JWKS Storage - OpenID Connect Authentication

By default, a global keystore can be expected and defined via CAS properties as a path on the file system. The format of the keystore file is similar to the following:

  "keys": [
      "d": "...",
      "e": "AQAB",
      "use": "sig",
      "n": "...",
      "kty": "RSA",
      "kid": "cas",
      "state": 0

The contents of the keystore may be encrypted via CAS configuration security outlined here.

:information_source: Clustered Deployments

When deploying CAS in a cluster, you must make sure all CAS server nodes have access to and share an identical and exact copy of the keystore file. Keystore differences will lead to various validation failures and application integration issues.

The following settings and properties are available from the CAS configuration catalog:

The configuration settings listed below are tagged as Required in the CAS configuration metadata. This flag indicates that the presence of the setting may be needed to activate or affect the behavior of the CAS feature and generally should be reviewed, possibly owned and adjusted. If the setting is assigned a default value, you do not need to strictly put the setting in your copy of the configuration, but should review it nonetheless to make sure it matches your deployment expectations.

  • cas.authn.oidc.jwks.file-system.jwks-file=file:/etc/cas/config/keystore.jwks
  • Path to the JWKS file resource used to handle signing/encryption of authentication tokens. Contents of the keystore may be encrypted using the same encryption and security mechanism available for all other CAS configuration settings. The setting value here may also be defined in a raw format; that is, you may pass the actual contents of the keystore verbaitm to this setting and CAS would load the keystore as an in-memory resource. This is relevant in scenarios where the setting source is external to CAS and has no support for file systems where the value is loaded on the fly from the source into this setting. Note that if the keystore files does not exist at the specified path, one will be generated for you.

    This setting supports the Spring Expression Language.


    How can I configure this property?

    The configuration settings listed below are tagged as Optional in the CAS configuration metadata. This flag indicates that the presence of the setting is not immediately necessary in the end-user CAS configuration, because a default value is assigned or the activation of the feature is not conditionally controlled by the setting value. In other words, you should only include this field in your configuration if you need to modify the default value or if you need to turn on the feature controlled by the setting.

  • cas.authn.oidc.jwks.file-system.watcher-enabled=true
  • Flag indicating whether a background watcher thread is enabled for the purposes of live reloading of keystore data file changes from disk.


    How can I configure this property?

    Configuration Metadata

    The collection of configuration properties listed in this section are automatically generated from the CAS source and components that contain the actual field definitions, types, descriptions, modules, etc. This metadata may not always be 100% accurate, or could be lacking details and sufficient explanations.

    Be Selective

    This section is meant as a guide only. Do NOT copy/paste the entire collection of settings into your CAS configuration; rather pick only the properties that you need. Do NOT enable settings unless you are certain of their purpose and do NOT copy settings into your configuration only to keep them as reference. All these ideas lead to upgrade headaches, maintenance nightmares and premature aging.


    Note that for nearly ALL use cases, declaring and configuring properties listed here is sufficient. You should NOT have to explicitly massage a CAS XML/Java/etc configuration file to design an authentication handler, create attribute release policies, etc. CAS at runtime will auto-configure all required changes for you. If you are unsure about the meaning of a given CAS setting, do NOT turn it on without hesitation. Review the codebase or better yet, ask questions to clarify the intended behavior.

    Naming Convention

    Property names can be specified in very relaxed terms. For instance cas.someProperty, cas.some-property, cas.some_property are all valid names. While all forms are accepted by CAS, there are certain components (in CAS and other frameworks used) whose activation at runtime is conditional on a property value, where this property is required to have been specified in CAS configuration using kebab case. This is both true for properties that are owned by CAS as well as those that might be presented to the system via an external library or framework such as Spring Boot, etc.

    :information_source: Note

    When possible, properties should be stored in lower-case kebab format, such as cas.property-name=value. The only possible exception to this rule is when naming actuator endpoints; The name of the actuator endpoints (i.e. ssoSessions) MUST remain in camelCase mode.

    Settings and properties that are controlled by the CAS platform directly always begin with the prefix cas. All other settings are controlled and provided to CAS via other underlying frameworks and may have their own schemas and syntax. BE CAREFUL with the distinction. Unrecognized properties are rejected by CAS and/or frameworks upon which CAS depends. This means if you somehow misspell a property definition or fail to adhere to the dot-notation syntax and such, your setting is entirely refused by CAS and likely the feature it controls will never be activated in the way you intend.


    Configuration properties are automatically validated on CAS startup to report issues with configuration binding, specially if defined CAS settings cannot be recognized or validated by the configuration schema. Additional validation processes are also handled via Configuration Metadata and property migrations applied automatically on startup by Spring Boot and family.

    Indexed Settings

    CAS settings able to accept multiple values are typically documented with an index, such as cas.some.setting[0]=value. The index [0] is meant to be incremented by the adopter to allow for distinct multiple configuration blocks.

    The keystore is automatically watched and monitored by CAS for changes. As changes are detected, CAS will invalidate the cache and will reload the keystore once again.


    The following alternative strategies can be used to generate, manage and storage a JSON Web keystore.

    Option Reference
    Groovy See this page.
    JPA See this page.
    MongoDb See this page.
    REST See this page.
    Custom See this page.