How to connect fylr to a SAML authentication service.

This can be used to log into fylr with users from e.g. Shibboleth and Azure ActiveDirectory.

Background: SAML 2.0 is an XML-based protocol that uses security tokens containing assertions to pass information about a principal (usually an end user) between a SAML authority, named an Identity Provider, and a SAML consumer, named a Service Provider.

fylr acts as a Service Provider and as such needs to connect to an Identity Provider. For testing and to understand the configuration workflow, you can use the public Identity Provider

At some point you will need: fylr's endpoint to get the required metadata XML. It is http://localhost/api/saml/metadata (replace localhost with the domain of your fylr server, and probably http with https).

SAML with

Follow this example to get into the workflow of configuring SAML with fylr.

First you need to generate a certificate and private key.

Background: The certificate will be entered in the fylr frontend's form fields and then be given to the Identity Provider as part of the metadata, so that requests coming from fylr are accepted. It is in addition to fylr's https certificate and not to be confused with that.

Generate Certificate

This can be done where ever openssl is installed as a command line utility.

openssl genrsa -out private.key 1024
openssl req -new -x509 -key private.key -out publickey.cer -days 365

Now you can view the contents of the files private.key and publickey.cer and put that into fylr's frontend: (Certificate and Key fields)

Base Config

  • As URL add (this is the Identity Provider).

  • We recommend to set the checkmark at Log Steps. This will write log events to debug SAML connections. In case of an error, the connection attempt is always logged.

  • In User Mapping define how the SAML user is created in fylr. Upon each login the SAML users are mapped to fylr users. If an user already exists, an update is performed. Working with

    • Target: Reference: %(urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:attribute:subject-id)s

      • By default, Reference is used to determine whether a user already exists in fylr or whether to create a new one; when a SAML user logs in. You may think of it as the unique ID. This default can be changed in the field Benutzer-Update (User Update), to e.g. use Email as the unique ID instead.

    • Target: Display Name: %(displayName)s

    • Target: Email: %(mail)s

      • Note that email addresses in fylr have to be unique. The same email address cannot be used by two fylr users in any circumstances. fylr will not allow the email address to be saved a second time, preventing the login via SAML, if the email address is already present in fylr.

    • Target: Login: This can be used to determine the username during login, as in: The pair of username and Password used to log in. (Not used in the example with

  • Benutzer-Update (User Update): Set the attribute which is used to determine whether the SAML user (logging in) already has a matching user in fylr. If it has a matching user, that user is logged in (and attributes may get overwritten with the current values in SAML). If it has no matching user in fylr yet, a new user is being created. By default, the used attribute is Reference. But you can choose the attributes Email or Login, instead. Example: Assume that the chosen attribute for Benutzer-Update is Email and that Alice logs in the first time with her SAML user Company policy changes and thus her email address (in SAML) changes to During her next login into fylr, a new user is being created, as there is no user yet with Now Alice has two user accounts in fylr and can only log in to the second one.

Upload Metadata

Get fylr's metadata from https://FYLR.EXAMPLE.COM/api/saml/metadata (replace domain name with your instance).

Upload the downloaded metadata file to the testing service ( The test system replies with We successfully parsed and saved your metadata file. We now trust you.

Test Connection

Now go to the fylr login page (e.g. by logging out or using a second browser or private tab) and click on SAMLtestIdP in the login dialog. This sends you to the login page of the Identify Provider. Login using any of the provided users (they are written on that test login page explicitly, with password). fylr will log the user in with no further rights (unless configured). Check the User Manager in fylr to see that the user record has been created.

Group Mapping

Users of have a role attribute with values like This is shown during login on's page. We will use this attribute to demonstrate a group mapping:

Mapping goal: Every role that ends in shall be autmatically member of the fylr group testidp.

  1. In fylr-URL/configmanager > User management > SAML add into the form field Group Mapping the value %(role)s (see following screenshot).

  1. In fylr-URL/groupmanager add a group named testidp. Give that group some system rights that are visible after logging in.

  2. In this group's configuration > AUTHENTICATION SERVICES > below Single-Sign-On add an entry with Method Regular Expression and Input .* (see following screenshot).

  1. Save. Test the login as a SAML user with a matching role. The user now has the rights given to the group testidp.

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