Configure a Shibboleth SP to Consume Metadata from a Local IdP Endpoint

Last updated: May 28, 2024
Audience: IT Staff / Technical

This document describes how to configure a Shibboleth Service Provider (SP) to download the UW Identity Provider (IdP) local metadata file and, optionally, verify the digital signature. To learn about other options to consume UW IdP metadata, see UW IdP Metadata.



  1. Open your shibboleth2.xml file for editing.
  2. Find the section with MetadataProvider elements.
  3. Add the following MetadataProvider:
    <MetadataProvider type="XML" url=""
    backingFilePath="idp-metadata.xml" reloadInterval="7200">
    <MetadataFilter type="Signature" certificate="uw-idp-md-cert.pem"/>
  4. The MetadataFilter element says that the signature on idp-metadata.xml should be verified using the uw-idp-md-cert.pem certificate.
  5. If you don’t intend to validate the signature, omit the MetadataFilter element.
  6. If you have configured a MetadataProvider for the InCommon metadata aggregate or MDQ, you should comment it out or delete it.
  7. Save your shibboleth2.xml file.

  1. Complete these steps if your SP will verify the digital signature on UW metadata.
  2. The UW IdP signing certificate is attached to this page. Download it to your SP (in the upper right of this page, Tools menu (with the … symbol) > Attachments).
  3. Save the certificate file in the same directory as your shibboleth2.xml file. Name it something like uw-idp-md-cert.pem.
  4. This signing certificate is identical to the one included in the UW section of the InCommon metadata aggregate.

  1. Restart the shibd process on your SP however you normally do that on your platform.
  2. This will cause Shibboleth to check the MetadataProvider locations and to download any updates. Shibboleth will also verify the digital signatures on any metadata where it is configured to do so.

  1. The restart of shibd, reloading of metadata, and signature verification should all be recorded in shibd.log.
  2. Open the log file and scroll to near the bottom of the file to find messages from the shibd restart.
  3. Look for messages like the following (numbering added for clarity, these are not present in the log file):
    12018-03-23 12:05:16 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata.Chaining : building MetadataProvider of type XML
    22018-03-23 12:05:16 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata : building MetadataFilter of type Signature
    32018-03-23 12:05:16 INFO XMLTooling.SecurityHelper : loading certificate(s) from file (C:/opt/shibboleth-sp/etc/shibboleth/uw-idp-md-cert.pem)
    42018-03-23 12:05:16 INFO XMLTooling.CredentialResolver.File : no private key resolved, usable for verification/trust only
    52018-03-23 12:05:17 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata.XML : loaded XML resource (
    62018-03-23 12:05:17 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata : applying metadata filter (Signature)
    72018-03-23 12:05:17 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata.XML : adjusted reload interval to 7200 seconds
    82018-03-23 12:05:17 INFO OpenSAML.Metadata.XML : reload thread started...running every 7200 seconds
  4. Message #3 indicates that the certificate file on disk was successfully loaded (this will be present only if the SP is configured to load the IdP signing certificate).
  5. Message #5 indicates that the local UW IdP metadata file was successfully loaded.
  6. Message #6 indicates that the signature on the metadata file was successfully verified (this will be present only if the SP is configured to verify the digital signature).
  7. If instead you see warning or errors for these entries, go back and verify you have followed these instructions.