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The SignatureValidation filter verifies that a metadata instance is signed correctly with a trusted key, and is the linchpin of the security of most Shibboleth deployments.

There are four approaches to supplying the trust policy to the filter:

  • A pointer to a certificate file
  • A reference to an externally defined TrustEngine bean
  • An inline <PublicKey> element
  • An inline <security:TrustEngine> element

Filter order is important!

In the overall sequence of filters, a filter of type SignatureValidation must appear before any filter that alters the metadata instance. Examples of the latter include EntityAttributesFilter, EntityRoleWhiteListFilter, NameIDFormatFilter, and PredicateMetadataFilter.

Schema and Namespaces

This element is defined in the urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:metadata namespace, the schema for which is located at

If present, the <security:TrustEngine> element is defined in the urn:mace:shibboleth:2.0:security namespace, the schema for which is located at




requireSignedRoot 3.2

BooleantrueIf true, this fails to load metadata with no signature on the root XML element.



(DEPRECATED) Old version of requireSignedRoot



Path to a certificate file whose key is used to verify the signature.
Conflicts with trustEngineRef and both of the child elements.


Bean Reference


The ID of an externally defined CriteriaSet used as input the to the trust engine, not generally used.


Bean ReferenceSAMLSignatureProfileValidatorThe ID of an externally defined SignaturePrevalidator. Used to perform pre-validation of an XML Signature, for example to validate that the signature conforms to a particular profile of XML Signature.


Bean ReferenceBasicDynamicTrustedNamesStrategyThe ID of an externally defined Function<XMLObject, Set<String>>. This will be used to extract dynamic trusted names from signed metadata elements.


Bean Reference
The ID of a <security:TrustEngine> defined somewhere else in the configuration.
Conflicts with certificateFile and both of the child elements.

Child Elements

One of the following two child elements may be configured. Their use conflicts with the certificateFile and trustEngineRef XML attributes.



A PEM-format public key.

You can obtain a public key from a certificate using a command such as:

$ openssl x509 -pubkey -in cert.pem -noout


A trust engine plugin that defines how the signature is to be checked


Externally specified certificate file
<MetadataFilter xsi:type="SignatureValidation" requireSignedRoot="true" certificateFile="${idp.home}/credentials/signer.pem"/>
Inline key
<MetadataFilter xsi:type="SignatureValidation" requireSignedRoot="true">
Metadata Provider with inline trust engine
<MetadataFilter xsi:type="SignatureValidation" requireSignedRoot="true">
    <security:TrustEngine id="SignerTrustEngine" xsi:type="security:StaticExplicitKeySignature">
        <security:Credential id="SignerCredential" xsi:type="security:X509Filesystem">
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