SAML authentication for WordPress, using the bundled OneLogin SAML library or optionally installed SimpleSAMLphp. OneLogin provides a SAML authentication bridge; SimpleSAMLphp provides SAML plus a variety of other authentication mechanisms. This plugin acts as a bridge between WordPress and the authentication library.

If your organization uses Google Apps, integrating Google Apps with WP SAML Auth takes just a few steps.

The standard user flow looks like this:

  • User can log in via SAML using a button added to the standard WordPress login view.
  • When the button is clicked, the user is handed off to the authentication library. With OneLogin, the user is redirected to the SAML identity provider. With SimpleSAMLphp, the user is redirected to the SimpleSAMLphp install.
  • Once the user is authenticated with the identity provider, they’re redirected back to WordPress and signed in to their account. A new WordPress user will be created if none exists (although this behavior can be disabled).
  • When the user logs out of WordPress, they are also logged out of the identity provider.

A set of configuration options allow you to change the plugin’s default behavior. For instance, permit_wp_login=>false will force all authentication to go through the SAML identity provider, bypassing wp-login.php. Similiarly, auto_provision=>false will disable automatic creation of new WordPress users.

See installation instructions for full configuration details.

WP-CLI Commands

This plugin implements a variety of WP-CLI commands. All commands are grouped into the wp saml-auth namespace.

$ wp help saml-auth


  wp saml-auth


  Configure and manage the WP SAML Auth plugin.


  wp saml-auth <command>


  scaffold-config      Scaffold a configuration filter to customize WP SAML Auth usage.

Use wp help saml-auth <command> to learn more about each command.


See CONTRIBUTING.md for information on contributing.


Once you’ve activated the plugin, and have access to a functioning SAML Identity Provider (IdP), there are a couple of ways WP SAML Auth can be configured:

  1. Settings page in the WordPress backend. The settings page offers the most common configuration options, but not all. It’s located at “Settings” -> “WP SAML Auth”.
  2. Code snippet applied with a filter. The code snippet approach, documented below, allows access to all configuration settings. The settings page is disabled entirely when a code snippet is present.

If you’re connecting directly to an existing IdP, you should use the bundled OneLogin SAML library. The necessary and most common settings are available in the WordPress backend.

If you have more complex authentication needs, then you can also use a SimpleSAMLphp installation running in the same environment. These settings are not configurable through the WordPress backend; they’ll need to be defined with a filter. And, if you have a filter in place, the WordPress backend settings will be removed.

Additional explanation of each setting can be found in the code snippet below.

To install SimpleSAMLphp locally for testing purposes, the Identity Provider QuickStart is a good place to start. On Pantheon, the SimpleSAMLphp web directory needs to be symlinked to ~/code/simplesaml to be properly handled by Nginx. Read the docs for more details about configuring SimpleSAMLphp on Pantheon.

Because SAML authentication is handled as a part of the login flow, your SAML identity provider will need to send responses back to wp-login.php. For instance, if your domain is pantheon.io, then you’d use http://pantheon.io/wp-login.php as your AssertionConsumerService configuration value.

To configure the plugin with a filter, or for additional detail on each setting, use this code snippet:

