A Mediawiki plugin allowing SAML authentication through simpleSamlPhp
Latest commit 2e0e7b7 Dec 1, 2016 @helliio helliio committed on GitHub Fixed spelling error on chinese translation in i18n
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SAML plugin for MediaWiki


  • SimpleSamlAuth This extension, uses SimpleSamlPhp to allow SAML login in MediaWiki.
  • SimpleSamlPhp Open source lightweight SAML implementation by UNINETT.
  • MediaWiki Open source Wiki software.


  • SimpleSamlPhp (tested on 1.11 and newer)
  • MediaWiki (tested on 1.15, 1.16 or newer required for some features)

IMPORTANT If you run MediaWiki 1.27 or newer, SimpleSamlPhp MUST be configured to use an alternative session handler. If this is not done, SAML authentication succeeds, but MediaWiki still shows that nobody is logged in. Please refer to the SimpleSamlPhp website on how to configure SimpleSamlPhp for session storage.


  • Install SimpleSamlPhp on the same domain as your MediaWiki installation.
  • In SimpleSamlPhp, use the Authentication -> Test configured authentication sources feature to ensure that authentication works. Also make sure that the attributes make sense.

You may keep the attributes page open for later reference,
for filling out $wgSamlUsernameAttr, $wgSamlRealnameAttr and $wgSamlMailAttr.

If you encounter problems during the preparation, please look here for support. Only report bugs for SimpleSamlAuth if the preparation steps work for you.


  • Clone this repository into your MediaWikis extensions directory, and call it SimpleSamlAuth.
git clone git@github.com:jornane/mwSimpleSamlAuth.git SimpleSamlAuth
  • Add the following lines to LocalSettings.php in your MediaWiki installation:
require_once "$IP/extensions/SimpleSamlAuth/SimpleSamlAuth.php";

$wgSamlRequirement = SAML_OPTIONAL;
// Should users be created if they don't exist in the database yet?
$wgSamlCreateUser = false;

// SAML attributes
$wgSamlUsernameAttr = 'uid';
$wgSamlRealnameAttr = 'cn';
$wgSamlMailAttr = 'mail';

// SimpleSamlPhp settings
$wgSamlSspRoot = '/usr/share/simplesamlphp';
$wgSamlAuthSource = 'default-sp';
$wgSamlPostLogoutRedirect = NULL;

// Array: [MediaWiki group][SAML attribute name][SAML expected value]
// If the SAML assertion matches, the user is added to the MediaWiki group
$wgSamlGroupMap = array(
    'sysop' => array(
        'groups' => array('admin'),


Modify the variables starting with $wgSaml to configure the extension. Some important variables:


This variable tells the extension how MediaWiki should behave.

optional loginonly required
Allow login through SAML
Update user's real name and e-mail
Prevent creation of local accounts
Prevent login with local account
Prevent anonymous browsing
Redirect to login immediatly

You can still use the MediaWiki methods for preventing access to block certain actions, even if SimpleSamlAuth won't block them. The only exception is that $wgSamlCreateUser = true will have priority over $wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false.


This is the name of the AuthSource you configured in SimpleSamlPhp. You can easily find it by going to the SimpleSamlPhp installation page and going to Authentication -> Test configured authentication sources. The word you have to click there is the name of your AuthSource. For SAML sessions, the standard preconfigured name in SimpleSamlPhp is default-sp and this is also what SimpleSamlAuth will guess if you omit the variable.


This is an URL where users are redirected when they log out from the MediaWiki installation. Generally, for a SAML_REQUIRED setup you want to set this to a landing page (intranet, for example). For any other setup, you may not want to set this, so users can continue browsing the Wiki anonymously after logging out.


This is a list of rules used to add users to MediaWiki groups based on their SAML attributes. It is an array of three layers deep:

  • Name of the MediaWiki group (for example sysop)
  • Name of a SAML attribute (for example groups)
  • Possible value for the SAML attribute (for example admin)
$wgSamlGroupMap = array(
    'sysop' => array(
        'groups' => array('admin'),

An array as illustrated here will add users to the sysop MediaWiki group, if they have a SAML attribute named groups with at least a value admin. If you want more fine-grained control, look at the SimpleSamlPhp role module.


The name of the cookie containing the session ID. When using PHP's built-in session management in both PHP and SimpleSamlPhp, this must match the session name used by PHP. It should not be necessary to set this.


Array of page names that can be read without being redirected to the IdP. This may be useful on sites where SAML login is required, but some pages are publicly readable. Has no effect in the behaviour of this extension unless $wgSamlRequirement is SAML_REQUIRED.

Known Issues

Weird things happen with sessions / I must click Save twice before the page saves

This has to do with the value of $wgSessionName. This value must be set to ini_get('session.name') if you use PHP sessions in both SimpleSamlPhp and MediaWiki. From version 0.5, SimpleSamlAuth will take care of this automatically.

SAML users can edit their e-mail address

Extensions can only disable preferences since MediaWiki 1.16. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS comes with MediaWiki 1.15. WikiMedia recommends against using the Ubuntu-provided version of MediaWiki.

E-mail addresses are not automatically confirmed

SimpleSamlAuth will only confirm e-mail addresses that it has set itself. Make sure that you have configured $wgSamlMailAttr correctly.

SAML users overwrite MediaWiki users / SAML users can reset their password and become a local user

There is not really a difference between local accounts and remote accounts in MediaWiki. There has been an idea to implement this, but it looks like it's dead now.

If SimpleSamlPhp presents a valid session, SimpleSamlAuth simply finds a local MediaWiki user with a username roughly equal to the value of the username attribute; if it doesn't exist, and if $wgSamlCreateUser is set, the user is created. This newly created user will have no password, but will be able to reset their password if a valid e-mail address has been set.

Other issue?

Please report it on the project's GitHub issues page.