NTLM authentication

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: NTLM authentication.

Template:Moodle 1.9This document describes how to set up NTLM/Integrated Authentication in Moodle.

This is integrated into Moodle 1.9 onwards.

For earlier versions, it uses a modified version of LDAP Authentication. The NTLM Authentication module is available in the Modules and Plugins database here: http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=314

Note: When a particular note is specific to earlier versions of the NTLM plugin, this is noted by the (pre-1.9 only) string.

Assumptions

  1. You are running MS Active Directory for Authentication.
  2. The Server hosting your website is a member of the Active Directory Domain that your users are also members of.
  3. You are able to define people inside your Network (and authenticated to the Domain) from an IP range of computers.
  4. (pre-1.9 only) You have "some" basic knowledge of php and are able to configure the index.php with the range of internal IP addresses.
  5. You are familar with or have read the LDAP authentication documentation.
  6. The Active Directory domain credentials of your users are returned as DOMAINNAME\username from your authentication service. If you are using the Winbind service from the Samba project, this can be untrue, depending on your Winbind configuration settings.

If you can not modify your settings to satisfy this last assumption, then you will need to remove or comment out the line that reads:

   $username = substr(strrchr($username, '\\'), 1); //strip domain info

and add the relevant lines of code to extract the username part from the domain user credentials and store it in $username.


VERY IMPORTANT: In Moodle 1.9 and onwards, NTLM authentication depends on LDAP authentication. So before trying to configure NTLM, make sure you have LDAP authentication properly setup and working.

Installation on 1.9

No installation needed. See the Auth/LDAP settings for the NTLM config options. You only have to

  • Set the IP/Subnet mask
  • On IIS: turn on Integrated Authentication
  • On Apache - use one of the 3 methods outlined below

If you have used previous versions of NTLM in your Moodle database you will need to make two further changes.

  1. The type of authentication held against each user now needs to be ldap, and ntlm will not be recognised and Moodle will fall through and try to use CAS. To edit the fields open up a sql query for your Moodle server and use the following query "update mdl_user set auth = 'ldap' where auth = 'ntlm' "
  2. If you had a previous .htaccess file in the auth/ntlm directory, you will need to move it to the auth/ldap directory. Regardless of whether it is in a .htaccess file of the httpd.conf, the <Files> line now needs to refer to ntlmsso_magic.php. If it is in the httpd.conf, the <Directory> will need to change too. This is covered later on for new installs, but is one of the fundamental changes that needs to be made for those upgrading.

Installation on 1.6/1.7

  1. Copy the folder AUTH/NTLM into the AUTH folder of your moodle installation.
  2. Configure the IP/Subnet Mask in the Config screen.

IP/Subnet Mask see below for more help If the IP/Subnet Mask does not give enough complexity for your network, Modify the auth/ntlm/index.php file - for instructions on doing this, view the comments in the file.

  1. Turn Integrated Authentication ON and Anonymous Authentication OFF for the moodle\auth\ntlm\oncampuslogin.php file. see below for more detailed instructions
  2. Visit the admin page of your moodle installation - you should see notification that the NTLM_AUTH module has been installed.
  3. go to the configuration > variables page, find the dbsessions setting (in 1.8 on admin page server \ sessions page), and set it to "YES" then save the page.
  4. go to the Authentication admin page and select auth_ntlmtitle as your authentication method Note: - this doesn't display full text as I haven't created a language file for this module - you will also see auth_ntlmdescription instead of a proper description - you don't need to worry about this, as you will be the only one who ever sees this.
  5. Configure this page with your normal LDAP settings. NOTE: the Alternate Login URL at the bottom of this page (or on the main authentication page in 1.8 - and needs to be set manually to the oncampus url)has been set to the NTLM page. - if you wish uninstall this auth module, you must reset this variable on the new authentication type page. eg - if you wish to revert back to manual authentication, then change to manual, and then make sure you delete the alternate login url at the bottom of the page.
  6. (OPTIONAL) modify the offcampuslogin page to give errors when students try to prefix their usercode with your domain.

around line 216 find this code, uncomment all the lines and replace the letters 'DOM' with your domain:

   if (empty($errormsg)) {
       if (strstr(strtolower($frm->username), "DOM\\") <> false) { //NAD - DOM messages.
           $errormsg = get_string("invalidlogin") . " DOM\\ is not required!";
       } else if (strpos($frm->username, "@") <> false) {
           $errormsg = get_string("invalidlogin") . " enter your username - not your e-mail address.";
       } else {
           $errormsg = get_string("invalidlogin");
       }
   }

Installation on 1.5

See the README in the auth/ntml package.

