Delegating Authentication

SonarQube comes with an onboard user database, as well as the ability to delegate authentication via HTTP Headers, or LDAP.

HTTP Header Authentication

This feature is designed to delegate user authentication to third-party systems (proxies/servers).

When this feature is activated, SonarQube expects that the authentication is handled prior any query reaching the server. The tool that handles the authentication should:

  • intercept calls to the SonarQube server
  • take care of the authentication
  • update the HTTP request header with the relevant SonarQube user information
  • re-route the request to SonarQube with the appropriate header information

HTTP Header Authentication flow

All the parameters required to activate and configure this feature are available in SonarQube server configuration file (in $SONARQUBE-HOME/conf/

Using Http header authentication is an easy way integrate your SonarQube deployment with an in-house SSO implementation.

LDAP Authentication

You can configure SonarQube authentication and authorization to an LDAP server (including LDAP Service of Active Directory) by configuring the correct values in $SONARQUBE-HOME/conf/

The main features are:

  • Password checking against the external authentication engine.
  • Automatic synchronization of usernames and emails.
  • Automatic synchronization of relationships between users and groups (authorization).
  • Ability to authenticate against both the external and the internal authentication systems. There is an automatic fallback on SonarQube internal system if the LDAP server is down.
  • During the first authentication trial, if the user's password is correct, the SonarQube database is automatically populated with the new user. Each time a user logs into SonarQube, the username, the email and the groups this user belongs to that are refreshed in the SonarQube database. You can choose to have group membership synchronized as well, but this is not the default.
  Apache DS OpenLDAP Open DS Active Directory

= successfully tested


  1. Configure the LDAP plugin by editing $SONARQUBE-HOME/conf/ (see table below)
  2. Restart the SonarQube server and check the log file for:

    INFO org.sonar.INFO Security realm: LDAP ...
    INFO o.s.p.l.LdapContextFactory Test LDAP connection: OK
  3. Log into SonarQube
  4. On logout users will be presented a login page (/sessions/login), where they can choose to login as technical user or a domain user by passing appropriate credentials

From SonarScanners, we recommend using local technical users for authentication against SonarQube Server.

General Configuration

Property Description Default value Required Example Set this to LDAP authenticate first against the external sytem. If the external system is not reachable or if the user is not defined in the external system, authentication will be performed against SonarQube's internal database. none Yes LDAP (only possible value)
sonar.authenticator.downcase Set to true when connecting to a LDAP server using a case-insensitive setup. false No
ldap.url URL of the LDAP server. If you are using ldaps, you should install the server certificate into the Java truststore. none Yes ldap://localhost:10389
ldap.bindDn The username of an LDAP user to connect (or bind) with. Leave this blank for anonymous access to the LDAP directory. none No cn=sonar,ou=users,o=mycompany
ldap.bindPassword The password of the user to connect with. Leave this blank for anonymous access to the LDAP directory. none No secret
ldap.authentication Possible values: simple , CRAM-MD5 , DIGEST-MD5 , GSSAPI . See the tutorial on authentication mechanisms simple No
ldap.realm See Digest-MD5 Authentication , CRAM-MD5 Authentication none No
ldap.contextFactoryClass Context factory class. com.sun.jndi.ldap.LdapCtxFactory No
ldap.StartTLS Enable use of StartTLS false No
ldap.followReferrals Follow referrals or not. See Referrals in the JNDI true

User Mapping

Property Description Default value Required Example for Active Directory
ldap.user.baseDn Distinguished Name (DN) of the root node in LDAP from which to search for users. None Yes cn=users,dc=example,dc=org
ldap.user.request LDAP user request. (&(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(uid={login})) No (&(objectClass=user)(sAMAccountName={login}))
ldap.user.realNameAttribute Attribute in LDAP defining the user’s real name. cn No
ldap.user.emailAttribute Attribute in LDAP defining the user’s email. mail No

Group Mapping Only groups are supported (not roles). Only static groups are supported (not dynamic groups).

When group mapping is configured (i.e the below* properties are configured), membership in LDAP server will override any membership locally configured in SonarQube. LDAP server becomes the one and only place to manage group membership (and the info is fetched each time the user logs in).

For the delegation of authorization, groups must be first defined in SonarQube. Then, the following properties must be defined to allow SonarQube to automatically synchronize the relationships between users and groups.

Property Description Default value Required Example for Active Directory Distinguished Name (DN) of the root node in LDAP from which to search for groups. none No cn=groups,dc=example,dc=org LDAP group request. (&(objectClass=groupOfUniqueNames)(uniqueMember={dn})) No (&(objectClass=group)(member={dn})) Property used to specifiy the attribute to be used for returning the list of user groups in the compatibility mode. cn No sAMAccountName

Sample Configuration

# LDAP configuration
# General Configuration
# User Configuration
# Group Configuration,dc=sonarsource,dc=com{uid}))

Advanced LDAP Topics

Authentication Methods

  • Anonymous - Used when only read-only access to non-protected entries and attributes is needed when binding to the LDAP server.
  • Simple Simple authentication is not recommended for production deployments not using the ldaps secure protocol since it sends a cleartext password over the network.
  • CRAM-MD5 - The Challenge-Response Authentication Method (CRAM) based on the HMAC-MD5 MAC algorithm (RFC 2195).
  • DIGEST-MD5 - This is an improvement on the CRAM-MD5 authentication method (RFC 2831).
  • GSSAPI - GSS-API is Generic Security Service API (RFC 2744). One of the most popular security services available for GSS-API is the Kerberos v5, used in Microsoft's Windows 2000 platform.

For a full discussion of LDAP authentication approaches, see RFC 2829 and RFC 2251.

Multiple Servers

To configure multiple servers:

# List the different servers
# Configure server1
# Configure server2

Authentication will be tried on each server, in the order they are listed in the configurations, until one succeeds. User/Group mapping will be performed against the first server on which the user is found.

Note that all the LDAP servers must be available while (re)starting the SonarQube server.


Authenticating Via Other Systems

Additionally, several plugins are available to allow delegation to other providers: