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Using pre Authenticated Security Firewalls

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Using pre Authenticated Security Firewalls

A lot of authentication modules are already provided by some web servers, including Apache. These modules generally set some environment variables that can be used to determine which user is accessing your application. Out of the box, Symfony supports most authentication mechanisms. These requests are called pre authenticated requests because the user is already authenticated when reaching your application.

X.509 Client Certificate Authentication

When using client certificates, your webserver is doing all the authentication process itself. With Apache, for example, you would use the SSLVerifyClient Require directive.

Enable the x509 authentication for a particular firewall in the security configuration:

  • YAML
  • XML
  • PHP
# app/config/security.yml
            pattern: ^/
                provider: your_user_provider

By default, the firewall provides the SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_Email variable to the user provider, and sets the SSL_CLIENT_S_DN as credentials in the PreAuthenticatedToken. You can override these by setting the user and the credentials keys in the x509 firewall configuration respectively.


An authentication provider will only inform the user provider of the username that made the request. You will need to create (or use) a "user provider" that is referenced by the provider configuration parameter (your_user_provider in the configuration example). This provider will turn the username into a User object of your choice. For more information on creating or configuring a user provider, see:

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.