SAML SSO allows people to authenticate and access your GitHub Enterprise Server instance through an external system for identity management.
SAML is an XML-based standard for authentication and authorization. When you configure SAML for your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, the external system for authentication is called an identity provider (IdP). Your instance acts as a SAML service provider (SP). For more information about the SAML standard, see Security Assertion Markup Language on Wikipedia.
Note: You can use either SAML or LDAP, but not both.
When using SAML or CAS, two-factor authentication is not supported or managed on the GitHub Enterprise Server instance, but may be supported by the external authentication provider. Two-factor authentication enforcement on organizations is not available. For more information about enforcing two-factor authentication on organizations, see "Requiring two-factor authentication in your organization."
After you configure SAML, people who use your GitHub Enterprise Server instance must use a personal access token to authenticate API requests. For more information, see "Managing your personal access tokens."
If you want to allow authentication for some people who don't have an account on your external authentication provider, you can allow fallback authentication to local accounts on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance. For more information, see "Allowing built-in authentication for users outside your provider."
For more information about the configuration of SAML SSO on GitHub Enterprise Server, see "Configuring SAML single sign-on for your enterprise." To learn how to configure both authentication and user provisioning for your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, see the articles for individual IdPs in "Using SAML for enterprise IAM."
By default, your IdP does not communicate with GitHub Enterprise Server automatically when you assign or unassign the application. GitHub Enterprise Server creates a user account using SAML Just-in-Time (JIT) provisioning the first time someone navigates to GitHub Enterprise Server and signs in by authenticating through your IdP. You may need to manually notify users when you grant access to GitHub Enterprise Server, and you must manually deactivate the user account on GitHub Enterprise Server during offboarding.
Alternatively, instead of SAML JIT provisioning, you can use SCIM to create or suspend user accounts and grant or deny access to your GitHub Enterprise Server instance automatically after you assign or unassign the application on your IdP. SCIM for GitHub Enterprise Server is currently in private beta and is subject to change. For more information, see "Configuring user provisioning with SCIM for your enterprise."
With JIT provisioning, if you remove a user from your IdP, you must also manually suspend the user's account on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance. Otherwise, the account's owner can continue to authenticate using access tokens or SSH keys. For more information, see "Suspending and unsuspending users".
GitHub Enterprise Server supports SAML SSO with IdPs that implement the SAML 2.0 standard. For more information, see the SAML Wiki on the OASIS website.
GitHub officially supports and internally tests the following IdPs.
- Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
- Microsoft Entra ID (previously known as Azure AD)
If your IdP supports encrypted assertions, you can configure encrypted assertions on GitHub Enterprise Server for increased security during the authentication process.
GitHub Enterprise Server does not support SAML Single Logout. To terminate an active SAML session, users should log out directly on your SAML IdP.
- "Using SAML for enterprise IAM"
- SAML Wiki on the OASIS website
- System for Cross-domain Identity Management: Protocol (RFC 7644) on the IETF website