Server 2.x

Portal Administrators#

Certain users can be “promoted” to admin in the VPN portal. This can be done in two ways, based on either

  1. User ID
  2. Permission

The User ID based “admin” authorization is the simplest. However, if the admins regularly change, or are already based on a certain role exposed through the identity management system, using permissions may make more sense.

User ID#

The default deploy, using deploy_${DIST}.sh sets the admin user as an admin in /etc/vpn-user-portal/config.php using the adminUserIdList configuration array:

'adminUserIdList' => ['admin'],

You can mark additional users as admins:

'adminUserIdList' => ['admin', 'john', 'jane'],

This is the simplest solution. To view the user ID of your account, you can use the “Account” page when logged into the portal. For SAML deployments using the eduPersonTargetedID attribute, it would look like this:

'adminUserIdList' => [

In case the used user ID attribute is a pseudonym as above, you’d have to ask the other future admins to go to their “Account” page and tell you the user ID.


When the “admins” are already decided on through the identity management system, e.g. LDAP or SAML, it makes sense to use that “permission” / “role” to identify users.

NOTE: if multiple (SAML) IdPs are linked to the VPN service, there is no way to “scope” the permission to a particular IdP at the moment. So be careful when using a permission based “admin” as IdPs can potentially set the “admin” permission for users not allowed to access the admin part of the portal! In that case you SHOULD use the User ID admin configuration mentioned above instead!

In order to configure the permissions, first the attribute has to be selected for this. This can be for example the eduPersonEntitlement attribute where the administrators get the “admin” entitlement.

One can set the permissionAttribute under the various authentication mechanisms, see the configuration template.

For example on Shibboleth:

'permissionAttribute' => 'entitlement',

NOTE since version 2.0.7 of vpn-user-portal, the value of permissionAttribute can also be an array, so it can list multiple attributes.

Then you have to configure which entitlement will grant administrator access using the adminPermissionList option, for example:

'adminPermissionList' => [''],

This should make all users that have that particular entitlement value an administrator in the portal.