OpenID Connect Authentication
OpenID Connect (OIDC) can be used within BookStack as a primary method of authentication. This replaces the default email & password authentication mechanism. BookStack supports a simple level of auto-discovery to ease endpoint and key management.
When used, BookStack will attempt to match the OIDC user to an existing BookStack user based on the “External Authentication ID” value stored against the Bookstack user. If this match cannot be made, BookStack will effectively auto-register that user to provide a seamless access experience. They will be given the default role set under the “Default user role after registration” option in the application settings.
A video guide for setting up OIDC can be found here.
Requirements & Limitations
Listed below are some considerations to keep in mind in regard to BookStack’s OIDC implementation:
- Only RS256 is currently supported as a token signing algorithm, Token encryption is not supported.
- Discovery covers fetching the auth & token endpoints, in addition to parsing any keys at the JWKS URI,
- Issuer discovery is not supported.
To set up OIDC based authentication add or modify the following variables in your
A user in BookStack will be linked to an OIDC provided account via the
If the value of this ID changes in the identity provider it can be updated in BookStack,
by an admin, by changing the “External Authentication ID” field on the user’s profile.
Should your OIDC provider require a callback URL, the following can be used:
https://example.com to be the base URL of your BookStack instance.
Switching to OIDC with Existing Users
oidc, BookStack will not
link OIDC user accounts to existing BookStack users, where the email address is
matching, since the “External Authentication ID” value of the existing BookStack user does
not match the unique user ID provided by the OIDC system.
You can overcome this situation by logging into BookStack with an admin account while
While logged in, change
This change of authentication method will show an “External Authentication ID” text
field, below the name and email inputs, when viewing a user account in BookStack.
Here you can enter the unique user ID that would be provided by your OIDC provider.
Once saved BookStack will then use this value to match OIDC and BookStack user
accounts upon next login attempt.
If you need to update accounts in bulk, you could instead directly update the
external_auth_id field of the
users table within your BookStack database.
To help when setting up or configuring BookStack to use your OIDC system, the below
.env option can help provide more insight:
Further to this, details of any BookStack errors encountered can be found by following our general debugging documentation.
Using a Different ID Claim
By default, BookStack will use the
sub claim as a unique identifier to match up a user
between BookStack and the identify provider.
For the vast majority of use-cases, this is fine since this claim is part of the
In some very select scenarios, you may want to use a different claim as the unique identifier.
This can be done by setting an
OIDC_EXTERNAL_ID_CLAIM option in your
.env like shown below,
where the value of the option is the name of the claim:
Note that changing this with existing BookStack OIDC users, without changing their “External Authentication ID” values, may cause issues upon future login since their existing store ID in BookStack may no longer align.
BookStack has the ability to sync OIDC user groups with BookStack roles.
By default this will match OIDC group names with the BookStack role display names with casing ignored.
This can be overridden by via the ‘External Authentication IDs’ field which can be seen when editing a role while OIDC authentication is enabled.
If filled, the names in this field will be used and the BookStack role display name will be ignored.
You can match on multiple names by separating them with a comma.
Commas can be escaped with a backslash (
\,) if you need to map using a literal comma character.
When matching OIDC groups with role names or ‘External Authentication IDs’ values, BookStack will standardise the names of OIDC groups to be lower-cased and spaces will be replaced with hyphens. For example, to match a OIDC group named “United Kingdom” an ‘External Authentication IDs’ value of “united-kingdom” could be used.
This feature requires the OIDC server to provide a claim in the ID token with an array of group names.
You’ll need to specify the attribute using the
OIDC_GROUPS_CLAIM to tell BookStack what claim it can find groups on. This value can use dot-notation to access nested properties in the ID token JSON data, an example of which can be found below.
Keep in mind you can use the
OIDC_DUMP_USER_DETAILS option, as shown in the above debugging section to dump out claim values provided by your authentication system to help understand what is being provided by your authentication system.
Here are the settings required to be added to your
.env file to enable group syncing:
Nested Groups Claim Example
The below shows a reduced example of JSON data for an ID token, that has group data within a nested property,
along with the
OIDC_GROUPS_CLAIM value that would be used for this structure to detect the provided “Editor” and “Admin” roles.