function wpsax_filter_option( $value, $option_name ) {
    $defaults = array(
         * Type of SAML connection bridge to use.
         * 'internal' uses OneLogin bundled library; 'simplesamlphp' uses SimpleSAMLphp.
         * Defaults to SimpleSAMLphp for backwards compatibility.
         * @param string
        'connection_type' => 'internal',
         * Configuration options for OneLogin library use.
         * See comments with "Required:" for values you absolutely need to configure.
         * @param array
        'internal_config'        => array(
            // Validation of SAML responses is required.
            'strict'       => true,
            'debug'        => defined( 'WP_DEBUG' ) && WP_DEBUG ? true : false,
            'baseurl'      => home_url(),
            'sp'           => array(
                'entityId' => 'urn:' . parse_url( home_url(), PHP_URL_HOST ),
                'assertionConsumerService' => array(
                    'url'  => wp_login_url(),
                    'binding' => 'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-POST',
            'idp'          => array(
                // Required: Set based on provider's supplied value.
                'entityId' => '',
                'singleSignOnService' => array(
                    // Required: Set based on provider's supplied value.
                    'url'  => '',
                    'binding' => 'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-Redirect',
                'singleLogoutService' => array(
                    // Required: Set based on provider's supplied value.
                    'url'  => '',
                    'binding' => 'urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-Redirect',
                // Required: Contents of the IDP's public x509 certificate.
                // Use file_get_contents() to load certificate contents into scope.
                'x509cert' => '',
                // Optional: Instead of using the x509 cert, you can specify the fingerprint and algorithm.
                'certFingerprint' => '',
                'certFingerprintAlgorithm' => '',
         * Path to SimpleSAMLphp autoloader.
         * Follow the standard implementation by installing SimpleSAMLphp
         * alongside the plugin, and provide the path to its autoloader.
         * Alternatively, this plugin will work if it can find the
         * `SimpleSAML_Auth_Simple` class.
         * @param string
        'simplesamlphp_autoload' => dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/simplesamlphp/lib/_autoload.php',
         * Authentication source to pass to SimpleSAMLphp
         * This must be one of your configured identity providers in
         * SimpleSAMLphp. If the identity provider isn't configured
         * properly, the plugin will not work properly.
         * @param string
        'auth_source'            => 'default-sp',
         * Whether or not to automatically provision new WordPress users.
         * When WordPress is presented with a SAML user without a
         * corresponding WordPress account, it can either create a new user
         * or display an error that the user needs to contact the site
         * administrator.
         * @param bool
        'auto_provision'         => true,
         * Whether or not to permit logging in with username and password.
         * If this feature is disabled, all authentication requests will be
         * channeled through SimpleSAMLphp.
         * @param bool
        'permit_wp_login'        => true,
         * Attribute by which to get a WordPress user for a SAML user.
         * @param string Supported options are 'email' and 'login'.
        'get_user_by'            => 'email',
         * SAML attribute which includes the user_login value for a user.
         * @param string
        'user_login_attribute'   => 'uid',
         * SAML attribute which includes the user_email value for a user.
         * @param string
        'user_email_attribute'   => 'mail',
         * SAML attribute which includes the display_name value for a user.
         * @param string
        'display_name_attribute' => 'display_name',
         * SAML attribute which includes the first_name value for a user.
         * @param string
        'first_name_attribute' => 'first_name',
         * SAML attribute which includes the last_name value for a user.
         * @param string
        'last_name_attribute' => 'last_name',
         * Default WordPress role to grant when provisioning new users.
         * @param string
        'default_role'           => get_option( 'default_role' ),
    $value = isset( $defaults[ $option_name ] ) ? $defaults[ $option_name ] : $value;
    return $value;
add_filter( 'wp_saml_auth_option', 'wpsax_filter_option', 10, 2 );

If you need to adapt authentication behavior based on the SAML response, you can do so with the wp_saml_auth_pre_authentication filter:

 * Reject authentication if $attributes doesn't include the authorized group.
add_filter( 'wp_saml_auth_pre_authentication', function( $ret, $attributes ) {
    if ( empty( $attributes['group'] ) || ! in_array( 'administrators', $attributes['group'] ) ) {
        return new WP_Error( 'unauthorized-group', "Sorry, you're not a member of an authorized group." );
    return $ret;
}, 10, 2 );


Can I update an existing WordPress user’s data when they log back in?

If you’d like to make sure the user’s display name, first name, and last name are updated in WordPress when they log back in, you can use the following code snippet:

 * Update user attributes after a user has logged in via SAML.
add_action( 'wp_saml_auth_existing_user_authenticated', function( $existing_user, $attributes ) {
    $user_args = array(
        'ID' => $existing_user->ID,
    foreach ( array( 'display_name', 'first_name', 'last_name' ) as $type ) {
        $attribute          = \WP_SAML_Auth::get_option( "{$type}_attribute" );
        $user_args[ $type ] = ! empty( $attributes[ $attribute ][0] ) ? $attributes[ $attribute ][0] : '';
    wp_update_user( $user_args );
}, 10, 2 );

The wp_saml_auth_existing_user_authenticated action fires after the user has successfully authenticated with the SAML IdP. The code snippet then uses a pattern similar to WP SAML Auth to fetch display name, first name, and last name from the SAML response. Lastly, the code snippet updates the existing WordPress user object.

How do I use SimpleSAMLphp and WP SAML Auth on a multi web node environment?

