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SAML Single Sign-On into Joomla using SimpleSAML

miniOrange Joomla SAML SP SSO plugin helps you to integrate your Joomla site to SimpleSAML using SAML 2.0 protocol. Our user-friendly plugin simplifies the process of setting up Single Sign-on (SSO) with SimpleSAML in Joomla, ensuring a secure login experience. This enables users to access various Joomla sites effortlessly using their SimpleSAML IDP credentials.

Our plugin is designed to be compatible with Joomla 3, 4 as well as 5 and works seamlessly with all SAML 2.0 compliant Identity Providers. For a detailed overview of the comprehensive features offered by the Joomla SAML SP plugin, please visit our page here. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide on configuring SAML SSO login between your Joomla site and SimpleSAML, with SimpleSAML serving as the Identity Provider (IDP) and Joomla as the Service Provider (SP).

What is SSO ?

Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication method that enables users to access multiple applications with one-click login and one set of credentials. For example, after users log in to your Joomla site, they can automatically access all resources of the Joomla site. The implementation of SSO involves configuring one system to trust another for user authentication, removing the need for users to log in separately to each system. The system that authenticates users is called an Identity Provider. The system that trusts the Identity Provider for authentication is called the Service Provider.
In this context, the system responsible for authenticating users is referred to as the Identity Provider (IDP), while the system relying on the Identity Provider for authentication is known as the Service Provider (SP). When a user initiates a login attempt, the Service Provider sends a SAML request to the Identity Provider. Upon successful IDP authentication, SAML assertions containing user information are transmitted back to the Service Provider. Subsequently, the Service Provider receives the assertion, verifies it based on the Identity Provider configuration, and grants the user access to your Joomla website.

Pre-requisites: Download And Installation

Steps to Integrate SimpleSAML Single Sign-On (SSO) with Joomla SAML SP

1. Setup Joomla SAML SP plugin

  • Download the zip file for the miniOrange SAML SP plugin for Joomla.
  • Login into your Joomla site’s Administrator console.
  • From left toggle menu, click on System, then under Install section click on Extensions.
  • Now click on Or Browse for file button to locate and install the plugin file downloaded earlier.
  • Install the SAML SP Plugin from your computer
  • Installation of plugin is successful. Now click on Get Started!
  • Start Using miniOrange SAML SP plugin
  • Go to the Service Provider Metadata tab and scroll down to copy the SP-EntityID and the ACS URL.
  • Copy SP-EntityID and ACS URL

2. Configure SimpleSAML as IdP

  • Enabling the Identity Provider functionality
    • The first that must be done is to enable the identity provider functionality. This is done by editing config/config.php (You can find this file in your simplesaml installation directory). The option enable.saml20-idp controls whether SAML 2.0 IdP support is enabled. Enable it by assigning true to them
    • Example: ‘enable.saml20-idp’ => true
  • Configuring the authentication module:
    • The exampleauth: UserPass authentication module is part of the exampleauth module. This module isn't enabled by default, so you will have to enable it. This is done by creating a file named enable (file name) in modules/ exampleauth/.
    • On unix, this can be done by running (from the SimpleSAMLphp installation directory):
    • The next step is to create an authentication source with this module. An authentication source is an authentication module with a specific configuration. Each authentication source has a name, which is used to refer to this specific configuration in the IdP configuration. Configuration for authentication sources can be found in config/ authsources.php.
    • In this setup, this file should contain a single entry:
    •     <?php     $config = [     'example-userpass' => [     'exampleauth: UserPass',     'student: studentpass' => [     'uid' => ['student'],     'eduPersonAffiliation' => ['member', 'student'],     ],     'employee:employeepass' => [     'uid' => ['employee'],     'eduPersonAffiliation' => ['member', 'employee'],     ],     ],     ];
    • This configuration creates two users - student and employee, with the passwords studentpass and employeepass. The username and password are stored in the array index (student: studentpass for the student-user). The attributes for each user are configured in the array referenced by the index. So for the student user, these are:
    • [ 'uid' => ['student'], 'eduPersonAffiliation' => ['member', 'student'], ],
    • The attributes will be returned by the IdP when the user logs on.
  • Creating a self-signed certificate :-
    The IdP needs a certificate to sign its SAML assertions with. Here is an example of an openssl-command which can be used to generate a new private key key and the corresponding self-signed certificate. The private key and certificate go into the directory defined in the certdir setting (defaults to cert/)
    This key and certificate can be used to sign SAML messages: openssl req -newkey rsa:3072 -new -x509 -days 3652 -nodes -out -keyout The certificate above will be valid for 10 years.
    You can generate it by using any online Tools and add them in cert directory.
    The extension should be like: //(Public Key) //(Private Key)
    SimpleSAMLphp will only work with RSA certificates. DSA certificates are not supported.
  • Configuring the IdP:-
    The SAML 2.0 IdP is configured by the metadata stored in metadata/saml20-idp-hosted.php. This is a minimal configuration:     <?php    $metadata['__DYNAMIC:1__'] = [    /*    * The hostname for this IdP. This makes it possible to run multiple    * IdPs from the same configuration. '__DEFAULT__' means that this one    * should be used by default.    */    'host' => '__DEFAULT__',        /*    * The private key and certificate to use when signing responses.     * These are stored in the cert-directory.    */    'privatekey' => '',    'certificate' => '',     /*     * The authentication source which should be used to authenticate the     * user. This must match one of the entries in config/authsources.php.     */    'auth' => '' Example:- 'example-userpass', // You can find this in Step Number 3    ];
  • Adding SPs to the IdP:-
    The identity provider you are configuring needs to know about the service providers you are going to connect to it. This is configured by metadata stored in metadata/saml20-sp-remote.php. This is a minimal example of a metadata/saml20-sp-remote.php metadata file for a SimpleSAMLphp SP:

