Canvas LMS cloud application

You must be signed in as a super administrator for this task.

With Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), your users can sign in to enterprise cloud applications with their Google Cloud credentials.

Set up SSO via SAML for Canvas LMS

Before configuring SSO, ask Canvas LMS  support to provide a unique account ID for your organization. This is provided after registration.

Step 1: Set up Google as a SAML identity provider (IdP)
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenWeb and mobile apps.
  3. Click Add appand thenSearch for apps.
  4. Enter Canvas LMS in the search field.
  5. In the search results, hover over the Canvas LMS SAML app and click Select.
  6. On the Google Identity Provider details page, download the IDP metadata.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. On the Service provider details page, edit the ACS URL, Entity ID, and Start URL, replacing {your-account-id} with your organization’s account ID provided by and registered on Canvas LMS.
  9. Click Continue.

    Note: Attribute mapping is not required for Canvas LMS.

  10. On the Attribute mapping page, click Finish.
Step 2: Host the Google IDP metadata to a public file server

On a publicly accessible file server, host the Google IDP metadata file downloaded in step 1. The file must be served directly, not via any redirects. The file also needs to be permanently available at a specific URL. It is requested by Canvas LMS each time a user signs in.

Step 3: Set up Canvas LMS as a SAML 2.0 service provider (SP)
  1. Open a new incognito browser window.
  2. Sign in to https://{your-account-id}.instructure.com with your organization's Canvas LMS administrator account.
  3. Click Admin on the left and select Authentication.
  4. Add SAML as the authentication provider.
  5. In the IdP Metadata URL field, paste the URL of the Google IdP metadata hosted on the file server as detailed in step 2.
  6. Click Save. The values of the rest of the fields are populated based on the IdP Metadata.
  7. Ensure that the Identifier Format selected is nameid-format:emailAddress.
  8. Ensure that the Authentication Context selected is classes:Password.
  9. Enable Just in Time Provisioning.
  10. For SAML authentication, select 1 for Position.
  11. Click Save.
Step 4: Enable the Canvas LMS app
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenWeb and mobile apps.
  3. Select Canvas LMS.
  4. Click User access.
  5. To turn on or off a service for everyone in your organization, click On for everyone or Off for everyone, and then click Save.

  6. (Optional) To turn a service on or off for an organizational unit:

    1. At the left, select the organizational unit.
    2. Select On or Off.
    3. Click Override to keep your setting if the service for the parent organizational unit is changed.
    4. If Overridden is already set for the organizational unit, choose an option:
      • Inherit—Reverts to the same setting as its parent.
      • Save—Saves your new setting (even if the parent setting changes).

    Learn more about organizational structure.

  7. (Optional) Turn on the service for a group of users.
    Use access groups to turn on a service for specific users within or across your organizational units. Learn more

  8. Ensure that your Canvas LMS user account email IDs match those in your Google domain.
Step 5: Verify that the SSO is working

Canvas LMS supports both Identity Provider (IdP) initiated and Service Provider (SP) initiated SSO. Follow these steps to verify SSO in either mode:

IdP-initiated

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenWeb and mobile apps.
  3. Select Canvas LMS.
  4. At the top left, click Test SAML login

    Canvas LMS should open in a separate tab. If it doesn’t, use the information in the resulting SAML error messages to update your IdP and SP settings as needed, then retest SAML login.

SP-initiated

  1. Close all browser windows.
  2. Open https://{your-account-id}.instructure.com. You should be redirected to the Google sign-in page.
  3. Enter your username and password.
  4. After your credentials are authenticated, you are redirected back to Canvas LMS.

If the user account authenticated by Google IdP does not already exist in Canvas LMS, a new user account is automatically provisioned by Canvas LMS for the signed-in user.



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