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CAS (v5.3)

pac4j allows you to login with a CAS server in various ways:

1) using the CAS login page (for a web site): when accessing a protected web site, the user will be redirected to the CAS login page to enter his credentials before being granted access to the web site

2) using proxy tickets (for a web service): if the user is already authenticated by CAS in the web application (use case 1), the web application can request a proxy ticket and use it to call the web service which is protected by CAS

3) using the CAS REST API (for a web service): a standalone/mobile application can call a web service by providing the CAS user credentials (these credentials will be directly checked via the CAS REST API).

It supports all CAS protocol versions (v1.0, v2.0 and v3.0).

The CAS server can also act as a SAML IdP or as an OpenID Connect provider. In that case, you must not use the CAS support, but the appropriate SAML or OpenID Connect supports.

0) Dependency

You need to use the following module: pac4j-cas.

Example (Maven dependency):


1) CAS login page (web site)

a) Application configuration

To login with a CAS server, the indirect CasClient must be defined (and optionally a CasProxyReceptor to deal with proxies). Your web application protected by the CasClient will thus participate in the SSO.

The CAS configuration must be defined in a CasConfiguration object.


CasClient casClient = new CasClient(new CasConfiguration("https://mycasserver/login"));

https://mycasserver/login is the login URL of your CAS server.

After a successful login with a CAS server, a CasProfile is returned.

If an authentication delegation occurred in CAS and no proxy configuration is defined, the returned profile will be the original profile after the authentication delegation.

The CasConfiguration can be built with the CAS login URL and/or with the CAS prefix URL (when different URLs are required):

CasConfiguration config = new CasConfiguration();

You can define the CAS protocol you want to use (CasProtocol.CAS30 by default):


You can also set various parameters:

Method Usage
setEncoding(String) Define the encoding used for parsing the CAS responses
setRenew(boolean) Define if the renew parameter will be used
setGateway(boolean) Define if the gateway parameter will be used
setTimeTolerance(long) Define the time tolerance for the SAML ticket validation (CasProtocol.SAML)
setCallbackUrlResolver(CallbackUrlResolver) Define a specific CallbackUrlResolver (by default, the CallbackUrlResolver of the CasClient is used)
setDefaultTicketValidator(TicketValidator) Define the default TicketValidator to use

Furthermore, renew or gateway authentication requests can also be controlled on a per-request basis based on the presence of HTTP attributes defined in RedirectionActionBuilder#ATTRIBUTE_FORCE_AUTHN and RedirectionActionBuilder#ATTRIBUTE_PASSIVE.

b) CAS configuration

Assuming your callback URL is http://localhost:8080/callback, the CAS server will be called by default via https://mycasserver/login?service=http://localhost:8080/callback?client_name=CasClient.

So you must define in the CAS services registry the appropriate CAS service matching this URL: http://localhost:8080/callback?client_name=CasClient and with the appropriate configuration: which attributes to return? Does it support proxies?

Read the CAS documentation for that.

c) Proxy support

For proxy support, the CasProxyReceptor component must be used, defined on the same or a new callback URL (via the security configuration) and declared in the CasConfiguration:

CasProxyReceptor casProxy = new CasProxyReceptor();
// config.setAcceptAnyProxy(false);
// config.setAllowedProxyChains(proxies);

In this case, a CasProxyProfile is returned after a successful authentication and it can be used to get proxy tickets for other CAS services:

CasProxyProfile casProxyProfile = (CasProxyProfile) casProfile;
String proxyTicket = casProxyProfile.getProxyTicketFor(anotherCasServiceUrl);

To correlate proxy information, the CasProxyReceptor uses an internal Store that you can change via the setStore method (by default, Guava is used).

d) Logout configuration

To handle CAS logout requests, a DefaultLogoutHandler is automatically created. Unless you specify your own implementation of the LogoutHandler interface.

The DefaultLogoutHandler:

e) In a stateless way

In fact, you can even login with the CAS login page using a direct DirectCasClient. No callback URL will be involved: the requested URL will be called back after the CAS login. No session will be created and thus no logout will be necessary.

2) Proxy tickets (web service)

If you want to call a web service from a web application using the CAS identity, the proxy mode must be used as explained above.

The generated proxy tickets must be sent to the web services and the web services must be properly protected by the direct DirectCasProxyClient. It requires a CasConfiguration.


CasConfiguration config = new CasConfiguration();
DirectCasProxyClient directCasProxyClient = new DirectCasProxyClient(config, "http://localhost:8080/webservices");

After generating a proxy ticket (like PT-1), the web service will be called on a URL similar to: http://localhost:8080/webservices/myoperation?ticket=PT-1.

You can define a list of URL patterns using the setAllowedProxies(List<String>) method on the CasConfiguration object which applications are allowed to act as an proxy for this application.

The DirectCasProxyClient will validate the proxy ticket and the service URL (defined in the constructor: http://localhost:8080/webservices) on the CAS server to get the identity of the user.

This requires to define the appropriate CAS service (matching the http://localhost:8080/webservices URL) on the CAS server side.

This DirectCasProxyClient internally relies on the CasAuthenticator. See how to deal with performance issues.

3) CAS REST API (web service)

The CAS server can be called via a REST API if the feature is enabled.

The CasRestFormClient and CasRestBasicAuthClient are direct clients which can be used to interact with the REST API of a CAS server:


CasConfiguration casConfig = new CasConfiguration("https://mycasserver/login");
CasRestFormClient casRestClient = new CasRestFormClient(casConfig);

These direct clients internally rely on the CasRestAuthenticator. See how to deal with performance issues.

After a successful authentication via the CasRestBasicAuthClient/CasRestFormClient, a CasRestProfile will be created.

This profile has no attributes as it was built by validating the CAS credentials on the REST API. You must request a service ticket and validate it to get a CasProfile with attributes (as the default protocol used is CAS v3.0).

Indeed, with the CasRestProfile, you’ll be able to: