Important: This documentation is about an older version. It's relevant only to the release noted, many of the features and functions have been updated or replaced. Please view the current version.

Grafana Cloud Enterprise

Configure SAML authentication using the configuration file

SAML authentication integration allows your Grafana users to log in by using an external SAML 2.0 Identity Provider (IdP). To enable this, Grafana becomes a Service Provider (SP) in the authentication flow, interacting with the IdP to exchange user information.

You can configure SAML authentication in Grafana through the user interface (UI) or the Grafana configuration file. For instructions on how to set up SAML through Grafana’s UI, refer to Configure SAML authentication using the Grafana user interface. Both methods offer the same configuration options, but you might prefer using the Grafana configuration file if you want to keep all of Grafana’s authentication settings in one place. Grafana Cloud users do not have access to Grafana configuration file, so they should configure SAML through Grafana’s UI.


Configuration in the UI takes precedence over the configuration in the Grafana configuration file. SAML settings from the UI will override any SAML configuration set in the Grafana configuration file.

Supported SAML

Grafana supports the following SAML 2.0 bindings:

  • From the Service Provider (SP) to the Identity Provider (IdP):

    • HTTP-POST binding
    • HTTP-Redirect binding
  • From the Identity Provider (IdP) to the Service Provider (SP):

    • HTTP-POST binding

In terms of security:

  • Grafana supports signed and encrypted assertions.
  • Grafana does not support signed or encrypted requests.

In terms of initiation, Grafana supports:

  • SP-initiated requests
  • IdP-initiated requests

By default, SP-initiated requests are enabled. For instructions on how to enable IdP-initiated logins, see IdP-initiated Single Sign-On (SSO).

Edit SAML options in the Grafana config file

  1. In the [auth.saml] section in the Grafana configuration file, set enabled to true.
  2. Configure the certificate and private key.
  3. On the Okta application page where you have been redirected after application created, navigate to the Sign On tab and find Identity Provider metadata link in the Settings section.
  4. Set the idp_metadata_url to the URL obtained from the previous step. The URL should look like https://<your-org-id><application-id>/sso/saml/metadata.
  5. Set the following options to the attribute names configured at the step 10 of the SAML integration setup. You can find this attributes on the General tab of the application page (ATTRIBUTE STATEMENTS and GROUP ATTRIBUTE STATEMENTS in the SAML Settings section).
  6. Save the configuration file and and then restart the Grafana server.

When you are finished, the Grafana configuration might look like this example:

root_url =

enabled = true
auto_login = false
private_key_path = "/path/to/private_key.pem"
certificate_path = "/path/to/certificate.cert"
idp_metadata_url = ""
assertion_attribute_name = DisplayName
assertion_attribute_login = Login
assertion_attribute_email = Email
assertion_attribute_groups = Group

Enable SAML authentication in Grafana

To use the SAML integration, in the auth.saml section of in the Grafana custom configuration file, set enabled to true.

Refer to Configuration for more information about configuring Grafana.

Certificate and private key

The SAML SSO standard uses asymmetric encryption to exchange information between the SP (Grafana) and the IdP. To perform such encryption, you need a public part and a private part. In this case, the X.509 certificate provides the public part, while the private key provides the private part. The private key needs to be issued in a PKCS#8 format.

Grafana supports two ways of specifying both the certificate and private_key.

  • Without a suffix (certificate or private_key), the configuration assumes you’ve supplied the base64-encoded file contents.
  • With the _path suffix (certificate_path or private_key_path), then Grafana treats the value entered as a file path and attempts to read the file from the file system.


You can only use one form of each configuration option. Using multiple forms, such as both certificate and certificate_path, results in an error.

Example of how to generate SAML credentials:

An example of how to generate a self-signed certificate and private key that’s valid for one year:

$ openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem -days 365 -nodes​

The generated key.pem and cert.pem files are then used for certificate and private_key.