How to Turn Integrated Authentication on

The File ntlmsso_magic.php (1.9 or above) or oncampuslogin.php (1.8 or below) MUST have NTLM/Integrated Authentication enabled at the server or the page will not work.

IIS Configuration

Open up IIS, and find the auth/ldap/ntlmsso_magic.php (1.9 or above) or auth/ntlm/oncampuslogin.php (1.8 or below) file,

  1. right click on the file, choose properties
  2. under the "file security" tab, click on the Authentication and Access control "edit" button
  3. untick "Enable Anonymous Access" and tick "Integrated Windows Authentication"

APACHE Configuration

There are currently 3 possible methods for this:

Using the NTLM part of Samba (Linux)

  • Get the plugin here: http://samba.org/ftp/unpacked/lorikeet/mod_auth_ntlm_winbind/ and follow the instructions inside the README file. You'll need to install the Apache development packages in addition to the core C develpment packages.
  • Once you have compiled it, put it inside Apache's modules subdirectory (this location depends on a number of factors, like compiling Apache yourself, using different Linux distributions packages, an so on), and load and enable the module in Apache's configuration. For example, if your Apache modules are under
    /usr/lib/apache2/modules
    , you'll need something like this in your Apache configuration file (usually called
    apache2.conf
    or
    http2.conf
    ):
  <IfModule !mod_auth_ntlm_winbind.c>
      LoadModule auth_ntlm_winbind_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_auth_ntlm_winbind.so
  </IfModule>
  • Install the Samba
    winbind
    daemon package. This packages relies on Samba's configuration file to get some important settings (like the Windows domain name, uid and gid range mappings, and so on). In addition to that, you'll need to make your Linux/Unix machine part of the domain. Otherwise winbind won't be able to pull user and groups informationi from the domain controllers. You should read the Samba documentation to perform this step, but the most important part is having something like the following lines in your
    smb.conf
    file (in addition to what you already have there):
 workgroup = DOMAINNAME
 password server = *
 security = domain
 encrypt passwords = true
 idmap uid = 10000-20000
 idmap gid = 10000-20000
and executing the command (as root):
 # net join DOMAINNAME -U Administrator
where DOMAINNAME is the NetBIOS windows domain name, and Administrator an account with enough privileges to add new machines to the domain.
You'll need to type this account's password for the command to succeed.
Also, make sure you have disabled "Microsoft Network Server: digitally sign communications (always)" in your Domain Controllers Security Policy, unless you are using a version of Samba that can sign SMB packets.
  • Restart the
    winbind
    service to apply the changes and test that it's running ok by executing:
 $ wbinfo -u
You should get the full list of Windows domain users. If you use
-g
instead, you'll get the domain groups list.
  • Check that your
    winbind
    package installed the authentication helper command
    ntlm_auth
    , as we'll need it later. We'll assume the helper is located at
    /usr/bin/ntlm_auth
    . If yours is at a different location, make sure you adjust the path in the example below.
  • Add something like this to your Apache configuration file (usually called
    apache2.conf
    or
    http2.conf
    ). We'll assume that your Moodle
    $CFG->dirroot
    directory is located at
    /var/www/moodle
    in the example:
For 1.9 or above use:
   <Directory "/var/www/moodle/auth/ldap/">
       <Files ntlmsso_magic.php>
           NTLMAuth on
           AuthType NTLM
           AuthName "Moodle NTLM Authentication"
           NTLMAuthHelper "/usr/bin/ntlm_auth --helper-protocol=squid-2.5-ntlmssp"
           NTLMBasicAuthoritative on
           require valid-user
       </Files>
   </Directory>
For 1.8 or below use:
   <Directory "/var/www/moodle/auth/ntlm/">
       <Files oncampuslogin.php>
           NTLMAuth on
           AuthType NTLM
           AuthName "Moodle NTLM Authentication"
           NTLMAuthHelper "/usr/bin/ntlm_auth --helper-protocol=squid-2.5-ntlmssp"
           NTLMBasicAuthoritative on
           require valid-user
       </Files>
   </Directory>
  • Check the permissions of the Winbind pipe directory (Ubuntu places it under
    /var/run/samba/winbindd_privileged
    , yours may be placed at a different location). Apache will need to be able to enter that directory, so we need to make sure it has the right permissions. So have a look at the permissions of that directory and note the name of the group assigned to it. The following example is from a Ubuntu 7.10 machine:
 $ ls -ald /var/run/samba/winbindd_privileged
 drwxr-x--- 2 root winbindd_priv 60 2007-11-17 16:18 /var/run/samba/winbindd_privileged/
so we see the group is
winbindd_priv
.
  • Instead of modifying the directory permissions (which could break other services that use winbind) we are goint to make the Apache user (
    www-data
    in our example, but could be
    httpd
    , or
    nobody
    , etc.) is part of the appropiate group. Execute the following as root:
 # adduser www-data winbindd_priv
adduser
is available in Debian and Ubuntu at least. If your distribution doesn't have
adduser
, you can edit
/etc/group
manually to achive the same effect.
  • Restart the Apache service to apply the changes. Have a look at Apache's error log to see that everything is ok.
-- Hi Dan! I made it work using Ubuntu 7.04. That's what I've used to update the documentation. Iñaki Arenaza 10:43, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Using the NTLM Auth Module for Apache

