In this post I will introduce how simple it is to integrate SAML with oVirt using Keycloak and LDAP user federation.

Prerequisites: I assume you have already setup the 389ds directory server, but the solution is very similar for any other LDAP provider. As SAML is not integrated into oVirt directly, we use Apache to do the SAML authentication for us. The mod_auth_mellon module nicely covers all needed functionality.

mod_auth_mellon configuration

First we need to configure oVirt's apache. SSH to the oVirt engine and create a directory where we'll store all SAML related certificates.

ssh root@engine
yum install -y mod_auth_mellon
mkdir -p /etc/httpd/saml2

When we install the mod_auth_mellon package, it will create /etc/httpd/conf.d/auth_mellon.conf. We need to modify this file to our needs, as follows:

<Location />
    MellonEnable "info"
    MellonDecoder "none"
    MellonVariable "cookie"
    MellonSecureCookie On
    MellonSessionDump On
    MellonSamlResponseDump On
    MellonSessionLength 86400

    MellonUser "NAME_ID"
    MellonEndpointPath /saml2

    MellonSPCertFile /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-cert.cert
    MellonSPPrivateKeyFile /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-key.key
    MellonSPMetadataFile /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-metadata.xml
    MellonIdPMetadataFile /etc/httpd/saml2/idp-metadata.xml

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{LA-U:REMOTE_USER} ^(.*)$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [L,NS,P,E=REMOTE_USER:%1]
    RequestHeader set X-Remote-User %{REMOTE_USER}s

<LocationMatch ^/ovirt-engine/sso/(interactive-login-negotiate|oauth/token-http-auth)|^/ovirt-engine/api>
  <If "req('Authorization') !~ /^(Bearer|Basic)/i">

    Require valid-user
    AuthType "Mellon"
    AuthName "SAML Login"
    MellonEnable "auth"

    ErrorDocument 401 "<html><meta http-equiv=\"refresh\" content=\"0; url=/ovirt-engine/sso/login-unauthorized\"/><body><a href=\"/ovirt-engine/sso/login-unauthorized\">Here</a></body></html>"

You'll notice in the configuration file that we are using the following four files:

  • Certificate file - /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-cert.cert
  • Private key file - /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-key.key
  • Sp metadata file - /etc/httpd/saml2/ovirtsp-metadata.xml
  • Idp metadata file - /etc/httpd/saml2/idp-metadata.xml

We need to create those files using the provided script from the mod_auth_mellon package:

cd /etc/httpd/saml2
/usr/libexec/mod_auth_mellon/ https://<ovirt-fqdn> https://<ovirt-fqdn>/saml2

Now we rename the created files to match the file names that we defined in /etc/httpd/conf.d/auth_mellon.conf:

mv https_<ovirt-fqdn>.key  ovirtsp-key.key
mv https_<ovirt-fqdn>.cert ovirtsp-cert.cert
mv https_<ovirt-fqdn>.xml  ovirtsp-metadata.xml

Now that we have generated the Service provider ovirtsp-metadata.xml we can configure Identity provider using Keycloak.


Keycloak is an open source Identity and Access Management solution aimed at modern applications and services. It makes it easy to secure applications and services with little to no code. Users authenticate with Keycloak rather than individual applications. This means that your applications don't have to deal with login forms to authenticate users. Once logged in to Keycloak, users don't have to login again to access a different application. For our single sign on purpose we will use Keycloak as the SAML provider.

Keycloak configuration

For our example, we'll use default master realm. First let's create user federation with our 389ds directory server. Fill the values of your 389ds server as show in the image below.

After testing the connection and authentication, click the save button and check if your users are searchable, as shown in image below.

Now that user federation is working and is integrated, let's configure the SAML client. For this we need to upload ovirtsp-metadata.xml created in the previous step to Keycloak:

IMPORTANT After the client is created, we must change Name ID Format format from the default value transient to username, and we must enable the Force Name ID Format option. This is required because oVirt is using username to search in LDAP providers.

Our identity provider is configured, so now we add it to our engine configuration:

ssh root@engine
cd /etc/httpd/saml2
curl -s -o idp-metadata.xml http://<keycloak-server>:8080/auth/realms/master/protocol/saml/descriptor
systemctl restart httpd

oVirt AAA configuration

oVirt AAA is the last piece of configuration needed.


# yum install -y ovirt-engine-extension-aaa-ldap ovirt-engine-extension-aaa-misc

Create /etc/ovirt-engine/extensions.d/ = saml-authn
ovirt.engine.extension.bindings.method = jbossmodule
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.module =
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.class =
ovirt.engine.extension.provides = = saml-http = saml-authz = saml-http-mapping = HEADER
config.artifact.arg = X-Remote-User

Create /etc/ovirt-engine/extensions.d/ = saml-http-mapping
ovirt.engine.extension.bindings.method = jbossmodule
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.module =
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.class =
ovirt.engine.extension.provides =
config.mapAuthRecord.type = regex
config.mapAuthRecord.regex.mustMatch = false
config.mapAuthRecord.regex.pattern = ^(?<user>.*?)((\\\\(?<at>@)(?<suffix>.*?)@.*)|(?<realm>@.*))$
config.mapAuthRecord.regex.replacement = ${user}${at}${suffix}

Create /etc/ovirt-engine/extensions.d/ = saml-authz
ovirt.engine.extension.bindings.method = jbossmodule
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.module =
ovirt.engine.extension.binding.jbossmodule.class =
ovirt.engine.extension.provides =
config.profile.file.1 = ../aaa/

Create /etc/ovirt-engine/aaa/

include = <>

vars.server =
vars.user = uid=user1,ou=users,dc=389ds,dc=example,dc=com
vars.password = password

pool.default.auth.simple.bindDN = ${global:vars.user}
pool.default.auth.simple.password = ${global:vars.password}
pool.default.serverset.type = single
pool.default.serverset.single.server = ${global:vars.server}

Now restart ovirt-engine:

systemctl restart ovirt-engine.service

Now when you login to webadmin, you will be redirected to Keycloak (if you're not already logged in). Enter credentials from your 389ds ldap setup and login should succeed. Note that by default your users won't have permissions to login, so you must first assign permissions to them in webadmin.