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Teleport as a SAML identity provider

How to use Teleport as an identity provider

This guide details an example on how to use Teleport as an identity provider to authenticate to external services.

Prerequisites

  • A running Teleport cluster. If you want to get started with Teleport, sign up for a free trial.

  • The tctl admin tool and tsh client tool version >= 16.1.0.

    Visit Installation for instructions on downloading tctl and tsh.

  • To check that you can connect to your Teleport cluster, sign in with tsh login, then verify that you can run tctl commands using your current credentials. tctl is supported on macOS and Linux machines. For example:
    tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=[email protected]
    tctl status

    Cluster teleport.example.com

    Version 16.1.0

    CA pin sha256:abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678

    If you can connect to the cluster and run the tctl status command, you can use your current credentials to run subsequent tctl commands from your workstation. If you host your own Teleport cluster, you can also run tctl commands on the computer that hosts the Teleport Auth Service for full permissions.
  • If you're new to SAML, consider reviewing our SAML Identity Provider Reference before proceeding.
  • User with permission to create service provider resource. The preset editor role has this permission.
  • SAML application (also known as a SAML service provider or SP) for testing. For this guide, we'll be using RSA Simple Test Service Provider - a free test service that lets us test Teleport SAML IdP. The test service has a protected page, which can be accessed only after a user is federated to the site with a valid SAML assertion flow.

Step 1/3. Add a service provider to Teleport

To add a service provider to Teleport, you must configure a service provider metadata. This can be configured by either providing an Entity ID and ACS URL values of the service provider or by providing an entity descriptor value (also known as metadata file, which is an XML file) of the service provider.

Below we'll show both of the configuration options.

First, in the Web UI, under Access Management, click Enroll New Resource menu. In the search box, enter "saml", which will show the SAML application integration tile. Click the tile.

The first configuration step, Configure Service Provider with Teleport's Identity Provider Metadata shows Teleport SAML IdP metadata values. For this guide, you can move to next step by clicking Next button which takes to Add Service Provider To Teleport step.

Option 1: Configure with Entity ID and ACS URL

With this option, the minimum configuration values required to add a service provider are:

  1. Entity ID: The SAML metadata value or an endpoint of the service provider.
  2. ACS URL: The endpoint where users will be redirected after SAML authentication. ACS URL is also referred to as SAML SSO URL.

To configure Simple Test Service Provider, the values you need to provide are the following:

  • App Name: iamshowcase
  • SP Entity ID / Audience URI: iamshowcase
  • ACS URL / SP SSO URL: https://sptest.iamshowcase.com/acs

Click Finish button, the iamshowcase app is now added to Teleport.

The following saml_idp_service_provider spec is a reference for adding Simple Test Service Provider to Teleport:

kind: saml_idp_service_provider
metadata:
  # The friendly name of the service provider. This is used to manage the
  # service provider as well as in identity provider initiated SSO.
  name: iamshowcase
spec:
  # entity_id is the metadata value or an endpoint of service provider
  # that serves entity descriptor, aka SP metadata.
  entity_id: iamshowcase
  # acs_url is the endpoint where users will be redirected after
  # SAML authentication.
  acs_url: https://sptest.iamshowcase.com/acs
version: v1

Add the spec to Teleport using tctl:

tctl create iamshowcase.yaml

SAML IdP service provider 'iamshowcase' has been created.

Note

With this configuration method, Teleport first tries to fetch an entity descriptor by querying the entity_id endpoint. If an entity descriptor is not found at that endpoint, Teleport will generate a new entity descriptor with the given entity_id and acs_url values.

Option 2: Configure with Entity Descriptor file

If the service provider provides an option to download an entity descriptor file or you need more control over the entity descriptor, this is the recommended option to add a service provider to Teleport.

With this option, you provide service provider entity descriptor file, which has all the details required to configure service provider metadata.

In the Add Service Provider To Teleport page, provide a SAML service provider name (iamshowcase). Now click + Add Entity Descriptor (optional) button, which will expand entity descriptor editor. Copy Simple Test Service Provider metadata file, which is available at the URL https://sptest.iamshowcase.com/testsp_metadata.xml and paste it to entity descriptor editor in Teleport Web UI.

Click Finish button, the iamshowcase app is now added to Teleport.