The key you provide should look like:


Set up SAML with Okta

Grafana supports user authentication through Okta, which is useful when you want your users to access Grafana using single sign on. This guide will follow you through the steps of configuring SAML authentication in Grafana with Okta. You need to be an admin in your Okta organization to access Admin Console and create SAML integration. You also need permissions to edit Grafana config file and restart Grafana server.

Before you begin:

  • To configure SAML integration with Okta, create an app integration inside the Okta organization first. Add app integration in Okta
  • Ensure you have permission to administer SAML authentication. For more information about roles and permissions in Grafana, refer to Roles and permissions.

To set up SAML with Okta:

  1. Log in to the Okta portal.

  2. Go to the Admin Console in your Okta organization by clicking Admin in the upper-right corner. If you are in the Developer Console, then click Developer Console in the upper-left corner and then click Classic UI to switch over to the Admin Console.

  3. In the Admin Console, navigate to Applications > Applications.

  4. Click Add Application.

  5. Click Create New App to start the Application Integration Wizard.

  6. Choose Web as a platform.

  7. Select SAML 2.0 in the Sign on method section.

  8. Click Create.

  9. On the General Settings tab, enter a name for your Grafana integration. You can also upload a logo.

  10. On the Configure SAML tab, enter the SAML information related to your Grafana instance:

    • In the Single sign on URL field, use the /saml/acs endpoint URL of your Grafana instance, for example,

    • In the Audience URI (SP Entity ID) field, use the /saml/metadata endpoint URL, for example,

    • Leave the default values for Name ID format and Application username.

    • In the ATTRIBUTE STATEMENTS (OPTIONAL) section, enter the SAML attributes to be shared with Grafana, for example:

      Attribute name (in Grafana)Value (in Okta profile)
      DisplayNameuser.firstName + " " + user.lastName
    • In the GROUP ATTRIBUTE STATEMENTS (OPTIONAL) section, enter a group attribute name (for example, Group) and set filter to Matches regex .* to return all user groups.

  11. Click Next.

  12. On the final Feedback tab, fill out the form and then click Finish.

Configure SAML authentication in Grafana

The table below describes all SAML configuration options. Continue reading below for details on specific options. Like any other Grafana configuration, you can apply these options as environment variables.

enabledNoWhether SAML authentication is allowedfalse
single_logoutNoWhether SAML Single Logout enabledfalse
allow_sign_upNoWhether to allow new Grafana user creation through SAML login. If set to false, then only existing Grafana users can log in with SAML.true
auto_loginNoWhether SAML auto login is enabledfalse
allow_idp_initiatedNoWhether SAML IdP-initiated login is allowedfalse
certificate or certificate_pathYesBase64-encoded string or Path for the SP X.509 certificate
private_key or private_key_pathYesBase64-encoded string or Path for the SP private key
signature_algorithmNoSignature algorithm used for signing requests to the IdP. Supported values are rsa-sha1, rsa-sha256, rsa-sha512.
idp_metadata, idp_metadata_path, or idp_metadata_urlYesBase64-encoded string, Path or URL for the IdP SAML metadata XML
max_issue_delayNoDuration, since the IdP issued a response and the SP is allowed to process it90s
metadata_valid_durationNoDuration, for how long the SP metadata is valid48h
relay_stateNoRelay state for IdP-initiated login. Should match relay state configured in IdP
assertion_attribute_nameNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user name. Alternatively, this can be a template with variables that match the names of attributes within the SAML assertion.displayName
assertion_attribute_loginNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user login handlemail
assertion_attribute_emailNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user emailmail
assertion_attribute_groupsNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user groups
assertion_attribute_roleNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user roles
assertion_attribute_orgNoFriendly name or name of the attribute within the SAML assertion to use as the user organization
allowed_organizationsNoList of comma- or space-separated organizations. User should be a member of at least one organization to log in.
org_mappingNoList of comma- or space-separated Organization:OrgId:Role mappings. Organization can be * meaning “All users”. Role is optional and can have the following values: Viewer, Editor or Admin.
role_values_editorNoList of comma- or space-separated roles which will be mapped into the Editor role
role_values_adminNoList of comma- or space-separated roles which will be mapped into the Admin role
role_values_grafana_adminNoList of comma- or space-separated roles which will be mapped into the Grafana Admin (Super Admin) role
name_id_formatNoThe Name ID Format to request within the SAML assertionurn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient

Signature algorithm


Available in Grafana version 7.3 and later.

