Get Shibboleth environment variables with Python

James Dore james.dore at
Tue May 13 10:41:37 EDT 2014

Hi list,

I’m trying to set up our Wireless authentication portal to use shibboleth, so that we may make use of our University’s Single-Sign On system within our unit. 

We have a simple web-based portal supplied by the wifi vendor (Ruckus) which will allow authenticated access (against a local RADIUS server) and unauthenticated access by just providing an email address to it. I have hidden this behind a Shibboleth SP (Windows, Apache2.2, Python 2.7) and will be using the unauthenticated part of the portal, figuring the user has *just* authenticated to Shibboleth and are therefore OK. It also simplifies the Wireless login process considerably, as the incoming attributes (email address) don’t have to exactly match any held in a RADIUS server. 

The portal is made up of a mix of Python scripts and a Javascript page. I’d like to grab the data coming from a shibboleth session with python and pass it to the controller so the user only has to enter data once, at the Shibboleth login page. 

How do I capture the Shibboleth environment variables with Python? I’ve written a small script that dumps out all the OS variables which Python can see, and it runs immediately after a Shibboleth login. I was expecting to see REMOTE_USER at least, but it does not appear. 

Am I considering the correct environment variables? Do I need to do something within the shibd config to enable it?

Many thanks for considering what are undoubtedly basic questions - however, I’ve been googling for a while and can’t tell if I’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick, have misunderstood something obvious, or am just missing some vital piece of info!


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