Best 5 Open Source Identity Management Solutions (IAM) For Enterprise for 2024 (Updated)

Best 5 Open Source Identity Management Solutions (IAM) For Enterprise for 2024 (Updated)

Identity management is a crucial aspect of modern-day digital operations. It involves the management of user identities, access controls, and authentication in a secure and efficient manner. With the rise of cloud computing, the need for effective identity management solutions has become more apparent. This has led to the development of several open source identity management solutions that offer robust features and functionalities.

In this blog, we will discuss ten such solutions that have gained popularity in recent times. We will explore their key features, advantages, and use cases to help you identify the most suitable solution for your organization. Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, an open-source identity management solution can help you streamline your operations, enhance security, and improve the user experience.

So, let's dive into the world of open source identity management solutions and discover the most suitable options available to you.

1- Keycloak

A powerful open source identity management system, Keycloak offers single sign-on, user federation, and support for popular protocols like OAuth2 and OpenID Connect. In this section, we will provide an overview of Keycloak's features, as well as guidance on how to deploy and configure it for your organization.

Keycloak is released under the Apache-2.0 License.

Keycloak feature highlight

  • Single sign-on (SSO) support
  • User federation (i.e. support for external identity providers)
  • Support for popular protocols like OAuth2 and OpenID Connect
  • Multifactor authentication (MFA)
  • Fine-grained access control

Keycloak deployment and configuration

Here are the steps to deploy Keycloak and configure it for your organization:

  • Download Keycloak and extract the files.
  • Start Keycloak by running the standalone.sh (or standalone.bat) script.
  • Access the Keycloak Admin Console at http://localhost:8080/auth/admin/.
  • Create a new realm for your organization.
  • Create a client for your application within the realm.
  • Configure the client's settings, such as the redirect URI and allowed grant types.
  • Create users within the realm and assign them roles and permissions.
  • Configure identity providers for external authentication, if needed.
  • Test your Keycloak deployment by logging in to your application using Keycloak as the identity provider.

2- OpenIAM

The OpenIAM solution offers a range of user provisioning, authentication, and authorization features. We will explore OpenIAM's features and discuss how it can be deployed and integrated into your existing IT infrastructure.

OpenIAM Features

  • User provisioning (i.e. automated account creation and management)
  • Authentication and authorization support
  • Role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Password management
  • Integration with other open source solutions like LDAP, Shibboleth, and OAuth2

OpenIAM Deployment and configuration walkthrough

Here are the steps to deploy OpenIAM and configure it for your organization:

  • Download the OpenIAM installer and run it on your server.
  • Follow the prompts to install the OpenIAM components, such as the database and application server.
  • Access the OpenIAM Admin Console at http://localhost:8080/iamadmin/.
  • Configure the system settings, such as the LDAP or Active Directory connection and the SMTP server settings.
  • Create policies and rules for access management and provisioning.
  • Create user roles and permissions and assign them to users or groups.
  • Configure connectors for external systems, such as HR or IT systems.
  • Customize the user interface and branding to match your organization's look and feel.
  • Test your OpenIAM deployment by logging in to the user portal and verifying access to resources.

3- FreeIPA

The FreeIPA identity management solution is designed specifically for Linux environments. In this section, we will provide an overview of FreeIPA's features.

The FreeIPA is released under the GPL-3.0 and a private license.

FreeIPA features

  • Centralized authentication and authorization
  • User and group management
  • Support for Linux environments
  • Kerberos-based authentication
  • Integration with other open source solutions like Samba and OpenSSH
  • Allows all your users to access all the machines with the same credentials and security settings
  • Allows users to access personal files transparently from any machine in an authenticated and secure way
  • Uses an advanced grouping mechanism to restrict network access to services and files only to specific users
  • Allows central management of security mechanisms like passwords, SSH Public Keys, SUDO rules, Keytabs, Access Control Rules
  • Enables delegation of selected administrative tasks to other power users
  • Integrates into Active Directory environments

FreeIPA deployment and setup walkthrough

Here are the steps to deploy FreeIPA and configure it for your organization:

  • Install the FreeIPA server package on your chosen server.
  • Run the "ipa-server-install" command and follow the prompts to configure the server.
  • Access the FreeIPA web interface at https://<hostname>/ipa/ui/.
  • Create users and groups within the FreeIPA server.
  • Assign permissions and roles to users and groups.
  • Configure policies and rules for access management and authentication.
  • Configure external authentication sources, such as LDAP or Active Directory.
  • Set up DNS and Kerberos settings, if needed.
  • Test your FreeIPA deployment by logging in to the web interface and verifying access to resources.


4- Gluu

GLUU offers a central authentication sever for mobile and web apps. It features multifactor authentication, secure single sign-on capabilities, and adaptive access control. In this section, we will explore Gluu's features, and provide guidance on how to deploy and configure it for your organization.

Gluu Features

  • Adaptive access control (i.e., access policies that change based on user behavior)
  • OAuth2 and OpenID Connect support
  • Integration with other open source solutions like LDAP and Shibboleth

Deployment and Configuration

Here are the steps to deploy Gluu and configure it for your organization:

  • Download the Gluu Server installer and run it on your chosen server.
  • Follow the prompts to install the Gluu Server components, such as the database and LDAP server.
  • Access the Gluu Server Admin Console at https://<hostname>:8443.
  • Configure the system settings, such as LDAP or Active Directory connection and email settings.
  • Create users and groups within the Gluu Server.
  • Assign roles and permissions to users and groups.
  • Configure policies and rules for access management and authentication.
  • Set up client applications and configure their settings, such as redirect URI and allowed scopes.
  • Test your Gluu deployment by logging in to client applications and verifying access to resources.

You can also setup your Gluu server using Docker and Docker Compose.

5- Shibboleth

Shibboleth provides secure authentication and authorization across different web applications using an open source solution. In this section, we will discuss the features of Shibboleth, as well as provide guidance on how to deploy and configure it in your organization.

Shibboleth Features

  • Secure authentication and authorization
  • Integration with other open source solutions like LDAP and CAS

Deployment and Configuration Walkthrough

Here are the steps to deploy Shibboleth and configure it for your organization:

  • Install the Shibboleth Identity Provider on your chosen server.
  • Configure the Shibboleth Identity Provider settings, such as entity ID and metadata.
  • Create users and groups within the Identity Provider.
  • Assign roles and permissions to users and groups.
  • Configure attribute sources, such as LDAP or Active Directory.
  • Set up client applications and configure their settings, such as entity ID and allowed attributes.
  • Test your Shibboleth deployment by logging in to client applications and verifying access to resources.

Conclusion

To sum up, open source identity management solutions provide a cost-effective and efficient way for organizations to manage user identities, access controls, and authentication. In this blog, we have explored ten such solutions, including Keycloak, OpenIAM, and FreeIPA, each with its unique features and use cases.

By leveraging these solutions, organizations can streamline their operations, enhance security, and improve the user experience. With the increasing importance of effective identity management in the digital world, open source solutions provide an excellent opportunity for organizations of all sizes to implement a robust identity management strategy.

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Hazem Abbas

Written by Hazem Abbas

Medical Doctor by trade, but also a software developer. Linux Avid user. I write primary; open-source medical apps, dev tools and libraries I use, and off-topic like horse riding.
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