Because SimpleSAMLphp uses PHP sessions to manage user authentication, it will work unreliably or not at all on a server configuration with multiple web nodes. This is because PHP’s default session handler uses the filesystem, and each web node has a different filesystem. Fortunately, there’s a way around this.

First, install and activate the WP Native PHP Sessions plugin, which registers a database-based PHP session handler for WordPress to use.

Next, modify SimpleSAMLphp’s www/_include.php file to require wp-load.php. If you installed SimpleSAMLphp within the wp-saml-auth directory, you’d edit wp-saml-auth/simplesamlphp/www/_include.php to include:

require_once dirname( dirname( dirname( dirname( dirname( dirname( __FILE__ ) ) ) ) ) ) . '/wp-load.php';

Note: the declaration does need to be at the top of _include.php, to ensure WordPress (and thus the session handling) is loaded before SimpleSAMLphp.

There is no third step. Because SimpleSAMLphp loads WordPress, which has WP Native PHP Sessions active, SimpleSAMLphp and WP SAML Auth will be able to communicate to one another on a multi web node environment.

Where do I report security bugs found in this plugin?

Please report security bugs found in the source code of the WP SAML Auth plugin through the Patchstack Vulnerability Disclosure Program. The Patchstack team will assist you with verification, CVE assignment, and notify the developers of this plugin.


1 de agosto, 2022
Works great with Azure AD / Microsoft 365. Would be even better if the default role could be defined on the settings page. Could be useful having the option to disable logging out from the ID provider.
23 de enero, 2020 1 reply
Right after installing and activating the plugin, I keep getting warning messages such as some library files are missing and the WP SAML Auth is not active. Also, the lack of any instructions makes it impossible to configure it with my Okta account. Just a waste of time! Deactivating and trying out other SAML plugins.
4 de mayo, 2018
Pretty excellent, well done. Pull requests will be forthcoming
Read all 7 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“WP SAML Auth” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “WP SAML Auth” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


2.1.4 (November 27, 2023)

  • Fix typo in the label for the certificate path [#352]
  • Updates Pantheon WP Coding Standards to 2.0 [#357]
  • Fix logged-out auth issue [#359] (props Snicco)

2.1.3 (April 8, 2023)

  • Fixes missing vendor/ directory in previous release [#336]

2.1.2 (April 7, 2023)

  • Bump yoast/phpunit-polyfills from 1.0.4 to 1.0.5 [#334].
  • Updates tested up to version
  • Removes unused NPM dependencies

2.1.1 (March 15, 2023)

2.1.0 (November 29, 2022)

  • Adds Github Actions for building tag and deploying to wp.org. Add CONTRIBUTING.md. [#311]

2.0.1 (January 24, 2022)

  • Rebuilds platform dependencies to accommodate PHP 7.3 [#278].

2.0.0 (January 6, 2022)

  • BREAKING: Updates onelogin/php-saml to v4.0.0, which requires PHP 7.3 or higher [#275].

1.2.7 (December 9, 2021)

  • Adds a wp_saml_auth_pre_logout action that fires before logout [#274].

1.2.6 (October 12, 2021)

  • Adds a wp_saml_auth_login_parameters filter to allow login parameters to be filtered [#262].

1.2.5 (August 18, 2021)

  • Fixes undefined index notice introduced in 1.2.4 [#257].

1.2.4 (August 18, 2021)

  • Adds a wp_saml_auth_internal_logout_args filter to allow the internal logout args to be filterable [#255].

1.2.3 (May 25, 2021)

  • Adds a wp_saml_auth_force_authn filter to allow forceAuthn=”true” to be enabled [#248].

1.2.2 (Apr 26, 2021)

  • Ensures SAML button and explanations are only added to the login screen [#242].

1.2.1 (Mar 2, 2021)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.6.1 [#236].

1.2.0 (Feb 22, 2021)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.6.0 [#233].

1.1.1 (Feb 3, 2021)

  • Updates French localization and ensures localizations are loaded [#230].

1.1.0 (Dec 1, 2020)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.5.0 [#218].

1.0.2 (May 27, 2020)

  • Avoid undesired session_start() when using SimpleSAMLphp [#196].

1.0.1 (May 26, 2020)

  • Allows redirecting back to wp-login.php while avoiding redirect loop [#192].

