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Nginx module for retrieving user attributes and groups from SSSD

WARNING: Output to variables is not implemented yet

This module retrives additional attributes from SSSD for current authentizated user. Inspired by mod_lookup_identity module for Apache. You can specify BASE64 encoding for values, and output to nginx variables or headers, which can be passed further for use. Both header and variable names can be specified.

Tried with freeIPA, ngx_form_auth and basic Perl FCGI application.


  1. Download the nginx source and extract it

  2. Clone this module repository into the directory

  3. Make sure you have additional module you use for authentication (or use Nginx's Basic auth)

  4. Follow the nginx install documentation and add this module. If you are compiling more modules for access phase (eg for authentication), add this module last.

    ./configure --add-module=ngx_sssd_info


  • sssd_info: on | off: for enabling / disabling the module
  • sssd_info_output_to: base64 | variables | headers: any combination of these values; specify whether the values should be BASE64 encoded and where to output them. Default value is "variables" "headers"
  • sssd_info_groups: name of a variable / header to which output user groups
  • sssd_info_group: name of a variable / header to which output user groups one by one
  • sssd_info_group_separator: string that divided group name outputted to sssd_info_groups, default is ":"
  • sssd_info_attributes: (name of the attribute in SSSD configuration) (name of a variable / header to which output attribute)
  • sssd_info_attribute: (name of the attribute in SSSD configuration) (name of a variable / header to which output attribute one by one)
  • sssd_info_attribute_separator string that divided attribute values outputted to sssd_info_attributes, default is ":"

Example configuration with ngx_form_auth

location /application/login {
    form_auth on;
    form_auth_pam_service "my_app";

    sssd_info on;
    sssd_info_output_to "headers";
    sssd_info_groups "mygroups";
    sssd_info_group "mygroup";
    sssd_info_attributes "mail" "mymails";
    sssd_info_attribute_separator "_";
    sssd_info_attribute "mail" "mymail";
    sssd_info_attribute "givenname" "myname";

    proxy_set_header remote-user $remote_user;

If you want to output to headers, use - instead of _.

Debugging information and troubleshooting

To enable debugging output, compile with the --with-debug option and set the error_log directive in you configuratin to debug level.

If you have unexpected issues with authentication, make sure your PAM setup is correct (you have the configuration file for the used service in your /etc/pam.d/ containing correct settings). Usual setup for using SSSD for authentication and authorization is

auth    required
account required

Make sure your SSSD configuration file includes all the attributes you have in module configuration. Important lines include

ldap_user_extra_attrs = <all attributes you want, divided by comma>
services = nss, sudo, pam, ssh, ifp
    Important is that `ifp` is included

ldap_user_extra_attrs = mail, givenname, sn

allowed_uids = <user, under which is nginx running>
user_attributes = <all attributes you want, divided by comma and prefixed by +>

allowed_uids = root, nobody
user_attributes = +mail, +givenname, +sn

Restart SSSD (sudo service sssd restart or equivalent) after any changes in sssd.conf.

Make sure you have installed sssd-dbus and dbus-devel (or equivalent) and check where the dbus header files are placed, in case of dbus-devel installation in a different place change included directories in config file. Be sure the sssd-dbus service is running.


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