SAML authentication in Kibana requires a small number of additional settings in addition to the standard Kibana security configuration. The Kibana security documentation provides details on the available configuration options that you can apply.
In particular, since your Elasticsearch nodes have been configured to use TLS on the HTTP
interface, you must configure Kibana to use a
https URL to connect to Elasticsearch, and
you may need to configure
elasticsearch.ssl.certificateAuthorities to trust
the certificates that Elasticsearch has been configured to use.
SAML authentication in Kibana is also subject to the
xpack.security.sessionTimeout setting that is described in the Kibana security
documentation, and you may wish to adjust this timeout to meet your local needs.
The two additional settings that are required for SAML support are shown below:
xpack.security.authProviders: [saml] server.xsrf.whitelist: [/api/security/v1/saml]
The configuration values used in the example above are:
- Set this to
[ saml ]to instruct Kibana to use SAML SSO as the authentication method.
- Kibana has in-built protection against Cross Site Request Forgery attacks which are designed to prevent the Kibana server from processing requests that originated from outside the Kibana application. In order to support SAML authentication messages that originate from your Identity Provider, we need to explicitly whitelist the SAML authentication URL within Kibana, so that the Kibana server will not reject these external messages.
If your Kibana instance is behind a proxy, you may also need to add configuration
to tell Kibana how to form its public URL. This is needed because all SAML
messages are exchanged via the user’s web browser, so Kibana needs to know what
URLs are used within the browser. In this case, the following settings should be
added to your
kibana.yml configuration file:
xpack.security.public: protocol: https hostname: kibana.proxy.com port: 443
- This is the protocol that the user’s web browser uses to connect to the proxy.
Must be one of
https. It is strongly recommended that you use the
httpsprotocol for all access to Kibana.
- The fully qualified hostname that your users use to connect to the proxy server.
- The port number that your users use to connect to the proxy server (e.g.
These values must be aligned with the URLs used in the Elasticsearch configuration for
The SAML support in Kibana is designed on the expectation that it will be the
primary (or sole) authentication method for users of that Kibana instance.
However, it is possible to support both SAML and Basic authentication within a
single Kibana instance by setting
xpack.security.authProviders as per the
xpack.security.authProviders: [saml, basic]
The order is important - this will initiate SAML authentication for unauthenticated users, but will accept basic authentication.
If Kibana is configured in this way, then users who wish to login with a
username and password, can do so by directly accessing the
/login page in
Kibana. This login will not use SAML credentials, and will rely on one of the
other security realms within Elasticsearch. Only users who have a username and password
for a configured Elasticsearch authentication realm will be able to login via this page.
Alternatively, when the
basic authentication provider is enabled, you can
place a reverse proxy in front of Kibana, and configure it to send a basic
authentication header (
Authorization: Basic ....) for each request.
If this header is present and valid, Kibana will not initiate the SAML
If you wish to have multiple Kibana instances that authenticate against the same Elasticsearch cluster, then each Kibana instance that is configured for SAML authentication, requires its own SAML realm.
Each SAML realm must have its own unique Entity ID (
sp.entity_id), and its own
Assertion Consumer Service (
sp.acs). Each Kibana instance will be mapped to
the correct realm by looking up the matching
These realms may use the same Identity Provider, but are not required to.
The following is example of having 3 difference Kibana instances, 2 of which use the same internal IdP, and another which uses a different IdP.
xpack.security.authc.realms.saml.saml_finance: order: 2 idp.metadata.path: saml/idp-metadata.xml idp.entity_id: "https://sso.example.com/" sp.entity_id: "https://kibana.finance.example.com/" sp.acs: "https://kibana.finance.example.com/api/security/v1/saml" sp.logout: "https://kibana.finance.example.com/logout" attributes.principal: "urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.1" attributes.groups: "urn:oid:188.8.131.52.4.1.59184.108.40.206." xpack.security.authc.realms.saml.saml_sales: order: 3 idp.metadata.path: saml/idp-metadata.xml idp.entity_id: "https://sso.example.com/" sp.entity_id: "https://kibana.sales.example.com/" sp.acs: "https://kibana.sales.example.com/api/security/v1/saml" sp.logout: "https://kibana.sales.example.com/logout" attributes.principal: "urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.1" attributes.groups: "urn:oid:220.127.116.11.4.1.5918.104.22.168." xpack.security.authc.realms.saml.saml_eng: order: 4 idp.metadata.path: saml/idp-external.xml idp.entity_id: "https://engineering.sso.example.net/" sp.entity_id: "https://kibana.engineering.example.com/" sp.acs: "https://kibana.engineering.example.com/api/security/v1/saml" sp.logout: "https://kibana.engineering.example.com/logout" attributes.principal: "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/upn"