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Certificate Authentication#


Certificate authentication enables you to enforce the use of a browser certificate for access to a website or application.

This document will explain how to use Gluu's certificate authentication interception script to configure the Gluu Server for a two-step authentication process where a valid browser certificate is checked for as the first step, and username and password is presented as the second step.



The image below contains the design diagram for this module.



The script has a few properties:

Property Description Allowed Values example
chain_cert_file_path mandatory property pointing to certificate chains in [pem][pem] format file path /etc/certs/chain_cert.pem
map_user_cert specifies if the script should map new user to local account true/false true
use_generic_validator enable/disable specific certificate validation true/false false
use_path_validator enable/disable specific certificate validation true/false true
use_oscp_validator enable/disable specific certificate validation true/false false
use_crl_validator enable/disable specific certificate validation true/false false
crl_max_response_size specifies the maximum allowed size of [CRL][crl] response Integer > 0 2

Enable Certificate Authentication#

To get started, log into the Gluu Server dashboard (a.k.a. oxTrust) and do the following:

  1. Navigate to Configuration > Person Authentication Scripts.
  2. Find the cert authentication module.
  3. Scroll down and find the Enable check box.
  4. Enable the script by clicking the check box.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update.

Now Certificate authentication is an available mechanism for your Gluu Server. This means that, using OpenID Connect acr_values, your applications can now request Certificate authentication for users.


To make sure Certificate authentication has been enabled successfully, you can check your Gluu Server's OpenID Connect configuration by navigating to the following URL: https://<hostname>/.well-known/openid-configuration. Find "acr_values_supported": and you should see "cert".

Make Certificate Authentication the Default Authentication Mechanism#

Now applications can request Cert authentication, but what if you want to make Cert authentication your default mechanism? You can follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to Configuration > Manage Authentication.
  2. Select the Default Authentication Method tab.
  3. In the Default Authentication Method window you will see two options: Default acr and oxTrust acr.

  4. The oxTrust acr field controls the authentication mechanism that is presented to access the oxTrust dashboard GUI (the application you are in).

  5. The Default acr field controls the default authentication mechanism that is presented to users from all applications that leverage your Gluu Server for authentication.

You can change one or both fields to cert authentication as you see fit. If you want cert authentication to be the default mechanism for access to oxTrust and all other applications that leverage your Gluu Server, change both fields to cert.