Configure SAML synchronization with AD/LDAP

In addition to configuring SAML sign-in, you can optionally configure synchronizing SAML accounts with AD/LDAP. When configured:

  • Mattermost queries AD/LDAP for relevant account information and updates SAML accounts based on changes to attributes (first name, last name, and nickname)
  • Accounts disabled in AD/LDAP are made inactive in Mattermost, and their active sessions are revoked once Mattermost synchronizes attributes.

To configure SAML synchronization with AD/LDAP:

  1. Go to System Console > Authentication > SAML 2.0 (or System Console > SAML in versions prior to 5.12) and set Enable Synchronizing SAML Accounts With AD/LDAP to true.
  2. Go to System Console > Authentication > AD/LDAP (or System Console > AD/LDAP in versions prior to 5.12) and set Enable Synchronization with AD/LDAP to true.
  3. Set the rest of the AD/LDAP settings based on configuration settings documentation to connect Mattermost with your AD/LDAP server.
  • If you don’t want to enable AD/LDAP sign-in, keep Enable sign-in with AD/LDAP as false.
  1. Set Syncronization Interval to specify how often Mattermost synchronizes SAML user accounts with AD/LDAP. The default setting is 60 minutes. If you want to synchronize immediately after disabling an account, use the “AD/LDAP Synchronize Now” button in System Console > AD/LDAP in prior versions or System Console > Authentication > AD/LDAP in versions after 5.12.
  2. To test Mattermost can successfully connect to your AD/LDAP server, click the AD/LDAP Test button.

Once the synchronization with AD/LDAP is enabled, user attributes are synchronized with AD/LDAP based on their email address. If a user with a given email address doesn’t have an AD/LDAP account, they will be deactivated in Mattermost on the next AD/LDAP sync. To re-activate the account:

  1. Add the user to your AD/LDAP server.
  2. Purge all caches in Mattermost in System Console > Web Server > Purge All Caches (or System Console > Configuration > Purge All Caches in versions prior to 5.12).
  3. Run AD/LDAP sync in System Console > Authentication > AD/LDAP > AD/LDAP Synchronize Now (or System Console > AD/LDAP > AD/LDAP Synchronize Now in versions prior to 5.12).
  4. Purge all caches again in Mattermost in System Console > Web Server > Purge All Caches (or System Console > Configuration > Purge All Caches in versions prior to 5.12), which re-activates the account in Mattermost.

Note

If a user is deactivated from AD/LDAP, they will be deactivated in Mattermost on the next sync. They will be shown as “Inactive” in the System Console users list, all of their sessions will expire and they won’t be able to log back in to Mattermost.

If a user is deactivated from SAML, their session won’t expire until they’re deactivated from AD/LDAP. However, they won’t be able to log back in to Mattermost.

Note

SAML synchronization with AD/LDAP is designed to pull user attributes such as first name and last name from your AD/LDAP, not to control authentication.

In particular, the user filter cannot be used to control who can log in to Mattermost, this should be controlled by your SAML service provider’s group permissions.

See technical description of SAML synchronization with AD/LDAP for more details.

Override SAML Data with AD/LDAP Data

Alternatively, you can choose to override SAML bind data with AD/LDAP information. For more infomation on binding a user with the SAML ID Attribute, please refer to this documentation.

This process overrides SAML email address with AD/LDAP email address data or SAML Id Attribute with AD/LDAP Id Attribute if configured. We recommend using this configuration with the SAML ID Attribute to help ensure new users are not created when the email address changes for a user.

To ensure existing user accounts do not get disabled in this process, ensure the SAML IDs match the LDAP IDs by exporting data from both systems and comparing the ID data. Mapping ID Attributes for both AD/LDAP and SAML within Mattermost to fields that hold the same data will ensure the IDs match as well.

  1. Set the SAML Id Attribute on System Console > Authentication > SAML 2.0 > Id Attribute (or System Console > SAML > Id Attribute in versions prior to 5.12)
  2. Set System Console > Authentication > SAML 2.0 > Override SAML bind data with AD/LDAP information (or System Console > SAML > Override SAML bind data with AD/LDAP information in versions prior to 5.12) to true.
  3. Set System Console > Authentication > SAML 2.0 > Enable Synchronizing SAML Accounts With AD/LDAP (or System Console > SAML > Enable Synchronizing SAML Accounts With AD/LDAP in versions prior to 5.12) to true.
  4. Run AD/LDAP sync in System Console > Authentication > AD/LDAP > AD/LDAP Synchronize Now (or System Console > AD/LDAP > AD/LDAP Synchronize Now in versions prior to 5.12).