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# CloudFoundry User Account and Authentication (UAA) Server


  • Team:
    • Dale Olds (
    • Dave Syer (
    • Luke Taylor (
    • Joel D'Sa (
  • Team mailing list:
  • Docs: docs/

Quick Start

If this works you are in business:

$ git clone
$ cd uaa
$ mvn install

Each module has a mvn tomcat:run target to run individually, or you could import them as projects into STS (use 2.8.0 or better if you can). The apps all work together the apps running on the same port (8080) as /uaa, /app and /api.

Demo of command line usage

First run the uaa server as described above:

$ cd uaa
$ mvn tomcat:run

Then start another terminal and from the project base directory, run:

$ ./gem/bin/uaa target localhost:8080/uaa
$ ./gem/bin/uaa login marissa koala

(or leave out the username / password to be prompted).

This authenticates and obtains an access token from the server using the OAuth2 implicit grant, similar to the approach intended for a client like VMC. The token is returned in stdout, so copy paste the value into this next command:

$ ./gem/bin --client_id=app --client_secret=appclientsecret decode <token>

and you should see your username and the client id of the original token grant on stdout.

Integration tests

With all apps deployed into a running server on port 8080 the tests will include integration tests (a check is done before each test that the app is running). You can deploy them in your IDE or using the command line with mvn tomcat:run.

For individual modules, or for the whole project, you can also run integration tests from the command line in one go with

$ mvn integration-test

(This might require an initial mvn install from the parent directory to get the wars in your local repo first.)


There is a really simple cucumber feature spec (--tag @uaa) to verify that the UAS server is there. There is also a rake task to launch the integration tests from the uaa submodule in vcap. Typical usage for a local ( instance:

$ cd vcap/tests
$ rake bvt:run_uaa

To modify the runtime parameters you can provide a uaa.yml and set the env var CLOUD_FOUNDRY_CONFIG_PATH, e.g.

$ cat > /tmp/uaa.yml
    username: # defaults to
    password: changeme
$ CLOUD_FOUNDRY_CONFIG_PATH=/tmp rake bvt:run_uaa

The tests will usually fail on the first run because of the 1 sec granularity of the timestamp on the tokens in the cloud_controller (so duplicate tokens will be rejected by the server). When you run the second and subsequent times they should pass because new token values will be obtained from the server.

You can also change individual properties on the command line with UAA_ARGS, which are passed on to the mvn command line, or with MAVEN_OPTS which are passed on to the shell executing mvn, e.g.

$ rake bvt:run_uaa

N.B. MAVEN_OPTS cannot be used to set JVM system properties for the tests, but it can be used to set memory limits for the process etc.


There are actually several projects here, the main uaa server application and some samples:

  1. uaa is the actual UAA server

  2. gem is a ruby gem (cf-uaa-client) for interacting with the UAA server

  3. api (sample) is an OAuth2 resource service which returns a mock list of deployed apps

  4. app (sample) is a user application that uses both of the above

In CloudFoundry terms

  • uaa provides an authentication service plus authorized delegation for back-end services and apps (by issuing OAuth2 access tokens).

  • api is - it's a service which provides resources which other applications may wish to access on behalf of the resource owner (the end user).

  • app is or - a webapp that needs single sign on and access to the api service on behalf of users.

UAA Server

The authentication service is uaa. It's a plain Spring MVC webapp. Deploy as normal in Tomcat or your container of choice, or execute mvn tomcat:run to run it directly from uaa directory in the source tree. When running with maven it listen on port 8080.

It supports the APIs defined in the UAA-APIs document. To summarise:

  1. The OAuth2 /authorize and /token endpoints

  2. A /login_info endpoint to allow querying for required login prompts

  3. A /check_token endpoint, to allow resource servers to obtain information about an access token submitted by an OAuth2 client.

  4. SCIM user provisioning endpoint

  5. OpenID connect endpoints to support authentication /userinfo and /check_id (todo). Implemented roughly enough to get it working (so /app authenticates here), but not to meet the spec.

Authentication can be performed by command line clients by submitting credentials directly to the /authorize endpoint (as described in UAA-API doc). There is an ImplicitAccessTokenProvider in Spring Security OAuth that can do the heavy lifting if your client is Java.

By default uaa will launch with a context root /uaa. There is a Maven profile vcap to launch with context root /.


There is a uaa.yml in the application which provides defaults to the placeholders in the Spring XML. Wherever you see ${} in the XML there is an opportunity to override it either by providing a System property (-D to JVM) with the same name, or an environment-specific uaa.yml under env['CLOUD_FOUNDRY_CONFIG_PATH']/uaa.yml. When vcap is deployed the CLOUD_FOUNDRY_CONFIG_PATH is defined according to the way it was installed.

All passwords and client secrets in the config files must be encypted using BCrypt. In Java you can do it like this (with spring-securty-crypto on the classpath):

String password = BCrypt.hashpw("plaintext");

In ruby you can do it like this:

require 'bcrypt'
password = BCrypt::Password.create('plaintext')

User Account Data

The default is to use an in-memory, hash-based user store that is pre-populated with some test users: e.g. dale has password password and marissa has password koala.

To use a RDBMS for user data, activate the Spring profiles jdbc and one of hsqldb or postgresql. The opposite is !jdbc which needs to be specified explicitly if any other profiles are active. The hsqldb profile will start up with an in-memory RDBMS by default.

The active profiles can be configured by passing the parameter to the JVM. For, example to run with an embedded HSQL database:

 mvn,hsqldb,!legacy tomcat:run

Or to use PostgreSQL instead of HSQL:

 mvn,postgresql,!legacy tomcat:run

To bootstrap a microcloud type environment you need an admin user. For this there is a database initializer component that inserts an admin user if it finds an empty database on startup. Override the default settings (username/password=admin/admin) in uaa.yml:

    username: foo
    password: $2a$10$yHj...
    family_name: Piper
    given_name: Peter

(the password has to be bcrypted).

Legacy Mode

There is a legacy mode where the cloud controller is used for the authentication and token generation. To use this, launch the app with Spring profile legacy (a Maven profile with the same name is provided for convenience as well). The opposite is !legacy which needs to be specified explicitly if any other profiles are active. The cloud controller login URL defaults to{username}/tokens - to override it provide a System property or uaa.yml entry for cloud_controller.login_url.

The API Application

An example resource server. It hosts a service which returns a list of mock applications under /apps.

Run it using mvn tomcat:run from the api directory (once all other tomcat processes have been shutdown). This will deploy the app to a Tomcat manager on port 8080.

The App Application

This is a user interface app (primarily aimed at browsers) that uses OpenId Connect for authentication (i.e. SSO) and OAuth2 for access grants. It authenticates with the Auth service, and then accesses resources in the API service. Run it with mvn tomcat:run from the app directory (once all other tomcat processes have been shutdown).

Use Cases

  1. See all apps

     GET /app/apps

browser is redirected through a series of authentication and access grant steps (which could be slimmed down to implicit steps not requiring user at some point), and then the photos are shown.

  1. See the currently logged in user details, a bag of attributes grabbed from the open id provider

     GET /app