First download the service provider metadata from Simple Test Service Provider as iamshowcase.xml:

curl -o iamshowcase.xml https://sptest.iamshowcase.com/testsp_metadata.xml

Using the template below, create a file called iamshowcase.yaml. Assign the metadata you just downloaded to the entity_descriptor field in the saml_idp_service_provider object:

kind: saml_idp_service_provider
metadata:
  # The friendly name of the service provider. This is used to manage the
  # service provider as well as in identity provider initiated SSO.
  name: iamshowcase
spec:
  # The entity_descriptor is the service provider XML.
  entity_descriptor: |
    <md:EntityDescriptor xmlns:md="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata"...
version: v1

Add this to Teleport using tctl:

tctl create iamshowcase.yaml

SAML IdP service provider 'samltest-id' has been created.

Important

If an entity_descriptor is provided, it's content takes preference over values provided in entity_id and acs_url.

Teleport only tries to fetch or generate entity descriptor when service provider is created for the first time. Subsequent updates require an entity descriptor to be present in the service provider spec. As such, when updating service provider, you should first fetch the spec that is stored in Teleport and only then edit the configuration.

get service provider spec

tctl get saml_idp_service_provider/<service provider name> > service-provider.yml

Step 2/3. Configure the service provider to recognize Teleport's SAML IdP

This step varies from service provider to service provider. Some service provider may ask to provide Teleport SAML IdP Entity ID, SSO URL and X.509 certificate. Other's may ask to upload an Teleport SAML IdP metadata file.

You will find these values in the Teleport Web UI under the Configure Service Provider with Teleport's Identity Provider Metadata UI which is the first step shown in the SAML app enrollment flow.

In the case of Simple Test Service Provider, which this guide is based on, the sample app is designed to grant access protected page for any well formatted IdP federated SAML assertion data.

As such, when you click Finish button in the previous step, the protected page of the Simple Test Service Provider is already available to access under resources page.

Step 3/3. Verify access to iamshowcase protected page

To verify everything works, navigate to Resources page in Teleport Web UI.

The "iamshowcase" app will now appear under resources tile. Inside this tile, click Login button, which will now forward you to iamshowcase protected page.

This page shows Teleport user details along with other attributes such as roles are federated by Teleport SAML IdP.

This demonstrates adding a service provider to Teleport configured with a working idp-initiated SSO login flow.

For production, we recommend creating a dedicated role to manage service provider.

To create a dedicated role, first, ensure you are logged into Teleport as a user that has permissions to read and modify saml_idp_service_provider objects. The default editor role has access to this already, but in case you are using a more customized configuration, create a role called sp-manager.yaml with the following contents:

kind: role
metadata:
  name: sp-manager
spec:
  allow:
    rules:
    - resources:
      - saml_idp_service_provider
      verbs:
      - list
      - create
      - read
      - update
      - delete
version: v7

Create the role with tctl:

tctl create sp-manager.yaml
role 'saml-idp-service-provider-manager' has been created

Next, add the role to your user.

Assign the sp-manager role to your Teleport user by running the appropriate commands for your authentication provider:

  1. Retrieve your local user's roles as a comma-separated list:

    ROLES=$(tsh status -f json | jq -r '.active.roles | join(",")')
  2. Edit your local user to add the new role:

    tctl users update $(tsh status -f json | jq -r '.active.username') \ --set-roles "${ROLES?},sp-manager"
  3. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your github authentication connector:

    tctl get github/github --with-secrets > github.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the github.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the github.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit github.yaml, adding sp-manager to the teams_to_roles section.

    The team you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the team must include your user account and should be the smallest team possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      teams_to_roles:
        - organization: octocats
          team: admins
          roles:
            - access
    +       - sp-manager
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f github.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your saml configuration resource:

    tctl get --with-secrets saml/mysaml > saml.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the saml.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the saml.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit saml.yaml, adding sp-manager to the attributes_to_roles section.

    The attribute you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the group must include your user account and should be the smallest group possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      attributes_to_roles:
        - name: "groups"
          value: "my-group"
          roles:
            - access
    +       - sp-manager
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f saml.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

  1. Retrieve your oidc configuration resource:

    tctl get oidc/myoidc --with-secrets > oidc.yaml

    Note that the --with-secrets flag adds the value of spec.signing_key_pair.private_key to the oidc.yaml file. Because this key contains a sensitive value, you should remove the oidc.yaml file immediately after updating the resource.

  2. Edit oidc.yaml, adding sp-manager to the claims_to_roles section.

    The claim you should map to this role depends on how you have designed your organization's role-based access controls (RBAC). However, the group must include your user account and should be the smallest group possible within your organization.

    Here is an example:

      claims_to_roles:
        - name: "groups"
          value: "my-group"
          roles:
            - access
    +       - sp-manager
    
  3. Apply your changes:

    tctl create -f oidc.yaml
  4. Sign out of the Teleport cluster and sign in again to assume the new role.

Next steps