How to enable eduGAIN or InCommon-supported SSO for Dropbox

Updated Nov 17, 2023

Dropbox is a sponsored partner of eduGAIN and InCommon, and supports these standards. This article details how to enable eduGAIN or InCommon-supported single sign-on (SSO) for your Dropbox team account.

What are InCommon and eduGAIN?


eduGAIN is an interfederation service that enables the secure exchange of identity, authentication and authorization info between participating federations.


InCommon Federation, commonly shortened to InCommon, is a framework for trustworthy shared management of access to online resources. It is specific to the US market.

InCommon is often confused as an identity provider (IdP). In reality, InCommon is a protocol that your IdP may support to provide specific security enhancements to abide by the InCommon Standard.

How do I enable supported SSO with eduGAIN or InCommon?

Step 1: Configuring Shibboleth IdP to comply with eduGAIN or InCommon

  1. If you're a Dropbox Education admin, contact your account team and request that they turn on the required eduGAIN or InCommon attribute setting. 
  2. Retrieve eduGAIN or InCommon metadata.
  3. Set up the attribute filter.
afp:AttributeFilterPolicy id="DROPBOX_INCOMMON"

Step 2: Prepare needed information

To configure SSO in the Dropbox admin console, you'll need two pieces of information: the sign-in URL and the X.509 certificate.

The sign-in URL can be found in the eduGAIN or InCommon metadata under your organization's IdPSSODescriptor, and looks similar to this example:

SingleSignOnService Binding="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-Redirect"

In this case the URL needed for Dropbox is below, which is also the URL that leads to the authentication portal.

The X.509 certificate is located in the credentials folder and is usually called idp.crt. A typical file path to this certificate is /opt/shibboleth-idp/credentials/idp.crt.

Step 3: Configure Dropbox admin console

  1. Log in to with your Dropbox admin credentials.
  2. Open the Admin console.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Under Authentication, select Single sign-on.
  5. Enable SSO in Optional or Required mode. (Optional mode is for testing and Required mode is for production.)
  6. Paste the sign-in URL (collected earlier in this article).
  7. Upload the X.509 certificate (collected earlier in this article).
  8. Under SAML NameID Format, select Transient ID + Email Assertion.
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