Identity and Access Management

PanDA has an Identity and Access Management (IAM) scheme fully compliant with OIDC/OAuth2.0 capable of identity federation among scientific and academic identity providers. Although legacy x509 is also supported, it is recommended to avoid it since it is being outdated.

PanDA IAM is consist of

Indigo IAM is an account and group membership management service to define virtual organizations (VOs) and groups, to add/remove users to/from VOs and groups, and issue ID tokens once users are authenticated. CILogon is a federated ID broker to delegate authentication to ID providers such as CERN, BNL IT/SDCC, KIT, Google, …


The figure above shows the procedure of user authentication and authorization, where the device code flow is used to allow users to run command-line tools. First, the user invokes a command-line tool which checks if a valid ID token is locally available. If not, the command-line tool sends an authentication request to Indigo IAM on behalf of the user and retrieves a verification URL. Then the user opens a web browser to go to the verification URL, and is eventually redirected to his/her own ID provider through CILogon. Once the user successfully logs on, a couple of tokens are exchanged between CILogon and Indigo IAM, and an ID token is issued. The command-line tool gets the ID token and put it to the HTTP request header when accessing the PanDA server. The PanDA server decodes the token and authorizes the user based on OIDC claims such as name, username, and groups.


There is an multipurpose IAM instance at DOMA PanDA IAM which can define any VO or group to play with PanDA.

Client setup

panda-client needs to set the following environment variables to enable OIDC/OAuth2.0 based Auth.

export PANDA_AUTH=oidc
export PANDA_AUTH_VO=<name of virtual organization>

where <name of virtual organization> should be replaced with the actual VO name.

Adding a new VO to the PanDA server

Each VO can be defined as a group in PanDA IAM, so that VOs share the same OIDC client attributes to skip the registration step in CILogon. In other words, if the VO wants to use a new OIDC client it needs to be registered in CILogon at

There are three parameters in panda_server.cfg.

# set to oidc to enable OpenID Connect
token_authType = oidc

# directory where OIDC authentication config files are placed
auth_config = /opt/panda/etc/panda/auth/

# json filename where OIDC authorization policies are described
auth_policies = /opt/panda/etc/panda/auth_policies.json

token_authType needs to be oidc to enable the OIDC/OAuth2.0 based Auth. The OIDC authentication configuration file are placed under the directory specified by the auth_config parameter. The filename should be <name of virtual organization>_auth_config.json. The configuration file contains

  • “audience”

  • “client_id”

  • “client_secret”

  • “oidc_config_url”

  • and “vo”

The first three are attributes of the OIDC client defined in PanDA IAM, “oidc_config_url” is the well-known openid-configuration URL of PanDA IAM, and “vo” is the VO name. Those configuration files must be reachable through Web interface of the PanDA server, so that make sure that the directory needs to be exposed in httpd.conf like

Alias /auth/ "/opt/panda/etc/panda/auth/"

A json file, specified by auth_policies, defines authorization policies of VOs. The format is

  "VO name": [
      "string in OIDC group attribute",
        "group": "group name in the VO",
        "role": "user"
  "another vo name": [

PanDA IAM gives all group names in the OIDC group attribute. This means that each group name must be unique. The authorization policy file describes mapping between OIDC groups and actual groups in VOs. The “role” defines the permission level of users in the group.