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Version: v2.5

Configure Keycloak (SAML)

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


  • You must have a Keycloak IdP Server configured.

  • In Keycloak, create a new SAML client, with the settings below. See the Keycloak documentation for help.

    Sign DocumentsON 1
    Sign AssertionsON 1
    All other ON/OFF SettingsOFF
    Client IDEither https://yourRancherHostURL/v1-saml/keycloak/saml/metadata or the value configured in the Entry ID Field of the Rancher Keycloak configuration2
    Client Name<CLIENT_NAME> (e.g. rancher)
    Client ProtocolSAML
    Valid Redirect URIhttps://yourRancherHostURL/v1-saml/keycloak/saml/acs
    ><sup>1</sup>: Optionally, you can enable either one or both of these settings.
    ><sup>2</sup>: Rancher SAML metadata won't be generated until a SAML provider is configured and saved.

  • In the new SAML client, create Mappers to expose the users fields

    • Add all "Builtin Protocol Mappers"
    • Create a new "Group list" mapper to map the member attribute to a user's groups

Getting the IDP Metadata

To get the IDP metadata, export a metadata.xml file from your Keycloak client. From the Installation tab, choose the SAML Metadata IDPSSODescriptor format option and download your file.

Configuring Keycloak in Rancher

  1. From the Global view, select Security > Authentication from the main menu.

  2. Select Keycloak.

  3. Complete the Configure Keycloak Account form. For help with filling the form, see the configuration reference.

  4. After you complete the Configure Keycloak Account form, click Authenticate with Keycloak, which is at the bottom of the page.

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

    Note: You may have to disable your popup blocker to see the IdP login page.

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

SAML Provider Caveats:
  • SAML Protocol does not support search or lookup for users or groups. Therefore, there is no validation on users or groups when adding them to 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.

Configuration Reference

Display Name FieldThe attribute that contains the display name of users.

Example: givenName
User Name FieldThe attribute that contains the user name/given name.

Example: email
UID FieldAn attribute that is unique to every user.

Example: email
Groups FieldMake entries for managing group memberships.

Example: member
Entity ID FieldThe ID that needs to be configured as a client ID in the Keycloak client.

Default: https://yourRancherHostURL/v1-saml/keycloak/saml/metadata
Rancher API HostThe URL for your Rancher Server.
Private Key / CertificateA key/certificate pair to create a secure shell between Rancher and your IdP.
IDP-metadataThe metadata.xml file that you exported from your IdP server.

Tip: 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.cert

Annex: Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing issues while testing the connection to the Keycloak server, first double-check the configuration option of your SAML client. You may also inspect the Rancher logs to help pinpointing the problem cause. Debug logs may contain more detailed information about the error. Please refer to How can I enable debug logging in this documentation.

You are not redirected to Keycloak

When you click on Authenticate with Keycloak, you are not redirected to your IdP.

  • Verify your Keycloak client configuration.
  • Make sure Force Post Binding set to OFF.

Forbidden message displayed after IdP login

You are correctly redirected to your IdP login page and you are able to enter your credentials, however you get a Forbidden message afterwards.

  • Check the Rancher debug log.
  • If the log displays ERROR: either the Response or Assertion must be signed, make sure either Sign Documents or Sign assertions is set to ON in your Keycloak client.

HTTP 502 when trying to access /v1-saml/keycloak/saml/metadata

This is usually due to the metadata not being created until a SAML provider is configured. Try configuring and saving keycloak as your SAML provider and then accessing the metadata.

Keycloak Error: "We're sorry, failed to process response"

  • Check your Keycloak log.
  • If the log displays failed: org.keycloak.common.VerificationException: Client does not have a public key, set Encrypt Assertions to OFF in your Keycloak client.

Keycloak Error: "We're sorry, invalid requester"

  • Check your Keycloak log.
  • If the log displays request validation failed: org.keycloak.common.VerificationException: SigAlg was null, set Client Signature Required to OFF in your Keycloak client.