    Replace with your Joomla domain name.
        <?php        $metadata[''] = [         'Assertion Consumer Service' => '',         'SingleLogoutService' => '',        'NameIDFormat' => 'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:emailAddress',        'simplesaml.nameidattribute' => 'mail',        'simplesaml.attributes' => true,        'attributes' => array('mail', 'givenname', 'sn', 'memberOf'),        ]; Note that the URI in the entityID and the URLs to the Assertion Consumer Service and Single Logout Service endpoints change between different service providers. If you have the metadata of the remote SP as an XML file, you can use the built-in XML to SimpleSAMLphp metadata converter, which by default is available as /admin/metadata-converter.php in your SimpleSAMLphp installation.
    • Here, you can also add user attributes you want to send from SimpleSAML to your Service Provider i.e Joomla.
    • Go to SimpleSAMLphp homepage of installation.
    • The URL of an installation can be e.g.: where has to be replaced by your SimpleSAMLphp path.
    • (Note: The installation page URL may differ depending on how SimpleSAML installation has been done)
    • Now go to Federation Tab and click on Show Metadata for SAML 2.0 IdP Metadata.
    • Integration of SimpleSAML single-sign-on-sso , Federation tab
    • You can get the IdP metadata from here which will be required to configure the plugin.

3. Configure SimpleSAML with Joomla

In Joomla SAML plugin, go to Service Provider Setup tab. There are three ways to configure the plugin:

SAML SSO Single-Sign-On By Uploading Metadata File:

  • In Joomla SAML plugin, go to Service Provider Setup tab, then click on Upload IDP metadata.
  • Upload IDP Metadata

SAML SSO Single-Sign-On By Metadata URL:

  • Enter Metadata URL (Copied from SimpleSAML) and click on Fetch Metadata.
  • Upload IDP Metadata

SAML SSO Single-Sign-On Manual Configuration:

  • Copy SAML Entity ID, SAML Single-Sign-On Endpoint URL and X.509 certificate from Federation Metadata document and paste it in Idp Entity ID or Issuer, Single Sign-on URL, X.509 Certificate fields respectively in the plugin.
IdP Entity ID or Issuer
SAML Entity ID in the Federation Metadata document
Single Sign-On URL
SAML Single-Sign-On Endpoint URL in the Federation Metadata document
X.509 Certificate Value
X.509 Certificate in the Federation Metadata document

    manual Configuration
  • Click on Save button and then Test Configuration button.
  • Save configuration
  • Once the test configuration is successful you will get the following window.
  • Test configuration
  • Congratulations we have successfully configured Joomla SAML Service Provider with SimpleSAML as Identity Provider.

4. Attribute Mapping - This is Premium feature.

  • Attributes are user details that are stored in your Identity Provider.
  • Attribute Mapping helps you to get user attributes from your Identity Provider (IDP) and map them to Joomla user attributes like firstname, lastname, address, phone etc.
  • While auto registering the users in your Joomla site these attributes will automatically get mapped to your Joomla user details.
  • Go to Attribute Mapping tab and fill in all the fields.
  • Username:
    Name of the username attribute from IdP (Keep NameID by default)
    Name of the email attribute from IdP (Keep NameID by default)
    First Name:
    Name of the first name attribute from IDP
    Last Name:
    Name of the last name attribute from IDP

    Attribute Mapping
  • You can check the Test Configuration Results under Service Provider Setup tab to get a better idea of which values to map here.

Step 5. Group Mapping - This is Premium feature.

  • Group/Role mapping helps you to assign specific roles to users of a certain group in your Identity Provider (IdP).
  • While auto registering, the users are assigned roles based on the group they are mapped to.
  • Group Mapping

Step 6. Redirection & SSO Links.

  • Go to Login Settings tab. You can add login Url to Perform SAML SSO in your Joomla site by following the steps below.
  • There are multiple features availabe in this tab like Auto redirect the user to Identity Provider and Enable Backend Login for Super Users. To use these features, click on the respective checkboxes.
  • Joomla Single Sign On SSO SAML SP Signin Settings
  • Congratulations, you have successfully configured the miniOrange SAML SP plugin with your SimpleSAML as IDP.
  • Click on the Upgrade Plans tab to check out our complete list of features and various licensing plans. OR you can click here to check features and licensing plans.
  • If you want to purchase any of the paid version of the plugin, you have to register/login with us in Account Setup tab. OR you can register/login here.
  • In case, you are facing some issue or have any question in mind, you can reach out to us by sending us your query through the Support button in the plugin or by sending us a mail at

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