SimpleID version 0.9 supports logging in using client SSL certificates instead of using a user name and password.

Instead of being prompted to enter a user name and password, your browser will ask you to select a certificate stored on your computer. SimpleID will then match the certificate against information stored in your identity file and log you in.

Note that this is for advanced users only. It requires a large number of highly technical steps to set up.

Much of this information is taken from Using SSL Client Certificates with PHP.

What you need

You will need the following:

  • SimpleID 0.9 or later
  • Apache version 2.3 or later, with mod_ssl installed, and access to the server’s Apache configuration file httpd.conf (not merely .htaccess)
  • Your personal certificate issued by a certificate authority recognised by the web server

Setting up

Configure your web server

You will need to configure your web server to request a certificate from your browser and verify it when you go to your SimpleID installation.

Add the following directives to the virtual host within the server configuration:

SSLVerifyClient optional
SSLVerifyDepth 1
SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
SSLCACertificateFile /path/to/your/trusted/ca/certificates
SSLOCSPEnable on

Enable the certauth extension

Edit the SIMPLEID_EXTENSIONS configuration option in the config.php file and add the certauth extension. See installing and uninstalling extensions for further details.

Add certificate details to your identity file

Your certificate is identified using two parameters:

  • the certificate’s serial number
  • the distinguished name of the certificate’s issuer

You can find out these two values using OpenSSL by running the following commands (replacing the file name of the certificate as required):

openssl x509 -noout -serial -in certificate.crt
openssl x509 -noout -issuer -in certificate.crt

These two values are then combined and placed in the certauth section of your identity file as follows:

cert[]="02A97C;/C=Example/O=Example CA/OU=Example CA Certificate Signing/CN=Example Client CA"

Note the brackets in the cert[] name. This allows you to associate your identity with more than one certificate.