Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on 01/06/14 13:48:37

Shibboleth / Shibboleth IdP Upgrade

IdP2Upgrade Notes

Shibb documentation wiki, Added by, last edited by Sara Hopkins on Oct 03, 2012

Multiple IdP instances in a single Tomcat container

Yes, exactly. We set this up successfully only last week. The Apache Tomcat documentation describes what to do [multiple catalina configurations for IdP instances]:

We have two IdPs, one running version 2.1.5 and the other running 2.2.0.


Chad La Joie wrote:

For something like this I think you'd just run multiple instances of the IdP in the same Tomcat.

N Syrotiuk | Mimas | University of Manchester | Manchester M13 9PL

Upgrading from Shibboleth IdP 2.x

These instructions are for upgrading a currently operational version 2.x Shibboleth IdP.

  1. Stop the IdP (by stopping the Tomcat servlet container); stop Apache httpd too.
  2. Make a back-up copy of /opt/shibboleth-idp/conf directory (recent versions of the IdP installer should not overwrite config unless you answer "yes" in point 7 below).
  3. Download the .zip archive of the most recent Shibboleth IdP 2.x and unzip the archive. Do not use the .msi installer for upgrading an existing IdP 2.x installation.
  4. Create a source directory specifically for storing the IdP unzipped archives. This makes it easier to manage any additional libraries or branding. Record the directory path here:_
  5. Copy additional libraries (e.g. JDBC drivers or plugins and/or filters, like uApprove) into the lib/ directory (i.e. lib/ inside the source directory where you unzipped the archive; not $IDP_HOME/lib/, which is inside the deployment directory).
  6. Reapply any branding: ie. copy the previously customised login.jsp etc. pages into the /src/main/webapp subdirectory of the unzipped archive.
  7. Run the install script from the command line in the top-level directory of the unzipped archive ( on Unix machines, install.bat on Windows).
    • Provide the location of your $IDP_HOME directory: /opt/shiobboleth-idp
    • Answer "no" when the installer asks if you wish to overwrite your configuration files.
  8. If the config files have been overwritten (eg. due to human error) copy the files from the back-up back into /opt/shibboleth-idp/conf directory.
  9. Start the IdP (or the servlet container), and start Apache httpd too, if you're using it.

UA localization

Local DataConnectors

UA IdP is configured to use both the DSEE enterprise LDAP directory ("EDIR") and UA Domain AD for attribute resolution.

The edir LDAP directories are behind a hardware equalizer, providing redundancy; the cluster is addressed by:

<resolver:DataConnector id="myLDAP" xsi:type="LDAPDirectory" xmlns="urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:resolver:dc"
        ldapURL="ldaps://" baseDN="ou=people,dc=alaska,dc=edu" 

The FilterTemplate supports user login with their UA Username (in uasystemid) or their ID # (in bannerid) or their edir UID.

The UA Domain AD as of 2013-04 is defined as a single node connection:

<resolver:DataConnector id="uaADLDAP" xsi:type="LDAPDirectory" xmlns="urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:resolver:dc"
        ldapURL="ldaps://" baseDN="ou=useraccounts,dc=ua,dc=ad,dc=alaska,dc=edu"  
        principal="cn=uashib,ou=uaf_service,ou=uaf,dc=ua,dc=ad,dc=alaska,dc=edu" principalCredential="•••••••••">

The FilterTemplate supports user login with their UA Username (in sAMAcountName) or their UA ID# (in uaidentifier).

In the future, a subset of the UA AD servers might be put into a equalizer cluster, providing redundancy similar to edir. As a fall-back, this DataConnector might be configured with failover (see below).

Customize login.jsp

2012: IdP distribution is at howkan:/home/sxjpm/Shib/shibboleth-identityprovider-2.3.0/src...

The java login page for branding & customization is in that src directory at .../main/webapp/login.jsp

production IdPs (heald, hanin) do not have 2.3.0 src...

Import private CAs as needed

As of 2013-03-30 UA AD is using certificates signed by a local private CA for ldaps. Unless that CA's certificate is imported, the IdP will fail to establish connection to the AD server, potentially causing authN failure, but certainly causing a failure in attribute resolution.

Import the CA certificate, per with the following command that MUST be run by root (to write the cacerts file):

keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias "sensible-name-for-ca"
        -file directory.crt -keystore $JAVA_HOME/lib/security/cacerts

N.B.: as of 2013-04-01, Tech Services is employing a different way to import and make use the CA by pointing Java to a different key store in order to avoid having to re-import the local CA every time Java is updated. It is not known what the long term effect on other CAs will be - whether those certs will be updated if changed by the vendor.

TS needs to provide support and documentation for this change.

DataConnector Failover

If the data connector encounters an error when trying to retrieve attribute information from the database, one or more failover data connectors can be defined. These connectors are only invoked if this data connector fails (not if simply finds no results) and they are invoked in the order they are listed until one succeeds.

N.B.: if the DataConnector as a whole fails, UA experience has been that the attribute resolution process aborts and the SAML assertion has no attributes. A possible more robust solution is to define a failover "static data connector" that will return no attributes or static-value attributes, but not abort the attribute resolver.

Failover connectors are defined by the <resolver:FailoverDataConnector> element with a ref attribute whose value is the unique ID of the data connector to use in the event that this one fails.

Basic Relational Database Data Connector Definition with Dependencies

<resolver:DataConnector xsi:type="dc:RelationalDatabase" xmlns="urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:resolver:dc"
     <resolver:FailoverDataConnector ref="FailoverStaticConnector" />

Basic Format of Static Data Connector

<resolver:DataConnector id="FailoverStaticConnector" xsi:type="Static" xmlns="urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:resolver:dc">
     <Attribute id="uausername">
     <Attribute id="eduPersonAffiliation">

IdP Install (not upgrade) Recipe