OAuth is a web authorisation protocol that allows "single sign on". It's key to note OAuth only provides authorisation, as the protocol in its default forms do not provide identity or authentication information. All that Oauth2 provides is information that an entity is authorised for the requested resources.

OAuth can tie into extensions allowing an identity provider to reveal information about authorised sessions. This extends OAuth from an authorisation only system to a system capable of identity and authorisation. Two primary methods of this exist today: RFC7662 token introspection, and OpenID connect.

How Does OAuth2 Work?

A user wishes to access a service (resource, resource server). The resource server does not have an active session for the client, so it redirects to the authorisation server (Kanidm) to determine if the client should be allowed to proceed, and has the appropriate permissions (scopes) for the requested resources.

The authorisation server checks the current session of the user and may present a login flow if required. Given the identity of the user known to the authorisation sever, and the requested scopes, the authorisation server makes a decision if it allows the authorisation to proceed. The user is then prompted to consent to the authorisation from the authorisation server to the resource server as some identity information may be revealed by granting this consent.

If successful and consent given, the user is redirected back to the resource server with an authorisation code. The resource server then contacts the authorisation server directly with this code and exchanges it for a valid token that may be provided to the user's browser.

The resource server may then optionally contact the token introspection endpoint of the authorisation server about the provided OAuth token, which yields extra metadata about the identity that holds the token from the authorisation. This metadata may include identity information, but also may include extended metadata, sometimes referred to as "claims". Claims are information bound to a token based on properties of the session that may allow the resource server to make extended authorisation decisions without the need to contact the authorisation server to arbitrate.

It's important to note that OAuth2 at its core is an authorisation system which has layered identity-providing elements on top.

Resource Server

This is the server that a user wants to access. Common examples could be Nextcloud, a wiki, or something else. This is the system that "needs protecting" and wants to delegate authorisation decisions to Kanidm.

It's important for you to know how your resource server supports OAuth2. For example, does it support RFC 7662 token introspection or does it rely on OpenID connect for identity information?

In general Kanidm requires that your resource server supports:

  • HTTP basic authentication to the authorisation server
  • PKCE S256 code verification
  • OIDC only - JWT ES256 for token signatures

Kanidm will expose its OAuth2 APIs at the following URLs:

  • user auth url: https://idm.example.com/ui/oauth2
  • api auth url: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/authorise
  • token url: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/token
  • rfc7662 token introspection url: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/token/introspect
  • rfc7009 token revoke url: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/token/revoke

Oauth2 Server Metadata - you need to substitute your OAuth2 :client_id: in the following urls:

  • Oauth2 issuer uri: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/
  • Oauth2 rfc8414 discovery: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/.well-known/oauth-authorization-server

OpenID Connect discovery - you need to substitute your OAuth2 :client_id: in the following urls:

  • OpenID connect issuer uri: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/
  • OpenID connect discovery: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/.well-known/openid-configuration

For manual OpenID configuration:

  • OpenID connect userinfo: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/userinfo
  • token signing public key: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client_id:/public_key.jwk

Scope Relationships

For an authorisation to proceed, the resource server will request a list of scopes, which are unique to that resource server. For example, when a user wishes to login to the admin panel of the resource server, it may request the "admin" scope from Kanidm for authorisation. But when a user wants to login, it may only request "access" as a scope from Kanidm.

As each resource server may have its own scopes and understanding of these, Kanidm isolates scopes to each resource server connected to Kanidm. Kanidm has two methods of granting scopes to accounts (users).

The first is scope mappings. These provide a set of scopes if a user is a member of a specific group within Kanidm. This allows you to create a relationship between the scopes of a resource server, and the groups/roles in Kanidm which can be specific to that resource server.

For an authorisation to proceed, all scopes requested by the resource server must be available in the final scope set that is granted to the account.

The second is supplemental scope mappings. These function the same as scope maps where membership of a group provides a set of scopes to the account. However these scopes are NOT consulted during authorisation decisions made by Kanidm. These scopes exists to allow optional properties to be provided (such as personal information about a subset of accounts to be revealed) or so that the resource server may make it's own authorisation decisions based on the provided scopes.

This use of scopes is the primary means to control who can access what resources. These access decisions can take place either on Kanidm or the resource server.

For example, if you have a resource server that always requests a scope of "read", then users with scope maps that supply the read scope will be allowed by Kanidm to proceed to the resource server. Kanidm can then provide the supplementary scopes into provided tokens, so that the resource server can use these to choose if it wishes to display UI elements. If a user has a supplemental "admin" scope, then that user may be able to access an administration panel of the resource server. In this way Kanidm is still providing the authorisation information, but the control is then exercised by the resource server.


Create the Kanidm Configuration

After you have understood your resource server requirements you first need to configure Kanidm. By default members of system_admins or idm_hp_oauth2_manage_priv are able to create or manage OAuth2 resource server integrations.