1.0.0 (March 2, 2020)

  • Plugin is stable.

0.8.3 (February 3, 2020)

  • Removes unused placeholder value that’s causing PHP notices [#178].

0.8.2 (January 22, 2020)

  • Fixes method declaration for methods used statically [#176].

0.8.1 (November 25, 2019)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.4.1 [#174].

0.8.0 (November 20, 2019)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.4.0 [#173].

0.7.3 (November 7, 2019)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.3.1 [#172].

0.7.2 (October 30, 2019)

  • Fixes issue where an empty required settings field would throw load Exception [#170].

0.7.1 (September 26, 2019)

  • Fixes typo on the settings page [#163].

0.7.0 (September 16, 2019)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.3.0 [#160].

0.6.0 (May 14, 2019)

  • Adds a settings page for configuring WP SAML Auth [#151].
  • Fixes issue when processing SimpleSAMLphp response [#145].

0.5.2 (April 8, 2019)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.1.1 for PHP 7.3 support [#139].

0.5.1 (November 15, 2018)

  • Introduces a wp_saml_auth_attributes filter to permit modifying SAML response attributes before they’re processed by WordPress [#136].

0.5.0 (November 7, 2018)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml to v3.0.0 for PHP 7.2 support [#133].

0.4.0 (September 5, 2018)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml from v2.13.0 to v2.14.0 [#127].

0.3.11 (July 18, 2018)

  • Provides an error message explicitly for when SAML response attributes are missing [#125].

0.3.10 (June 28, 2018)

  • Ensures redirect_to URLs don’t lose query parameters by encoding with rawurlencode() [#124].
  • Adds French localization.

0.3.9 (March 29, 2018)

  • Fixes PHP notice by using namespaced SimpleSAMLphp class if available [#118].
  • Updates onelogin/php-saml from v2.12.0 to v2.13.0

0.3.8 (February 26, 2018)

  • Redirects to action=wp-saml-auth when redirect_to is persisted, to ensure authentication is handled [#115].

0.3.7 (February 13, 2018)

  • Persists redirect_to value in a more accurate manner, as a follow up to the change in v0.3.6 [#113].

0.3.6 (February 7, 2018)

  • Prevents WordPress from dropping authentication cookie when user is redirected to login from /wp-admin/ URLs [#112].

0.3.5 (January 19, 2018)

  • Substitutes wp-login.php string with parse_url( wp_login_url(), PHP_URL_PATH ) for compatibility with plugins and functions that alter the standard login url [#109].

0.3.4 (December 22, 2017)

  • Permits internal connection type to be used without signout URL, for integration with Google Apps [#106].

0.3.3 (November 28, 2017)

  • Forwards ‘redirect_to’ parameter to SAML Authentication to enable deep links [#103].

0.3.2 (November 9, 2017)

  • Updates onelogin/php-saml dependency from v2.10.7 to v2.12.0 [#90, #99].

0.3.1 (July 12, 2017)

  • Passes $attributes to wp_saml_auth_insert_user filter, so user creation behavior can be modified based on SAML response.

0.3.0 (June 29, 2017)

  • Includes OneLogin’s PHP SAML library for SAML auth without SimpleSAMLphp. See “Installation” for configuration instructions.
  • Fixes handling of SAMLResponse when permit_wp_login=true.

0.2.2 (May 24, 2017)

  • Introduces a wp_saml_auth_login_strings filter to permit login text strings to be filterable.
  • Introduces a wp_saml_auth_pre_authentication filter to allow authentication behavior to be adapted based on SAML response.
  • Improves error message when required SAML response attribute is missing.
  • Corrects project name in composer.json.

0.2.1 (March 22, 2017)

  • Introduces wp_saml_auth_new_user_authenticated and wp_saml_auth_existing_user_authenticated actions to permit themes / plugins to run a callback post-authentication.
  • Runs Behat test suite against latest stable SimpleSAMLphp, instead of a pinned version.

0.2.0 (March 7, 2017)

  • Introduces wp saml-auth scaffold-config, a WP-CLI command to scaffold a configuration filter to customize WP SAML Auth usage.
  • Redirects back to WordPress after SimpleSAMLPHP authentication.
  • Variety of test suite improvements.

0.1.0 (April 18, 2016)

  • Initial release.