The SAML standard recommends using a digital signature for some types of messages, like authentication or logout requests. If the signature_algorithm option is configured, Grafana will put a digital signature into SAML requests. Supported signature types are rsa-sha1, rsa-sha256, rsa-sha512. This option should match your IdP configuration, otherwise, signature validation will fail. Grafana uses key and certificate configured with private_key and certificate options for signing SAML requests.

Specify user’s Name ID

The name_id_format configuration field specifies the format of the NameID element in the SAML assertion.

By default, this is set to urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient and does not need to be specified in the configuration file.

The following list includes valid configuration field values:

  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:unspecified
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:emailAddress
  • urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:persistent

IdP metadata

You also need to define the public part of the IdP for message verification. The SAML IdP metadata XML defines where and how Grafana exchanges user information.

Grafana supports three ways of specifying the IdP metadata.

  • Without a suffix idp_metadata, Grafana assumes base64-encoded XML file contents.
  • With the _path suffix, Grafana assumes a file path and attempts to read the file from the file system.
  • With the _url suffix, Grafana assumes a URL and attempts to load the metadata from the given location.

Maximum issue delay

Prevents SAML response replay attacks and internal clock skews between the SP (Grafana) and the IdP. You can set a maximum amount of time between the IdP issuing a response and the SP (Grafana) processing it.

The configuration options is specified as a duration, such as max_issue_delay = 90s or max_issue_delay = 1h.

Metadata valid duration

SP metadata is likely to expire at some point, perhaps due to a certificate rotation or change of location binding. Grafana allows you to specify for how long the metadata should be valid. Leveraging the validUntil field, you can tell consumers until when your metadata is going to be valid. The duration is computed by adding the duration to the current time.

The configuration option is specified as a duration, such as metadata_valid_duration = 48h.

Identity provider (IdP) registration

For the SAML integration to work correctly, you need to make the IdP aware of the SP.

The integration provides two key endpoints as part of Grafana:

  • The /saml/metadata endpoint, which contains the SP metadata. You can either download and upload it manually, or you make the IdP request it directly from the endpoint. Some providers name it Identifier or Entity ID.
  • The /saml/acs endpoint, which is intended to receive the ACS (Assertion Customer Service) callback. Some providers name it SSO URL or Reply URL.

IdP-initiated Single Sign-On (SSO)


Available in Grafana version 7.3 and later.

By default, Grafana allows only service provider (SP) initiated logins (when the user logs in with SAML via Grafana’s login page). If you want users to log in into Grafana directly from your identity provider (IdP), set the allow_idp_initiated configuration option to true and configure relay_state with the same value specified in the IdP configuration.

IdP-initiated SSO has some security risks, so make sure you understand the risks before enabling this feature. When using IdP-initiated SSO, Grafana receives unsolicited SAML requests and can’t verify that login flow was started by the user. This makes it hard to detect whether SAML message has been stolen or replaced. Because of this, IdP-initiated SSO is vulnerable to login cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and man in the middle (MITM) attacks. We do not recommend using IdP-initiated SSO and keeping it disabled whenever possible.

Single logout


Available in Grafana version 7.3 and later.

SAML’s single logout feature allows users to log out from all applications associated with the current IdP session established via SAML SSO. If the single_logout option is set to true and a user logs out, Grafana requests IdP to end the user session which in turn triggers logout from all other applications the user is logged into using the same IdP session (applications should support single logout). Conversely, if another application connected to the same IdP logs out using single logout, Grafana receives a logout request from IdP and ends the user session.

HTTP-Redirect and HTTP-POST bindings are supported for single logout. When using HTTP-Redirect bindings the query should include a request signature.

Assertion mapping

During the SAML SSO authentication flow, Grafana receives the ACS callback. The callback contains all the relevant information of the user under authentication embedded in the SAML response. Grafana parses the response to create (or update) the user within its internal database.