You can create a new resource server with:

kanidm system oauth2 create <name> <displayname> <origin>
kanidm system oauth2 create nextcloud "Nextcloud Production" https://nextcloud.example.com

You can create a scope map with:

kanidm system oauth2 update-scope-map <name> <kanidm_group_name> [scopes]...
kanidm system oauth2 update-scope-map nextcloud nextcloud_admins admin
Kani Warning WARNING
If you are creating an OpenID Connect (OIDC) resource server you MUST provide a scope map named openid. Without this, OpenID Connect clients WILL NOT WORK!

HINT OpenID connect allows a number of scopes that affect the content of the resulting authorisation token. If one of the following scopes are requested by the OpenID client, then the associated claims may be added to the authorisation token. It is not guaranteed that all of the associated claims will be added.

  • profile - (name, family_name, given_name, middle_name, nickname, preferred_username, profile, picture, website, gender, birthdate, zoneinfo, locale, and updated_at)
  • email - (email, email_verified)
  • address - (address)
  • phone - (phone_number, phone_number_verified)

You can create a supplemental scope map with:

kanidm system oauth2 update-sup-scope-map <name> <kanidm_group_name> [scopes]...
kanidm system oauth2 update-sup-scope-map nextcloud nextcloud_admins admin

Once created you can view the details of the resource server.

kanidm system oauth2 get nextcloud
class: oauth2_resource_server
class: oauth2_resource_server_basic
class: object
displayname: Nextcloud Production
oauth2_rs_basic_secret: hidden
oauth2_rs_name: nextcloud
oauth2_rs_origin: https://nextcloud.example.com
oauth2_rs_token_key: hidden

You can see "oauth2_rs_basic_secret" with:

kanidm system oauth2 show-basic-secret nextcloud

Configure the Resource Server

On your resource server, you should configure the client ID as the oauth2_rs_name from Kanidm, and the password to be the value shown in oauth2_rs_basic_secret. Ensure that the code challenge/verification method is set to S256.

You should now be able to test authorisation.

Resetting Resource Server Security Material

In the case of disclosure of the basic secret, or some other security event where you may wish to invalidate a resource servers active sessions/tokens, you can reset the secret material of the server with:

kanidm system oauth2 reset-secrets

Each resource server has unique signing keys and access secrets, so this is limited to each resource server.

Custom Claim Maps

Some OIDC clients may consume custom claims from an id token for access control or other policy decisions. Each custom claim is a key:values set, where there can be many values associated to a claim name. Different applications may expect these values to be formatted (joined) in different ways.

Claim values are mapped based on membership to groups. When an account is a member of multiple groups that would recieve the same claim, the values of these maps are merged.

To create or update a claim map on a client:

kanidm system oauth2 update-claim-map <name> <claim_name> <kanidm_group_name> [values]...
kanidm system oauth2 update-claim-map nextcloud account_role nextcloud_admins admin login ...

To change the join strategy for a claim name. Valid strategies are csv (comma separated value), ssv (space separated value) and array (a native json array). The default strategy is array.

kanidm system oauth2 update-claim-map-join <name> <claim_name> [csv|ssv|array]
kanidm system oauth2 update-claim-map-join nextcloud account_role csv
# Example claim formats
# csv
claim: "value_a,value_b"

# ssv
claim: "value_a value_b"

# array
claim: ["value_a", "value_b"]

To delete a group from a claim map

kanidm system oauth2 delete-claim-map <name> <claim_name> <kanidm_group_name>
kanidm system oauth2 delete-claim-map nextcloud account_role nextcloud_admins

Public Client Configuration

Some applications are unable to provide client authentication. A common example is single page web applications that act as the OAuth2 client and its corresponding webserver that is the resource server. In this case the SPA is unable to act as a confidential client since the basic secret would need to be embedded in every client.

Another common example is native applications that use a redirect to localhost. These can't have a client secret embedded, so must act as public clients.

Public clients for this reason require PKCE to bind a specific browser session to its OAuth2 exchange. PKCE can not be disabled for public clients for this reason.

To create an OAuth2 public resource server:

kanidm system oauth2 create-public <name> <displayname> <origin>
kanidm system oauth2 create-public mywebapp "My Web App" https://webapp.example.com

To allow localhost redirection

kanidm system oauth2 enable-localhost-redirects <name>
kanidm system oauth2 disable-localhost-redirects <name>
kanidm system oauth2 enable-localhost-redirects mywebapp

Extended Options for Legacy Clients

Not all resource servers support modern standards like PKCE or ECDSA. In these situations it may be necessary to disable these on a per-resource server basis. Disabling these on one resource server will not affect others. These settings are explained in detail in our FAQ

Kani Warning WARNING
Changing these settings MAY have serious consequences on the security of your resource server. You should avoid changing these if at all possible!

