Mod auth cas

Mod auth cas

Recently at UofA, It was mentioned in passing "Wouldn't it be nice to have CAS auth on the webserver instead of ldap basic auth?".

"Yes, It would be ", I said. But it got me thinking about the issues involved. While nice to use CAS, CAS only provides authentication, not authorization. We rely on ldap attributes for determining access to content.

After a few minutes of reading, I found the solution.


I tested this on CentOS 5 (As we use RHEL at work), so adjust this for your needs.

If EPEL is not enabled you can enable it with this


If you wish to only install the one package, you can set the repository to disabled, and install with the following command

yum install --enablerepo=epel mod_auth_cas 

Also install the ldap module. It is part of the base repo in RHEL.

yum install mod_authz_ldap


Stop your apache server

We need the modules to load in a certain order, so we need to rename our configs.

cd /etc/httpd/conf.d/
mv auth_cas.conf 00_auth_cas.conf
mv authz_ldap.conf 10_authz_ldap.conf
mv ssl.conf 20_ssl.conf

In /etc/httpd/conf.d/00_auth_cas.conf

# mod_auth_cas is an Apache 2.0/2.2 compliant module that supports the
# CASv1 and CASv2 protocols

LoadModule auth_cas_module modules/
<IfModule mod_auth_cas.c>
    CASVersion 2
    CASDebug On

    # Validate the authenticity of the SSL certificate by
    # checking its chain of authority from the root CA.
    CASCertificatePath /etc/pki/tls/certs/
    CASValidateServer Off
    CASValidateDepth 9

    CASCookiePath /var/lib/cas/

    CASTimeout 7200
    CASIdleTimeout 7200


You need to create the cas tickets directory, else the module will barf.

cd /var/lib
sudo mkdir cas
sudo chown apache:apache cas
sudo chmod 750 cas
sudo semanage fcontext -a -s system_u -t httpd_var_lib_t /var/lib/cas
sudo restorecon -r -v ./

This applies the needed SELinux policy to allow httpd to write to that directory. If you have set SELinux to permissive or disabled, these steps are worth taking incase you enable SELinux again in the future.

<strong>Configuration with LDAP authorization</strong>

Now we can add our ldap attributes we need. Check that 10_authz_ldap.conf matches the following

# mod_authz_ldap can be used to implement access control and 
# authenticate users against an LDAP database.

LoadModule authz_ldap_module modules/

<IfModule mod_authz_ldap.c>

## Some commented code


Now, in your SSL Directory directive add

<Directory "/var/www/ms1">
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
    AuthType CAS
    AuthName "TEST CAS AUTH"
    AuthLDAPURL ldaps://,dc=example,dc=com?uid?one?
    require ldap-filter &(uid=username)

You can start apache again after reading the filter section


This ldap filter can be anything you desire. It can be a list of UID's, sets of attributes, etc.


#Will check for this attribute
#Checks that one has both this class and this department
#Your name is either foo or bar
#These can be nested as well. This would allow anyone with attr and other attr OR the uid= foo into the site. 
|(&((attr=true)(other attr=true)) (uid=foo))

You can read more about filters here.

Alternately, one can change the configuration to be like so

AuthLDAPURL ldaps://,dc=example,dc=com?uid?one?(&(attr=foo)(attr=bar))
Require valid-user

Note the filters are the same, but require the whole filter to be enclosed in a set of ().