For Grafana to map the user information, it looks at the individual attributes within the assertion. You can think of these attributes as Key/Value pairs (although, they contain more information than that).

Grafana provides configuration options that let you modify which keys to look at for these values. The data we need to create the user in Grafana is Name, Login handle, and email.

The assertion_attribute_name option

assertion_attribute_name is a special assertion mapping that can either be a simple key, indicating a mapping to a single assertion attribute on the SAML response, or a complex template with variables using the $__saml{<attribute>} syntax. If this property is misconfigured, Grafana will log an error message on startup and disallow SAML sign-ins. Grafana will also log errors after a login attempt if a variable in the template is missing from the SAML response.


#plain string mapping
assertion_attribute_name = displayName
#template mapping
assertion_attribute_name = $__saml{firstName} $__saml{lastName}

Allow new user signups

By default, new Grafana users using SAML authentication will have an account created for them automatically. To decouple authentication and account creation and ensure only users with existing accounts can log in with SAML, set the allow_sign_up option to false.

Configure automatic login

Set auto_login option to true to attempt login automatically, skipping the login screen. This setting is ignored if multiple auth providers are configured to use auto login.

auto_login = true

Configure team sync


Team sync support for SAML is available in Grafana version 7.0 and later.

To use SAML Team sync, set assertion_attribute_groups to the attribute name where you store user groups. Then Grafana will use attribute values extracted from SAML assertion to add user into the groups with the same name configured on the External group sync tab.


Teamsync allows you sync users from SAML to Grafana teams. It does not automatically create teams in Grafana. You need to create teams in Grafana before you can use this feature.

Given the following partial SAML assertion:


The configuration would look like this:

# ...
assertion_attribute_groups = groups

The following External Group IDs would be valid for input in the desired team’s External group sync tab:

  • admins_group
  • division_1

Learn more about Team Sync

Configure role sync


Available in Grafana version 7.0 and later.

Role sync allows you to map user roles from an identity provider to Grafana. To enable role sync, configure role attribute and possible values for the Editor, Admin, and Grafana Admin roles. For more information about user roles, refer to Roles and permissions.

  1. In the configuration file, set assertion_attribute_role option to the attribute name where the role information will be extracted from.
  2. Set the role_values_editor option to the values mapped to the Editor role.
  3. Set the role_values_admin option to the values mapped to the organization Admin role.
  4. Set the role_values_grafana_admin option to the values mapped to the Grafana Admin role.

If a user role doesn’t match any of configured values, then the Viewer role will be assigned.

For more information about roles and permissions in Grafana, refer to Roles and permissions.

Example configuration:

assertion_attribute_role = role
role_values_editor = editor, developer
role_values_admin = admin, operator
role_values_grafana_admin = superadmin

Important: When role sync is configured, any changes of user roles and organization membership made manually in Grafana will be overwritten on next user login. Assign user organizations and roles in the IdP instead.


Available in Grafana version 9.2 and later.

If you don’t want user organizations and roles to be synchronized with the IdP, you can use the skip_org_role_sync configuration option.

Example configuration:

skip_org_role_sync = true

Configure organization mapping


Available in Grafana version 7.0 and later.

Organization mapping allows you to assign users to particular organization in Grafana depending on attribute value obtained from identity provider.

  1. In configuration file, set assertion_attribute_org to the attribute name you store organization info in. This attribute can be an array if you want a user to be in multiple organizations.
  2. Set org_mapping option to the comma-separated list of Organization:OrgId pairs to map organization from IdP to Grafana organization specified by id. If you want users to have different roles in multiple organizations, you can set this option to a comma-separated list of Organization:OrgId:Role mappings.

For example, use following configuration to assign users from Engineering organization to the Grafana organization with id 2 as Editor and users from Sales - to the org with id 3 as Admin, based on Org assertion attribute value:

assertion_attribute_org = Org
org_mapping = Engineering:2:Editor, Sales:3:Admin

You can specify multiple organizations both for the IdP and Grafana:

  • org_mapping = Engineering:2, Sales:2 to map users from Engineering and Sales to 2 in Grafana.
  • org_mapping = Engineering:2, Engineering:3 to assign Engineering to both 2 and 3 in Grafana.

You can use * as the SAML Organization if you want all your users to be in some Grafana organizations with a default role:

  • org_mapping = *:2:Editor to map all users to 2 in Grafana as Editors.


Available in Grafana version 9.2 and later.

You can use * as the Grafana organization in the mapping if you want all users from a given SAML Organization to be added to all existing Grafana organizations.

  • org_mapping = Engineering:* to map users from Engineering to all existing Grafana organizations.
  • org_mapping = Administration:*:Admin to map users from Administration to all existing Grafana organizations as Admins.

Configure allowed organizations


Available in Grafana version 7.0 and later.

With the allowed_organizations option you can specify a list of organizations where the user must be a member of at least one of them to be able to log in to Grafana.

To put values containing spaces in the list, use the following JSON syntax:

allowed_organizations = ["org 1", "second org"]

Example SAML configuration

enabled = true
auto_login = false
certificate_path = "/path/to/certificate.cert"
private_key_path = "/path/to/private_key.pem"
idp_metadata_path = "/my/metadata.xml"
max_issue_delay = 90s
metadata_valid_duration = 48h
assertion_attribute_name = displayName
assertion_attribute_login = mail
assertion_attribute_email = mail

assertion_attribute_groups = Group
assertion_attribute_role = Role
assertion_attribute_org = Org
role_values_editor = editor, developer
role_values_admin = admin, operator
role_values_grafana_admin = superadmin
org_mapping = Engineering:2:Editor, Engineering:3:Viewer, Sales:3:Editor, *:1:Editor
allowed_organizations = Engineering, Sales

Troubleshoot SAML authentication in Grafana

To troubleshoot and get more log information, enable SAML debug logging in the configuration file. Refer to Configuration for more information.

filters = saml.auth:debug


Following are common issues found in configuring SAML authentication in Grafana and how to resolve them.

SAML authentication fails with error:

  • asn1: structure error: tags don't match

We only support one private key format: PKCS#8.

The keys may be in a different format (PKCS#1 or PKCS#12); in that case, it may be necessary to convert the private key format.

The following command creates a pkcs8 key file.

$ openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem -days 365 -nodes​

Convert the private key format to base64

The following command converts keys to base64 format.

Base64-encode the cert.pem and key.pem files: (-w0 switch is not needed on Mac, only for Linux)

$ base64 -w0 key.pem > key.pem.base64
$ base64 -w0 cert.pem > cert.pem.base64

The base64-encoded values (key.pem.base64, cert.pem.base64 files) are then used for certificate and private_key.

The keys you provide should look like:


SAML login attempts fail with request response “origin not allowed”

When the user logs in using SAML and gets presented with “origin not allowed”, the user might be issuing the login from an IdP (identity provider) service or the user is behind a reverse proxy. This potentially happens as Grafana’s CSRF checks deem the requests to be invalid. For more information CSRF.

To solve this issue, you can configure either the csrf_trusted_origins or csrf_additional_headers option in the SAML configuration.

Example of a configuration file:

# config.ini
csrf_trusted_origins =
csrf_additional_headers = X-Forwarded-Host

SAML login attempts fail with request response “login session has expired”

Accessing the Grafana login page from a URL that is not the root URL of the Grafana server can cause the instance to return the following error: “login session has expired”.

If you are accessing grafana through a proxy server, ensure that cookies are correctly rewritten to the root URL of Grafana. Cookies must be set on the same url as the root_url of Grafana. This is normally the reverse proxy’s domain/address.

Review the cookie settings in your proxy server configuration to ensure that cookies are not being discarded

Review the following settings in your grafana config:

cookie_samesite = none

This setting should be set to none to allow grafana session cookies to work correctly with redirects.

cookie_secure = true

Ensure cookie_secure is set to true to ensure that cookies are only sent over HTTPS.