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Shibboleth Authentication Plugin for Liferay

* This plugin is derived from an initial version of See:
* The first major extension was done by Ivan Novakov.
* Further upgrades were made by Mihály Héder.
* The latest extensions were made by Szabolcs Tenczer

Additional features has been added:

* auto create users using Shibboleth attributes (email, first name, last name)
* auto update user information upon login
* added options to specify the headers (Shibboleth attributes) to be used for extracting email, first name and last name
* basic attribute to role mapping


* Apache 2.x with mod_ssl and mod_proxy_ajp
* Shibboleth SP 2.x


Currently, there is no native Java Shibboleth service provider. If you need to protect your Java web
with Shibboleth, you have to run Apache with mod_shib in front of your servlet container (Tomcat, JBoss, ...).
The protected application must not be accessible directly, it must be run on a private address. Apache will intercept
requests, and after performing all authentication related tasks, it will pass the request to the backend servlet
container using AJP (Apache JServ Protocol).

Shibboleth Service Provider

A standard Shibboleth Service Provider instance may be used with one difference - the attribute preffix must bes
set to "AJP_", otherwise user attributes from Shibboleh will not be accessible in the application.

    <ApplicationDefaults entityID="https://liferay-test/shibboleth"
        REMOTE_USER="uid eppn persistent-id targeted-id" 

Apache configuration

First, we need to set the AJP communication with the backend in our virtual host configuration:

    ProxyPass / ajp://localhost:8009/
    ProxyPassReverse / ajp://localhost:8009/
Then we'll configure Shibboleth to be "activated" for the whole site:

    <Location />
        AuthType shibboleth
        require shibboleth
And require a Shibboleth session at the "login" location:

    <Location /c/portal/login>
        AuthType shibboleth
        ShibRequireSession On
        require valid-user

Container's AJP connector

Make sure, the backend servlet container has properly configured AJP connector. For example, in JBoss it is not enabled by default and you have to explicitly enable it:

    # cd $JBOSS_HOME/bin
    # ./ 
    You are disconnected at the moment. Type 'connect' to connect to the server or 'help' for the list of supported commands.
    [disconnected /] connect
    [standalone@localhost:9999 /] /subsystem=web:read-children-names(child-type=connector)
        "outcome" => "success",
        "result" => ["http"]
    [standalone@localhost:9999 /] /subsystem=web/connector=ajp:add(socket-binding=ajp, protocol="AJP/1.3", enabled=true, scheme=ajp)
    {"outcome" => "success"}
    [standalone@localhost:9999 /] /subsystem=web:read-children-names(child-type=connector)
        "outcome" => "success",
        "result" => [

Plugin installation and configuration

Clone the repository and run the Maven install script:

    # git clone
    # cd liferay-shibboleth-plugin
    # mvn install

Then deploy the WAR file to your servlet container.
After a successful installation a new "Shibboleth" section appears in the Liferay's Control panel at "Portal Settings / Authentication". You can adjust Shibboleth authentication there. The most important setting is the name of the attribute from with the user identity is taken.
At the same time, in "Portal Settings --> Authentication --> General", disable all "Allow..." options.

Further steps

If you plan to use Shibboleth autehtnication only, it will be a good idea to prevent your users from changing their personal info (especially the screen name which holds the identity). 

If you choose to auto-create users, you need to disable the "terms of use" page and the "security question", which appear to the new users. Add these directives to your

    # Set this to true to enable reminder queries that are used to help reset a
    # user's password.
    # Set this to true if all users are required to agree to the terms of use.

Logging can be enabled at "Control panel --> Server Administration --> Log Levels" by adding these categories:
These settings will work untill server reboot only. To make them permanent you need to create a special configuration file placed at `$JBOSS_HOME/standalone/deployments/ROOT.war/WEB-INF/classes/META-INF/portal-log4j-ext.xml`:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE log4j:configuration SYSTEM "log4j.dtd">
    <log4j:configuration xmlns:log4j="">
        <appender name="CONSOLE" class="org.apache.log4j.ConsoleAppender">
            <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">
                <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%d{ABSOLUTE} %-5p [%c{1}:%L] %m%n" />
        <category name="">
            <priority value="INFO" />
        <category name="com.liferay.portal.servlet.filters.sso.shibboleth.ShibbolethFilter">
            <priority value="INFO" />


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