In order to use Shibboleth with RDMO, it needs to be deployed in a production environment using Apache2. The Setup is documented here.

Next, install the Shibboleth Apache module for the service provider (SP) from your distribution repository, e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-shib2

Under Ubuntu 18.04 LTS the libapache2-mod-shib2 package is broken. A working description on how to install the SPcan be found under

In addition, django-shibboleth-remoteuser needs to be installed in your RDMO virtual environment:

pip install -r requirements/shibboleth.txt

Configure your Shibboleth service provider using the files in /etc/shibboleth/. This may vary depending on your Identity Provider. RDMO needs the REMOTE_USER to be set and 4 attributes from your identity provider:

  • a username (usually eppn)
  • an E-mail address (usually mail or email)
  • a first name (usually givenName)
  • a last name (usually sn)

In our test environment this is accomplished by editing /etc/shibboleth/shibboleth2.xml:

<ApplicationDefaults entityID=""

The REMOTE_USER does not have to be eppn. Please make sure that the field matches what is delivered by your Identity Provider (IdP). If the login does not work, a wrong configuration here is usually the problem.

In addition edit /etc/shibboleth/attribute-map.xml for:

<Attribute name="urn:oid:" id="eppn">
    <AttributeDecoder xsi:type="ScopedAttributeDecoder" caseSensitive="false"/>
<Attribute name="urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.1" id="uid"/>
<Attribute name="urn:oid:" id="sn"/>
<Attribute name="urn:oid:" id="givenName"/>
<Attribute name="urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.3" id="mail"/>

Restart the Shibboleth service provider demon.

service shibd restart

In your Apache2 virtual host configuration, add:

<Location /Shibboleth.sso>
    SetHandler shib
<LocationMatch /account/shibboleth/login/>
    AuthType shibboleth
    require shibboleth
    ShibRequireSession On
    ShibUseHeaders On

In your config/settings/ add or uncomment:



INSTALLED_APPS += ['shibboleth']

    MIDDLEWARE.index('django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware') + 1,

    'uid': (True, 'username'),
    'givenName': (True, 'first_name'),
    'sn': (True, 'last_name'),
    'mail': (True, 'email'),

# Optional, regular expression to identify usernames created with Shibboleth,
# those users will be directed to SHIBBOLETH_LOGOUT_URL on logout, others will not.
# If not set, all users will be redirected to SHIBBOLETH_LOGOUT_URL.

# Can be used to display the regular login form next to the Shibboleth login button.

LOGOUT_URL = '/account/shibboleth/logout/'

where the keys of SHIBBOLETH_ATTRIBUTE_MAP needs to be modified according to your setup. The setting SHIBBOLETH = True disables the regular login form in RDMO, and tells RDMO to disable the update or delete form for the user profile, so that users can neither update their credentials nor delete their profile anymore. Note that profile deletion is technically impossible because RDMO can not delete from the Shibboleth database. The INSTALLED_APPS, AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS, and MIDDLEWARE settings enable django-shibboleth-remoteuser to be used with RDMO.

The setting LOGOUT_URL should not be set to the logout endpoint of the service provider (an earlier version of the docs said so). After the logout in Django, RDMO will redirect to the SHIBBOLETH_LOGOUT_URL setting, which is /Shibboleth.sso/Logout by default.

Restart the webserver.

service apache2 restart

Certain Attributes from the Shibboleth Identity Provider can be mapped to Django groups, in particular to restrict the access to Catalogs and Views. This can be done by adding the following settings:

SHIBBOLETH_GROUP_ATTRIBUTES = ['eduPersonScopedAffiliation']

In this case, the attribute eduPersonScopedAffiliation contains a comma separated list of groups which will be created in RDMO (if they don’t exist yet) and the user will be added into these groups. Due to a limitation by django-shibboleth-remoteuser the user will also be removed from all other groups.

Legacy Shibboleth setup

Before RDMO 1.11.0, we suggested a slightly different Shibboleth setup, which can still be used. The main difference is that the Shibboleth service provider “catches” every request to RDMO.

<Location /Shibboleth.sso>
    SetHandler shib
<LocationMatch /(account|domain|options|projects|questions|tasks|conditions|views)>
    AuthType shibboleth
    require shibboleth
    ShibRequireSession On
    ShibUseHeaders On

In order to keep this setup in RDMO after 1.11.0 you need to disable SHIBBOLETH_LOGIN_URL:


Alternative to Shibboleth: Keycloak and Satosa

The installation of Shibboleth excludes the use other authentication providers for RDMO. When it is preferred to enable authentication to a Shibboleth Identity Provider and other 3rd party providers in parallel, an alternative configuration can be set up. A keycloak instance and a SATOSA proxy can be used for this purpose.

In order for the keycloak instance to be able to authenticate with the a Shibboleth-based IdP (eg. DFN-AAI) another service needs to be installed and configured as Identity Provider for keycloak.

This service is a SATOSA proxy, which translates the communication between different authentication protocols. Then, the SATOSA proxy needs to be registered as a Service Provider inside the DFN-AAI. Finally, the Identity Provider of the institute needs to add this SATOSA proxy as a Service Provider to enable the institutional login and authentication. The attributes of the DFN-AAI which are requested and transferred can be mapped in keycloak and passed on to the django-allauth login in RDMO.