, sp)
  • single_sign_on_service (idp)

The values per service is a list of endpoint specifications. An endpoint specification can either be just the URL:

”http://localhost:8088/A"

or it can be a 2-tuple (URL+binding):

from saml2 import BINDING_HTTP_POST
(”http://localhost:8087/A”, BINDING_HTTP_POST)

or a 3-tuple (URL+binding+index):

from saml2 import BINDING_HTTP_POST
(”http://lingon.catalogix.se:8087/A”, BINDING_HTTP_POST, 1)

If no binding is specified, no index can be set. If no index is specified, the index is set based on the position in the list.

Example:

"service":
    "idp": {
        "endpoints" : {
            "single_sign_on_service" : [
                    ("http://localhost:8088/sso", BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)],
            "single_logout_service": [
                    ("http://localhost:8088/slo", BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)]
        },
    },
},
logout_requests_signed

Indicates if this entity will sign the Logout Requests originated from it.

This can be overriden by application code for a specific call.

Valid values are True or False. Default value is False.

Example:

"service": {
    "sp": {
        "logout_requests_signed": False,
    }
}
subject_data

The name of a database where the map between a local identifier and a distributed identifier is kept. By default this is a shelve database. So if you just specify name, then a shelve database with that name is created. On the other hand if you specify a tuple then the first element in the tuple specifies which type of database you want to use and the second element is the address of the database.

Example:

"subject_data": "./idp.subject.db",

or if you want to use for instance memcache:

"subject_data": ("memcached", "localhost:12121"),

shelve and memcached are the only database types that are presently supported.

virtual_organization

Gives information about common identifiers for virtual_organizations:

"virtual_organization" : {
    "urn:mace:example.com:it:tek":{
        "nameid_format" : "urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.1466.115.121.1.15-NameID",
        "common_identifier": "umuselin",
    }
},

Keys in this dictionary are the identifiers for the virtual organizations. The arguments per organization are ‘nameid_format’ and ‘common_identifier’. Useful if all the IdPs and AAs that are involved in a virtual organization have common attribute values for users that are part of the VO.

Complete example

We start with a simple but fairly complete Service provider configuration:

from saml2 import BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT

CONFIG = {
    "entityid" : "http://example.com/sp/metadata.xml",
    "service": {
        "sp":{
            "name" : "Example SP",
            "endpoints":{
                "assertion_consumer_service": ["http://example.com/sp"],
                "single_logout_service" : [("http://example.com/sp/slo",
                                            BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)],
            },
        }
    },
    "key_file" : "./mykey.pem",
    "cert_file" : "./mycert.pem",
    "xmlsec_binary" : "/usr/local/bin/xmlsec1",
    "attribute_map_dir": "./attributemaps",
    "metadata": {
        "local": ["idp.xml"]
    }
    "organization": {
        "display_name":["Example identities"]
    }
    "contact_person": [{
        "givenname": "Roland",
        "surname": "Hedberg",
        "phone": "+46 90510",
        "mail": "roland@example.com",
        "type": "technical",
        }]
}

This is the typical setup for a SP. A metadata file to load is always needed, but it can of course contain anything from 1 up to many entity descriptions.


A slightly more complex configuration:

from saml2 import BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT

CONFIG = {
    "entityid" : "http://sp.example.com/metadata.xml",
    "service": {
        "sp":{
            "name" : "Example SP",
            "endpoints":{
                "assertion_consumer_service": ["http://sp.example.com/"],
                "single_logout_service" : [("http://sp.example.com/slo",
                               BINDING_HTTP_REDIRECT)],
            },
            "subject_data": ("memcached", "localhost:12121"),
            "virtual_organization" : {
                "urn:mace:example.com:it:tek":{
                    "nameid_format" : "urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.1466.115.121.1.15-NameID",
                    "common_identifier": "eduPersonPrincipalName",
                }
            },
        }
    },
    "key_file" : "./mykey.pem",
    "cert_file" : "./mycert.pem",
    "xmlsec_binary" : "/usr/local/bin/xmlsec1",
    "metadata" : {
        "local": ["example.xml"],
        "remote": [{
            "url":"https://kalmar2.org/simplesaml/module.php/aggregator/?id=kalmarcentral2&set=saml2",
            "cert":"kalmar2.pem"}]
    },
    "attribute_maps" : "attributemaps",
    "organization": {
        "display_name":["Example identities"]
    }
    "contact_person": [{
        "givenname": "Roland",
        "surname": "Hedberg",
        "phone": "+46 90510",
        "mail": "roland@example.com",
        "type": "technical",
        }]
}

Uses metadata files, both local and remote, and will talk to whatever IdP that appears in any of the metadata files.

Other considerations

Entity Categories

Entity categories and their attributes are defined in src/saml2/entity_category/<registrar of entcat>.py