  1. get the Module from: http://modntlm.sourceforge.net/
  2. use something like this in your httpd.conf: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=45887#211074

Using the mod_auth_sspi Module for Apache 2 on Windows

NOTE: This setup is currently being used in a live production environment, and is therefore suitable for such use provided it is correctly configured and tested.

This is the recommended method for Apache 2 on Windows, however it will not work on Linux/UNIX systems. It provides better stability and higher performance than other NTLM modules.

  • mod_auth_sspi-1.0.4-2.0.58.zip : Use this file if you are using Apache 2.0.x.
  • mod_auth_sspi-1.0.4-2.2.2.zip : Use this file if you are using Apache 2.2.x.
  • Unzip the right file and copy mod_auth_sspi.so (it's inside bin subdirectory) to your Apache modules directory.
  • Edit your Apache 2 configuration file (httpd.conf) to load the module.
   <IfModule !mod_auth_sspi.c>
       LoadModule sspi_auth_module modules/mod_auth_sspi.so
   </IfModule>
  • Choose one of the two methods below
Method 1: This method is recommended for servers that will host a single Moodle instance. Configure NTLM from the main configuration file, add the following to httpd.conf (substitute "C:\moodle" with the path to your Moodle installation e.g. "C:\my-moodle"
For 1.9 or above use:
   <Directory "C:\moodle\auth\ldap">
       <Files ntlmsso_magic.php>
           AuthName "Moodle at My College"
           AuthType SSPI
           SSPIAuth On
           SSPIOfferBasic Off
           SSPIAuthoritative On
           SSPIDomain mycollege.ac.uk
           require valid-user
       </Files>
   </Directory>
For 1.8 or below use:
   <Directory "C:\moodle\auth\ntlm">
       <Files oncampuslogin.php>
           AuthName "Moodle at My College"
           AuthType SSPI
           SSPIAuth On
           SSPIOfferBasic Off
           SSPIAuthoritative On
           SSPIDomain mycollege.ac.uk
           require valid-user
       </Files>
   </Directory>
Method 2: The alternative method is to use a .htaccess file
This method is recommended for servers that will host multiple Moodle instances. It allows additional Moodle instances to be configured without restarting apache, and also makes the solution a little more portable. We need to add a directive to the main httpd.conf to allow configuration of authentication within .htaccess files.
   <Directory C:\moodle>
       AllowOverride AuthConfig
   </Directory>
For 1.9 or above:
Create a new text file named '.htaccess' in the directory 'C:\moodle\moodle\auth\ldap' and add the following directives:
   <Files ntlmsso_magic.php>
       AuthName "Moodle at My College"
       AuthType SSPI
       SSPIAuth On
       SSPIOfferBasic Off
       SSPIAuthoritative On
       SSPIDomain mycollege.ac.uk
       require valid-user
   </Files>
For 1.8 or below:
Create a new text file named '.htaccess' in the directory 'C:\moodle\moodle\auth\ntlm' and add the following directives:
   <Files oncampuslogin.php>
       AuthName "Moodle at My College"
       AuthType SSPI
       SSPIAuth On
       SSPIOfferBasic Off
       SSPIAuthoritative On
       SSPIDomain mycollege.ac.uk
       require valid-user
   </Files>
This enables the Moodle folder to be moved to any apache webserver that is configured to allow authentication configuration through .htaccess

For further help and discussion: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=56565

Configuring IP/Subnet Mask

Subnet masks are based on binary patterns so need a bit of knowledge to understand. The best way to find out what IP/Subnet masks to use is to ask your Network Admin.

  • (pre-1.9 only) Once you have configured your IP/Subnet masks, you can use the check_ip.php page to test if you have set these ranges up correctly.
  • The new way of specifiying subnets is even easier/more flexible than before 1.9. Just type them one after the other, separated by commas. You can use several syntaxes:
    • Type the network-number/prefix-length combination. E.g. 192.168.1.0/24
    • Type the network 'prefix', ending in a period character. E.g. 192.168.1.
    • Type the network address range (this only works for the last address octect). E.g. 192.168.1.1-254
All the three examples refer to the same subnetwork. So assuming you need to specify the following subnetworks:
  • 10.1.0/255.255.0.0
  • 10.2.0.0/255.255.0.0
  • 172.16.0.0/255.255.0.0
  • 192.168.100.0/255.255.255.240
You can type:
10.1.0.0/16, 10.2.0.0/16, 172.16.0.0/16, 192.168.100.0/28
or:
 10.1.0.0/16, 10.2.0.0/16, 172.16.0.0/16, 192.168.100.240-255
or even:
 10.1., 10.2., 172.16., 192.168.100.0/28
(the last one cannot be expressed as a network 'prefix' as the netmask does not fall on an octect boundary).

Notes/Tips

  1. (pre-1.9 only) When using IIS, dbsessions is required to be set to "YES" because when Integrated authentication is turned on for the oncampuslogin.php page, and dbsessions is set to "NO" then the server impersonates the user to write the session in the moodledata\sessions folder. The recommended fix is to set dbsessions to "YES" so that sessions are stored in the db. The non-recommended alternative method is to allow domain users write access to the sessions directory.
  2. (pre-1.9 only) If you forget to change the internal IP addresses in index.php to your own, you can just use the offcampuslogin url to login using your admin account. eg: http://yoursite.com/moodle/auth/ntlm/offcampuslogin.php
  3. If you are using Firefox, you will need to follow these steps:
  • Load Firefox and type about:config in the address box. The configuration settings page should be displayed.
  • In the Filter box, type the word "ntlm" to filter the NTLM strings. You should see three settings displayed.
  • Double-click on "network.automatic-ntlm-auth.trusted-uris".
  • In the box, enter the full URL of your Moodle server. For example
    http://moodle.mydomain.com, (the comma is important)
  • Close Firefox and restart.

Specific File information (pre-1.9 only)

(mainly for developers)

  1. auth\ntlm\index.php
    This is the page used for the Alternate Login URL setting on the config page for the NTLM plugin.
    The index.php file handles which login page to use based on the IP address of the user.
    if inside your network, they should be directed to the oncampuslogin.php screen.
    if outside your network, they should be directed to the offcampuslogin.php screen.
    you will need to modify the if statements in this file to match the IP ranges inside your network.
  2. auth\ntlm\index_form.html
    this is a copy of the file login\index_form.php.
    The only change in this file from the standard one is that the form action="index.php" is changed to form action="offcampuslogin.php" this is because anyone who is displayed the form will be an offcampus user.
  3. auth\ntlm\offcampuslogin.php
    this is a copy of the file moodle\login\index.php with a couple of minor modifications.
    the modifications to this file involve the setting of a variable ($onoroffcampus = "offcampus";) this is used by the auth plugin to define which page is being used for authentication. the other modification is for displaying extra error messages to the user. - with all the authentication methods we have students are constantly confused about how to enter their credentials if you use NTLM authentication elsewhere at your site you will be aware of the users having to enter the domain\username when authenticating. - this code block sits around line 215 in the file.
  4. auth\ntlm\oncampuslogin.php
    this is a copy of the file login\index.php
    This file has been modified to get the details of the authenticated user via NTLM.

See also