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Configure Okta (SAML)

If your organization uses Okta Identity Provider (IdP) for user authentication, you can configure Rancher to allow your users to log in using their IdP credentials.


Okta integration only supports Service Provider initiated logins.


In Okta, create a SAML Application with the settings below. See the Okta documentation for help.

Single Sign on URLhttps://yourRancherHostURL/v1-saml/okta/saml/acs
Audience URI (SP Entity ID)https://yourRancherHostURL/v1-saml/okta/saml/metadata

Configuring Okta in Rancher

You can integrate Okta with Rancher, so that authenticated users can access Rancher resources through their group permissions. Okta returns a SAML assertion that authenticates a user, including which groups a user belongs to.

  1. In the top left corner, click ☰ > Users & Authentication.

  2. In the left navigation menu, click Auth Provider.

  3. Click Okta.

  4. Complete the Configure Okta Account form. The examples below describe how you can map Okta attributes from attribute statements to fields within Rancher.

    Display Name FieldThe attribute name from an attribute statement that contains the display name of users.
    User Name FieldThe attribute name from an attribute statement that contains the user name/given name.
    UID FieldThe attribute name from an attribute statement that is unique to every user.
    Groups FieldThe attribute name in a group attribute statement that exposes your groups.
    Rancher API HostThe URL for your Rancher Server.
    Private Key / CertificateA key/certificate pair used for Assertion Encryption.
    Metadata XMLThe Identity Provider metadata file that you find in the application Sign On section.

    You can generate a key/certificate pair using an openssl command. For example:

    openssl req -x509 -sha256 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout myservice.key -out myservice.crt
  5. After you complete the Configure Okta Account form, click Enable.

    Rancher redirects you to the IdP login page. Enter credentials that authenticate with Okta IdP to validate your Rancher Okta configuration.


    If nothing seems to happen, it's likely because your browser blocked the pop-up. Make sure you disable the pop-up blocker for your rancher domain and whitelist it in any other extensions you might utilize.

Result: Rancher is configured to work with Okta. Your users can now sign into Rancher using their Okta logins.

SAML Provider Caveats:

If you configure Okta without OpenLDAP, you won't be able to search for or directly lookup users or groups. This brings several caveats:

  • Users and groups aren't validated when you assign permissions to them in Rancher.
  • When adding users, the exact user IDs (i.e. UID Field) must be entered correctly. As you type the user ID, there will be no search for other user IDs that may match.
  • When adding groups, you must select the group from the drop-down that is next to the text box. Rancher assumes that any input from the text box is a user.
  • The group drop-down shows only the groups that you are a member of. You will not be able to add groups that you are not a member of.

You can add an OpenLDAP backend to assist with user and group search. Rancher will display additional users and groups from the OpenLDAP service. This allows assigning permissions to groups that the logged-in user is not already a member of.

OpenLDAP Prerequisites

If you use Okta as your IdP, you can set up an LDAP interface for Rancher to use. You can also configure an external OpenLDAP server.

You must configure Rancher with a LDAP bind account (aka service account) so that you can search and retrieve LDAP entries for users and groups that should have access. Don't use an administrator account or personal account as an LDAP bind account. Create a dedicated account in OpenLDAP, with read-only access to users and groups under the configured searchbase.

Security Considerations

The OpenLDAP service account is used for all searches. Rancher users will see users and groups that the OpenLDAP service account can view, regardless of their individual SAML permissions.

Using TLS?

If the certificate used by the OpenLDAP server is self-signed or from an unrecognized certificate authority, Rancher needs the CA certificate (concatenated with any intermediate certificates) in PEM format. Provide this certificate during the configuration so that Rancher can validate the certificate chain.

Configure OpenLDAP in Rancher

Configure the settings for the OpenLDAP server, groups and users. Note that nested group membership isn't available.

Before you proceed with the configuration, please familiarise yourself with external authentication configuration and principal users.

  1. Sign into Rancher using a local user assigned the administrator role (i.e., the local principal).
  2. In the top left corner, click ☰ > Users & Authentication.
  3. In the left navigation menu, click Auth Provider.
  4. Click Okta or, if SAML is already configured, Edit Config
  5. Under User and Group Search, check Configure an OpenLDAP server

If you experience issues when you test the connection to the OpenLDAP server, ensure that you entered the credentials for the service account and configured the search base correctly. Inspecting the Rancher logs can help pinpoint the root cause. Debug logs may contain more detailed information about the error. Please refer to How can I enable debug logging for more information.