Installing and configuring SAML2 authentication

November 14, 2023

The SAML2 Authentication Valve module enables you to activate SAML on one or more of your Jahia websites.

Installing the SAML2 Authentication Valve module

To make SAML available in Jahia, deploy the module and install it on your site. You must also deploy and install the Jahia Authentication and JCR Authentication Provider modules. For more information on deploying modules, see Installing a module tutorial.

Creating a keystore

You can manually create the keystore that will communicate with the Identity Provider (IdP). The following command shows example values used to create a keystore.

keytool -genkeypair -alias jahiakeystorealias -keypass changeit -keystore sp.jks -storepass changeit -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 3650

When you run the command, you will be prompted with the following question. Your answer must match your Jahia site domain name (

  • What is your first and last name?:

Configuring SAML2 authentication

SAML configuration is stored in a file in the karaf/etc folder. There is one configuration file per site. You can configure SAML in Site Settings in Jahia.

To configure SAML:

  1. In Jahia, navigate to Administration>Sites>Jahia Authentication and expand SAML2 Settings.
  2. Toggle the Activate slider to enable.
  3. In Identity Provider MetaData file, click Choose File and upload the Identity Provider Metadata XML file provided by the Identity Provider (IdP), for example, Shibboleth or Google.
  4. In Relying Party Identifier, provide the identifier of your Service Provider that is sent to the IdP.
  5. In Keystore, Keystore type, Keystore Alias, Password of the Keystore, and Password of the Private Key enter values that you defined when creating the server key and certificate. You can also leave the keystore empty and fill in the other values to automatically generate a new keystore. Note that the generated keystore will use the hostname for the CN entry of the certificate.
  6. In Incoming Target Url, enter the URL where the IdP will return the SAML response. The default value is /
  7. In Redirect after successful login, enter the Jahia relative URL where users are redirected after successful authentication, for example, /home.html.
  8. In Maximum authentication lifetime, enter the maximum age of the authentication on the IdP. Users must reauthenticate if the session on the IdP is older than the specified time.
  9. Select from the following options:
    • Force authentication
      If set, users must authenticate every time they login, even if the user has already a session on the IdP. This cannot be used along with Passive authentication.
    • Passive authentication
      If set, users log in transparently without any interaction. Users are authenticated only if the IdP is able to do so without asking the user. This cannot be used along with Force authentication.
    • Sign authentication request
      Sign the request sent to the IdP.
    • Requires signed assertions
      If set, will only accept signed assertions from the IdP.
  10. In Binding type, select the SAML binding type used to communicate with the IdP.
  11. Click Save.

After saving your SAML configuration, the Open Service Provider Metadata and Mappers buttons become available at the bottom of the page. You can use Open Service Provider Metadata to download service provider metadata based on the configuration. This can be required to configure the IdP.

Mapping users

Next, map the fields that are used to authenticate users in your IdP to the fields used to authenticate users in Jahia. You specify how to map user data to a user in Jahia.  You first select the IdP field that is used as the username. Then you map it to the appropriate username field in Jahia. You can also choose a specific mapper that creates a new user in the JCR.

To map users:

  1. On the SAML2 Settings page, click Mappers.

    The SAML Connector page opens.
  2. Expand the provider type that is available for you to configure. The following example shows how to configure settings for the JCR Authentication Provider module.
  3. Toggle the Activate slider to enable.
  4. In Field from connector, select the fields to map from your IdP. For example, select Login.
  5. In Field from provider, select the fields to map to in Jahia. For example, select Login username mandatory.
  6. Click Save.

Next, add a login button or form to a page in your site to redirect Jahia users to the SAML IdP.

Adding a login form

Users are redirected from Jahia to the SAML IdP when they call the connectToSAML action from a page. To redirect users, you can add a simple link in the page (for example http://localhost/sites/mySite/ ) or add an HTML form.

Jahia also provides a simple form component, SAML2 Login, with the module. The component displays a simple login button which calls the action. When a user clicks the login button, they are redirected to the IdP with the SAML login request from Jahia. Once logged in, the IdP redirects to Jahia with a signed assertion containing the user information.

Related links

More details on configuration options can be found in the pac4j library documentation: