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MyProxy OAuth Authentication

The legacy MyProxy authentication method exchanges end-user credentials for special, time-limited credentials that Globus uses to perform transfer-related activities on the user’s behalf.

The MyProxy OAuth authentication method is used in environments that do not meet the requirements for CILogon authentication. That typically means…

  • Not all users have SUNetIDs; or

  • Users on the system do not use SUNetIDs as their local username.

If either of the above is true, then CILogon will not work, and MyProxy OAuth should be used.

Here is how MyProxy OAuth authentication works:

  1. The end user chooses to use your Globus Connect Server endpoint.

  2. Globus redirects the user to an OAuth service running on your endpoint, where they enter their local username and password.

  3. Globus establishes a secure connection with the MyProxy service running on your endpoint, and sends you the username and password provided.

  4. The OAuth service relays the credentials to MyProxy, which validates them. If valid, a short-lived client certificate & private key are generated, and sent back to Globus.

Although this authentication method does send credentials over the Internet, the credentials are not being shared with any third party (including Globus).

When Globus communicates with your endpoint, it uses the client cert issued by MyProxy, which contains the end user’s local username. That is how your endpoint knows who is using Globus.

Apache Configuration

MyProxy OAuth is a Python WSGI application, which uses Apache as the gateway between the user and the application. Although Apache has already been installed (as part of installing the MyProxy OAuth packages); you still need to configure Apache’s SSL settings, and obtain a certificate.

Basic configuration guides are available, for RHEL/CentOS and for Debian/Ubuntu.

For the server certificate, you can get one from University IT, or you can get one from Let’s Encrypt. Both are free, and both have tradeoffs: A certificate from University IT lasts for up to two years, but can take a business day to be issued, and you have to remember to renew it. A certificate from Let’s Encrypt will last indefinitely as long as you have auto-renewal in place, but there are limits on how many new certs are issued per day, so you might have to wait.

Either way, until you have a certificate, MyProxy OAuth authentication may not work.

Besides getting a certificate, you will also need to configure your server’s SSL settings. The best tool to use is the Mozilla SSL Configuration Generator. You will need to provide your version of the “server” (that is, Apache) and of OpenSSL; you can get these from the list below:

  • RHEL/CentOS 6: Server 2.2.15 and OpenSSL 1.0.1e
  • RHEL/CentOS 7: Server 2.4.6 and OpenSSL 1.0.1e
  • Debian 8: Server 2.4.10 and OpenSSL 1.0.1t
  • Debian 9: Server 2.4.25 and OpenSSL 1.1.0f
  • Ubuntu 16.04: Server 2.4.18 and OpenSSL 1.0.2g
  • Ubuntu 18.04: Server 2.4.29 and OpenSSL 1.1.0g

Once your set your server and OpenSSL versions, if the Modern option is available, then select it. Otherwise, select Intermediate. Also, make sure HSTS Enabled is selected. At this point, the appropriate configuraion will be displayed, which you can copy to the appropriate Apache configuration file. The guides linked at the start of this section will help you locate the right configuration file.

Now that the web server has been configured, you can move on to configuring Globus!

Download Files

The MyProxy OAuth service allows a little customization, in the form of custom CSS and a logo. Before you continue configuration, you should download those files:

The logo lives on the Stanford Identity site, which requires that you log in to download logos. So, you will have to download it manually, and copy it to the server. The CSS file may be download directly using wget, curl, etc..

Globus Configuration

To use MyProxy OAuth authentication, you will be making additions to the globus-connect-server.conf file that you first filled in during initial configuration.

Here is the content which needs to be added to the globus-connect-server.conf file:

Each of the sections will now be discussed in detail. If you do not need this explanation, you can skip ahead.


The Security section is very simple:

FetchCredentialFromRelay = True
IdentityMethod = OAuth

IdentityMethod tells globus-connect-server-setup to configure MyProxy OAuth. The explanation for FetchCredentialFromRelay is a little more complicated.

TLS is used to secure the communications between Globus and your endpoint. With TLS, the server side must have a private key and certificate (if you run a web site, you are probably aware of this already). Since Globus is initiating connections to your endpoint, your endpoint needs a private key and certificate. The FetchCredentialsFromRelay setting tells globus-connect-server-setup to fetch a key and certificate from Globus, which will be used for all future connections from Globus.


The MyProxy section is also simple, with two options that can be changed (although that is not normally required):

Server = %(HOSTNAME)s
;;ServerBehindNAT = True

Server and ServerBehindNAT influence how globus-connect-server-setup configures your endpoint.

Normally, your system’s hostname should match what is in Public DNS. But, in some cases (such as when you are behind a NAT), that is not the case. When your hostname does not match what is in Public DNS, you need to set Server to your name in public DNS, and set ServerBehindNAT to True. That will force globus-connect-server-setup to configure MyProxy with the settings you specify.


The OAuth section has configuration specific to the OAuth server. Some of it is a duplicate of the MyProxy section, and some of it is unique.

Server = %(HOSTNAME)s
;;ServerBehindNAT = True
Stylesheet = /etc/globus-myproxy-oauth-stylesheet.css
Logo = /etc/globus-myproxy-oauth-logo.png

The Server and ServerBehindNAT entries should be set to exactly the same values as what appears in the MyProxy section (you should just copy/paste them from one section to the other).

The logo is the “Block S (1 Color, Red, Dark Background)” logo, meant to be placed on a Stanford-red background. The stylesheet is what configures this background. It also enables the use of the Source Sans Pro font family, one of the two preferred font families for header and body text.

Once globus-connect-server.conf has been completed, it is now time to run globus-connect-server-setup!

Run Setup

You should now run the globus-connect-server-setup command. When you run this command, you will be asked for your Globus ID’s password. Once that is provided, setup will commence.

Here is an example of the output from a successful run of globus-connect-server-setup:

Configured MyProxy server on
CA DN: /O=Globus Connect Server/
Configured OAuth server
Configured GridFTP server to run on
Server DN: /C=US/O=Globus Consortium/OU=Globus Connect Service/CN=8af58dce-3969-11e8-b98d-0ac6873fc732
Using Authentication Method OAuth
Configured Endpoint quake-sci-nfs-1

globus-connect-server-setup is performing these steps:

  1. Checking for newer versions of Globus Connect Server.

  2. Enabling the myproxy-server, globus-gridftp-server, and httpd (or apache2) services, and performing basic configuration for all services.

  3. Configuring Python WSGI for Apache.

  4. Creating a local certificate authority, which MyProxy will use to issue client certs.

  5. Requesting a server certificate and private key from Globus, which MyProxy and GridFTP will use when accepting connections from Globus.

If configuration was successful, the “Configured endpoint” message will be printed. At this point, services have been started and are ready for use!

Apache Configuration

The OAuth service runs as a Python WSGI application, under Apache. This is probably the first time Apache will have been used on this server, and so some configuraion will be required:

Disable Welcome Page

In a default Apache configuration, when someone browses to your site, they will be presented with a “Welcome” page. That page should be disabled. The exact way to do this depends on which Linux distribution you are using:

  • In Debian

  • In RHEL, CentOS, and Scientific Linux, edit the file at /etc/httpd/conf.d/welcome.conf: Remove the line ErrorDocument 403 /error/noindex.html.

Restart Apache for the change to take effect.

Configure SSL

The OAuth service requires SSL, which means you will need to get a valid certificate. For the Stanford community, two options are available:

  • You can get a certificate from University IT. This does not involve any additional software, and certificates are valid for up to two years, but involves some time and effort to configure.

  • You can get a certificate from Let’s Encrypt, using Certbot. This requires minimal effort (because Certbot does the work), but it means that you have to install additional third-party software, which will need to run on a regular basis (Let’s Encrypt certificates must be renewed approximately once a quarter).

At the same time, you should configure Apache to use modern TLS standards. This is most easily done by going to the Mozilla SSL Configuration Generator, choosing the Modern or Intermediate configuration, and entering your system’s versions of Apache and OpenSSL.

Apache will need to be restarted whenever SSL configuration is changed.

Now that Globus Connect Server (or, more specifically, MyProxy and GridFTP) is (are) up and running, you should finish configuration.