Installing SP2.x under Linux

From RavenWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

These instructions apply to installs either using RPMs provided by the Shibboleth Consortium, or using native packages available in Debian/Ubuntu. See NativeSPLinuxInstall in the Shib Wiki for instructions on installing in other versions of Linux, and then adapt these instructions accordingly.

These instructions assume that your web server serves a single site - virtual hosting issues are addressed elsewhere.



Currently (June 2012) the Shib Consortium provide RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise and CentOS 5, 6 (i386 and x86_64); SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, 10, 11, 11-SP1 (i386 and x86_64); and OpenSUSE Linux 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 12.1 (i386 and x86_64).

Follow the instructions at

to install an apropriate set of RPMs.

For SLES10 and zypper it's possible to use Yum repository by adding the appropriate repository with

zypper sa

after which the Shibboleth software can be installed with

zypper in shibboleth


distro release package version
Debian 6 Squeeze1 libapache2-mod-shib2 2.3.1
Debian 7 Wheezy1 libapache2-mod-shib2 2.4.3
Debian 8 Jessie1 libapache2-mod-shib2 2.5.3
Debain 9 Stretch1 libapache2-mod-shib2 2.6.0
Debain 10 Buster1 libapache2-mod-shib 3.0.4
Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid libapache2-mod-shib2 2.3.1
Ubuntu 11.04 Natty libapache2-mod-shib2 2.3.1
Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric libapache2-mod-shib2 2.4.3
Ubuntu 12.04 Precise libapache2-mod-shib2 2.4.3
Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal libapache2-mod-shib2 2.4.3
Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial libapache2-mod-shib2 2.5.3
Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic2 libapache2-mod-shib2 2.6.1
Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic libapache2-mod-shib 3.0.2
Ubuntu 19.04 Disco libapache2-mod-shib 3.0.4

In all cases, the distribution-supplied version of the SP software can be enabled via:

 a2enmod shib2 

Then run shib-keygen to create a key and self-signed X.509 certificate for the Shibboleth SP to use:


The key is stored in /etc/shibboleth/sp-key.pem and the certificate in /etc/shibboleth/sp-cert.pem.


  1. The backports repo contains the package from the next release.
  2. The shibboleth packages in bionic still depend on libcurl3, while everything else in the distribution requires libcurl4 and they cannot both be installed. There are some workarounds detailed on the bug tracker. Manual compilation may be required.

Subsequent configuration

After installing the software, in /etc/shibboleth:

Run (as root)

 /usr/sbin/shibd -t

and expect to see "overall configuration is loadable, check console for non-fatal problems". Fix any reported mistakes.

Start shibd (as root) with

 /etc/init.d/shibd start

or restart it if it's already running with

 /etc/init.d/shibd restart

[Note: "Starting shibd listener failed to enter listen loop" means that you were not root]. See /var/log/shibboleth/shibd.log for startup messages. The Shibboleth packages will have already set shibd to restart on boot.

(Re-)start Apache. In case of failure see /var/log/apache2/error_log

Before you can proceed any further you will need to register you SP, at least with the 'Ucam federation'. See SP registration for details.

Access http://<hostname>/secure/. You should be redirected to Raven to authenticate, be asked to accept release of your information, and then see a 404 error page from your server (because you have no content in the requested location). See /var/log/apache2/error_log, /var/log/shibboleth/shibd.log and /var/log/shibboleth/transaction.log for clues if something goes wrong. Feel free to create some content in /srv/www/htdocs/secure/ for a better demonstration.

Assuming this works, visit http://<hostname>/Shibboleth.sso/Session to check that attribute information is being released to your SP. You should see a page containing something like:

 entitlement: urn:mace:dir:entitlement:common-lib-terms

along with other things.

You now have a web server running the Shibboleth SP software and protecting the content of http://<hostname>/secure/ by requiring an authenticated Raven login (by anyone). Where you go from here depends on what you want to do. Topics to consider include: