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SimpleSAMLphp Advanced Features

Table of Contents

1 SimpleSAMLphp documentation

This document is part of the SimpleSAMLphp documentation suite.

This document assumes that you already have a installation of SimpleSAMLphp running, configured and working. This is the next step :)

2 Bridging between protocols

A bridge between two protocols is built using both an IdP and an SP, connected together. To let a SAML 2.0 SP talk to a SAML 1.1 IdP, you build a SimpleSAMLphp bridge from a SAML 2.0 IdP and a SAML 1.1 SP. The SAML 2.0 SP talks to the SAML 2.0 IdP, which hands the request over to the SAML 1.1 SP, which forwards it to the SAML 1.1 IdP.

If you have followed the instructions for setting up an SP, and have configured an authentication source, all you need to do is to add that authentication source to the IdP.

Example of bridge configuration

In metadata/saml20-idp-hosted.php:

'auth' => 'default-sp',

In config/authsources.php:

'default-sp' => array(

3 Attribute control

Filtering, mapping, etc can be performed by using existing or create new Authentication Processing Filters. For more information, read:

4 Automatic update of SAML 2.0 Metadata XML from HTTPS

The metarefresh module is the preferred method for doing this. Please see the metarefresh documentation.

5 Using simpleSAMLphp on a web server requiring the use of a web proxy

Some modules in simpleSAMLphp may require fetching HTTP/HTTPS content from external websites (e.g. the metarefresh module needs to fetch the metadata from an external source).

simpleSAMLphp can be configured to send HTTP/S requests via such a proxy. The proxy can be configured in the config/config.php option "proxy". Should the proxy require authentication, this can be configured with "proxy.auth".

The default is not to use a proxy ('proxy' = null) and no username and password are used ('proxy.auth' = false).

6 Auth MemCookie

Auth MemCookie support is deprecated in the standard code base of SimpleSAMLphp and will no longer be available starting in SimpleSAMLphp 2.0. Please use the new memcookie module instead.

7 Metadata signing

SimpleSAMLphp supports signing of the metadata it generates. Metadata signing is configured by four options:

These options can be configured globally in the config/config.php-file, or per SP/IdP by adding them to the hosted metadata for the SP/IdP. The configuration in the metadata for the SP/IdP takes precedence over the global configuration.

There is also an additional fallback for the private key and the certificate. If metadata.sign.privatekey and metadata.sign.certificate isn't configured, SimpleSAMLphp will use the privatekey, privatekey_pass and certificate options in the metadata for the SP/IdP.

8 Session checking function

Optional session checking function, called on session init and loading, defined with 'session.check_function' in config.php.

Example code for the function with GeoIP country check:

public static function checkSession($session, $init = FALSE) {
    $data_type = 'example:check_session';
    $data_key = 'remote_addr';

    $remote_addr = NULL;
    if (!empty($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'])) {
        $remote_addr = (string)$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];

    if ($init) {
        $session->setData($data_type, $data_key, $remote_addr, SimpleSAML_Session::DATA_TIMEOUT_SESSION_END);

    if (!function_exists('geoip_country_code_by_name')) {
        SimpleSAML\Logger::warning('geoip php module required.');
        return TRUE;

    $stored_remote_addr = $session->getData($data_type, $data_key);
    if ($stored_remote_addr === NULL) {
        SimpleSAML\Logger::warning('Stored data not found.');
        return FALSE;

    $country_a = geoip_country_code_by_name($remote_addr);
    $country_b = geoip_country_code_by_name($stored_remote_addr);

    if ($country_a === $country_b) {
        if ($stored_remote_addr !== $remote_addr) {
            $session->setData($data_type, $data_key, $remote_addr, SimpleSAML_Session::DATA_TIMEOUT_SESSION_END);

        return TRUE;

    return FALSE;

9 Support

If you need help to make this work, or want to discuss SimpleSAMLphp with other users of the software, you are fortunate: Around SimpleSAMLphp there is a great Open source community, and you are welcome to join! The forums are open for you to ask questions, contribute answers other further questions, request improvements or contribute with code or plugins of your own.