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Passwordless Authentication#


This interception script allows administrators to deploy a passwordless authentication flow in Gluu Server. In short the flow works as follows:

  • A form is shown where a username is prompted
  • A query is issued in the underlying database for credentials that potentially may be employed as a second factor
  • A form is shown where the user must present a certain credential in order to gain access. Depending on the available credentials and configuration, the user may choose to present a different alternative credential
  • Once the second factor is presented and validated successfully, the user's browser is redirected to the target application

Additionally, there are some features worth noting:

Flow setup#


  • Ensure you have a running instance of Gluu Server 4.4
  • While not a requisite, usage of Gluu Casa is highly recommended as part of your 2FA solution. Among others this app helps users to enroll their authentication credentials which is a key aspect for passwordless authentication to take place.
  1. Log in to oxTrust with admin credentials
  2. Visit Configuration > Person Authentication Scripts, click on fido2 and ensure the script is flagged as enabled
  3. If you want to support Super Gluu as second factor too, enable the super_gluu script. Support for biometric authentication is available as well, for this purpose follow these instructions

Add the passwordless script#

  1. Log in to oxTrust with admin credentials
  2. Visit Configuration > Person Authentication Scripts. At the bottom click on Add custom script configuration and fill values as follows:
  3. For name use a meaningful identifier, like passwordless
  4. In the script field use the contents of this file
  5. Tick the enabled checkbox
  6. For the rest of fields, you can accept the defaults
  7. Click on Add new property. On the left type snd_step_methods, on the right use fido2,super_gluu or whatever suits your needs best. See Authentication mechanisms for second factor for more
  8. If super_gluu was listed in the previous step, click on Add new property. On the left type supergluu_app_id, on the right use https://<your-gluu-host-name>/casa. This is the URL (aka application ID) that Super Gluu enrollments are already (or will be) associated to.
  9. Scroll down and click on the Update button at the bottom of the page


If you want to support Account Choice see the corresponding section.

Transfer script assets to your server#

Extract this file to the root (ie. /) of your Gluu server. In a standard CE installation this means extraction should take place under /opt/gluu-server.

The zip file contains UI pages (forms), associated javascript and CSS files, as well as miscellaneous python code required for the flow to run properly. When extracting use the root user.

Login Hint#

When the authentication request that triggers the authentication contains the login_hint parameter (see, this value is used to automatically populate the username input field in the initial form.

Account Choice#

This feature shows a list of selectable usernames in order to save users some typing. The list is populated with usernames that were employed in recent successful login events in the given browser. In addition to the list, a "Use another account" link allows users to enter a different username if needed.

In order to configure this feature follow the steps below:

  1. Log into oxTrust with admin credentials
  2. Visit Configuration > Person Authentication Scripts and select the recently created entry for the passwordless script
  3. Scroll down and click on Add new property
  4. In the empty text field appearing on the left type prevLoginsCookieSettings
  5. In the field on the right hand side paste the following:

{"enabled": true, "maxListSize": 4, "forgetEntriesAfterMinutes": 10080, "cookieName": "pwdlesscookie"}
6. Scroll down and click on the Update button

Note how the JSON content helps drive the behavior of account choice:

  • enabled turns on and off this feature
  • maxListSize helps keeping the list small. Only the most recent usernames will be shown up to the limit set by this property
  • forgetEntriesAfterMinutes is used to make individual list entries expire: if the last successful login attempt for a user took place long ago, it will not be part of the list anymore. The value provided in the example above corresponds to one week
  • cookieName. Account choice is implemented by means of a browser cookie. This property is used to control its name.

Account choice also works in conjunction with Login hint. If the given hint matches any of the remembered usernames, such username will appear first in the list, otherwise the hint will be shown once the "Use another account" link is clicked.

Authentication mechanisms for second factor#

In a passwordless scenario you may want to offer a trusted/restricted set of authentication methods for use in the second step. A popular choice for this is FIDO. The passwordless flow offered by Gluu also supports Super Gluu as well as Biometric authentication by BioID.

Please note the snd_step_methods custom property of the passwordless interception script in oxTrust. It contains a comma-separated list of identifiers of authentication methods that will be part of the second step of the flow. Note order is relevant: a method appearing first is preferred (prompted) over one appearing further in the list.


Create one or more users for testing. These users should have already enrolled credentials belonging to one or more of the methods listed in snd_step_methods property of the script. For this purpose Casa is a natural choice.

In a testing RP (eg. web application) issue authentication requests such that the acr_values parameter is set to the name of the passwordless script. Parameter login_hint can optionally be set.


Users without credentials belonging to any of the methods in snd_step_methods won't get past the first step of the flow.