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The following procedure will install the SP and all its dependencies. Completion of the instructions will result in a functional and loaded but unconfigured SP installed under the /opt/local file system tree maintained by the MacPorts system.


Apache Versions

Apple has deprecated the Apache server included with macOS and no longer provides the necessary apxs script to allow the SP to build against it. Therefore, the port will now shift to depending on, and building against, the Apache 2.4 port available from macports. If your current SP installation is based on the Apple-provided Apache, you will need to migrate to the macport Apache as part of upgrading the SP.

Installing MacPorts

You can find disk images with an installer at or you can download and build the port software manually from their tarball. After installing it, particularly if you do so from source, you may need to add /opt/local/bin to your shell path.


If you want to use the ODBC storage plugin, you can add +odbc to the command line and it will ensure that the unixODBC port is installed and build the plugin for you.

Basic Configuration

  1. In httpd.conf:

    • Shibboleth includes sample snippets in /opt/local/etc/shibboleth for each version of Apache. Do not include these files directly but copy the relevant portions to your own Apache configuration files/strategy.

    • Use of the <RequestMap> feature is not needed for use with Apache, but if you must, its use absolutely requires that the UseCanonicalName Apache directive be set.

    • Ensure that the ServerName directive in each virtual host is properly set, including overriding the scheme or port as required by any load balancing, proxying, or offloading you may be doing.

  2. Restart Apache.

  3. The port install process generates and installs a launchd descriptor to use in starting and monitoring shibd. You can manually start and stop it yourself, or you can use launchctl like so:

    Code Block
    launchctl load -F /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.shibd.plist
    launchctl unload -F /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.shibd.plist

    If you want shibd to start upon boot, run:

    Code Block
    launchctl load -Fw /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.shibd.plist

  4. By default, the Shibboleth module is configured to log information to the local syslog, with a subset also to the Apache error log.

  5. The shibd service creates its own separate logs in /opt/local/var/log/shibboleth. This is the most important log used for debugging anything regarding the SP and most problems manifest here rather than on the web server side.


In order to upgrade the installation, run the commands below.