Common Errors

The various errors encountered in the use of Shibboleth are primarily categorized by the location they are reported. From there, errors are generally listed by system or by exact phrase. These phrases are then routed to one more layer which suggests specific problems that may cause each error and solutions to those problems.

Note that most/all of the browser errors will also show up in log files, and that recent versions of Shibboleth may not come with error templates that will display the error message to the browser, as a protection against scripting injection.

  • BrowserErrors: Error messages appearing in the browser
  • IdPCommonErrors: Error messages appearing in IdP LogFiles
  • CPPSPCommonErrors: Error messages appearing in C++ SP LogFiles
  • OpenSSLErrors: Cryptic messages from OpenSSL, which Shibboleth uses for cryptography, can appear in many places.
  • ShibbolethToolErrors: Error messages appearing from use of ancillary programs for use with Shibboleth, such as metadatatool and siterefresh .

Errors will usually show up more generically in the browser than in system LogFiles, but the combination of the two should usually identify the general problem.

Common Problems

Some stuff that a lot of installers run into:

  • IdPWontStart: The IdP won't start up (you get a 404 or Resource not Available from Tomcat)
  • SPWontProtect: The SP just ignores you and lets requests pass on through
  • SPEmptyHeaders: The SP doesn't appear to be exporting the attributes as expected
  • TomcatOutOfMemoryError: The IdP 1.3 seems to produce a memory overhead and Tomcats hangs up with an Out of Memory exception.