To disable PKCE for a confidential resource server:

kanidm system oauth2 warning-insecure-client-disable-pkce <resource server name>

To enable legacy cryptograhy (RSA PKCS1-5 SHA256):

kanidm system oauth2 warning-enable-legacy-crypto <resource server name>

Example Integrations

Apache mod_auth_openidc

Add the following to a mod_auth_openidc.conf. It should be included in a mods_enabled folder or with an appropriate include.

OIDCRedirectURI /protected/redirect_uri
OIDCCryptoPassphrase <random password here>
OIDCProviderMetadataURL https://kanidm.example.com/oauth2/openid/<resource server name>/.well-known/openid-configuration
OIDCScope "openid"
OIDCUserInfoTokenMethod authz_header
OIDCClientID <resource server name>
OIDCClientSecret <resource server password>
OIDCCookieSameSite On
# Set the `REMOTE_USER` field to the `preferred_username` instead of the UUID.
# Remember that the username can change, but this can help with systems like Nagios which use this as a display name.
# OIDCRemoteUserClaim preferred_username

Other scopes can be added as required to the OIDCScope line, eg: OIDCScope "openid scope2 scope3"

In the virtual host, to protect a location:

<Location />
    AuthType openid-connect
    Require valid-user


Miniflux is a feedreader that supports OAuth 2.0 and OpenID connect. It automatically appends the .well-known parts to the discovery endpoint. The application name in the redirect URL needs to match the OAUTH2_PROVIDER name.

OAUTH2_CLIENT_ID = "miniflux";
OAUTH2_CLIENT_SECRET = "<oauth2_rs_basic_secret>";
OAUTH2_REDIRECT_URL = "https://feeds.example.com/oauth2/kanidm/callback";
OAUTH2_OIDC_DISCOVERY_ENDPOINT = "https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/<oauth2_rs_name>";


Install the module from the nextcloud market place - it can also be found in the Apps section of your deployment as "OpenID Connect user backend".

In Nextcloud's config.php you need to allow connection to remote servers:

'allow_local_remote_servers' => true,

You may optionally choose to add:

'allow_user_to_change_display_name' => false,
'lost_password_link' => 'disabled',

If you forget this, you may see the following error in logs:

Host was not connected to because it violates local access rules

This module does not support PKCE or ES256. You will need to run:

kanidm system oauth2 warning-insecure-client-disable-pkce <resource server name>
kanidm system oauth2 warning-enable-legacy-crypto <resource server name>

In the settings menu, configure the discovery URL and client ID and secret.

You can choose to disable other login methods with:

php occ config:app:set --value=0 user_oidc allow_multiple_user_backends

You can login directly by appending ?direct=1 to your login page. You can re-enable other backends by setting the value to 1


Velociraptor supports OIDC. To configure it select "Authenticate with SSO" then "OIDC" during the interactive configuration generator. Alternately, you can set the following keys in server.config.yaml:

    type: OIDC
    oidc_issuer: https://idm.example.com/oauth2/openid/:client\_id:/
    oauth_client_id: <resource server name/>
    oauth_client_secret: <resource server secret>

Velociraptor does not support PKCE. You will need to run the following:

kanidm system oauth2 warning-insecure-client-disable-pkce <resource server name>

Initial users are mapped via their email in the Velociraptor server.config.yaml config:

  - name: <email address>

Accounts require the openid and email scopes to be authenticated. It is recommended you limit these to a group with a scope map due to Velociraptors high impact.

# kanidm group create velociraptor_users
# kanidm group add_members velociraptor_users ...
kanidm system oauth2 create_scope_map <resource server name> velociraptor_users openid email

Vouch Proxy

WARNING Vouch proxy requires a unique identifier but does not use the proper scope, "sub". It uses the fields "username" or "email" as primary identifiers instead. As a result, this can cause user or deployment issues, at worst security bypasses. You should avoid Vouch Proxy if possible due to these issues.

Note: You need to run at least the version 0.37.0

Vouch Proxy supports multiple OAuth and OIDC login providers. To configure it you need to pass:

  auth_url: https://idm.wherekanidmruns.com/ui/oauth2
  callback_url: https://login.wherevouchproxyruns.com/auth
  client_id: <oauth2_rs_name> # Found in kanidm system oauth2 get XXXX (should be the same as XXXX)
  client_secret: <oauth2_rs_basic_secret> # Found in kanidm system oauth2 get XXXX
  code_challenge_method: S256
  provider: oidc
    - email # Required due to vouch proxy reliance on mail as a primary identifier
  token_url: https://idm.wherekanidmruns.com/oauth2/token
  user_info_url: https://idm.wherekanidmruns.com/oauth2/openid/<oauth2_rs_name>/userinfo

The email scope needs to be passed and thus the mail attribute needs to exist on the account:

kanidm person update <ID> --mail "YYYY@somedomain.com" --name idm_admin