Azure AD SSO


While Nucleus includes a comprehensive system for managing users and groups, customers may choose to use a 3rd party identity provider for managing access. This document details the steps needed to integrate Nucleus and Azure AD for Single Sign-On.


To configure Azure AD for SSO, the following is required:

  • A configured and functional Azure AD tenant with a user that has administrative access

  • A stable and operational Nucleus Server running release 2022.1.0 or greater

  • An SSL/TLS certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) for the Nucleus SSO Gateway. (The entire certificate chain and private key is required.)

  • Access to create public DNS entries within your domain


The file location examples shown in this document assume you are using the default installation path. Modify the file paths if you are using a custom location for your Nucleus SSO Gateway installation.

Part I: Pre-Configuration

Before configuring Azure for SSO, the following pre-configuration changes are needed:

  • Create a DNS entry for the Nucleus SSO Gateway which points to the IP Address of your Nucleus server. (Depending on your requirements, this may be a public or internal DNS entry.)

Part II: Configuring Azure

  1. Using the search bar at the top of the portal, search for Enterprise Applications and select it.

  2. From within the Enterprise Applications area, click New Application.

Azure new applications
  1. Click Create your own application.

Azure add nucleus
  1. Name your application.

  2. Select the Integrate any other application… option.

  3. Click Create.

  4. From the Overview page, click Assign users and groups and assign the appropriate users and groups as required.

  5. Next from the Overview page, click Set up single sign on.

Azure assign users
  1. Click SAML.

Azure SAML
  1. For the Unique Identifier (entity ID), enter your SSO URL. (e.g.,

  2. For the Reply URL, enter your SSO URL and include the /result path. (e.g.,

Azure Basic SAML
  1. Click Save.

  2. Download the Federation Metadata XML file to your computer and make note of the Login URL as it will be needed in a future step.

Azure SAML Artifacts

Part III: Configuring Nucleus

  1. Prior to configuring the Nucleus configuration files, upload the metadata file that was downloaded from the Azure AD portal and save it to this path:


Within the nucleus-stack.env file, the following changes need to be made:

  1. Enable the SSO functionality:

  1. Set the Nucleus SSO Gateway Address: (e.g.,

  1. Set the SSO Metadata file location: (This is the file from Step 1.)

  1. Set the SAML IDP Login URL: (This address is provided by Azure AD.)

  1. Set the text for the SSO button that will appear on the Nucleus log on screen:



Any fields within the nucleus-stack.env file that are not mentioned above should remain using their default configuration.

Configure the Nucleus SSO Gateway

Within the nucleus-sso-gateway.env file, make the following changes: (This file is located in the /opt/ove/sso directory if Nucleus was installed using the default installation path.)

  1. Uncomment the End-User License Agreement (EULA):

# Uncomment to indicate your acceptance of EULA
  1. Specify the location of the SSL/TLS certificates and keys:



You may need to provide the full certificate chain, depending on your issuing Certificate Authority (CA). The Nucleus SSO Gateway requires all of your certificates to be contained within a single file and be in the following order (top to bottom): Domain Cert > Interim Cert > CA/Root Cert.

  1. If a password is required to decrypt the key, specify it here:

  1. Make sure that your Nucleus SSO Gateway is running on TCP 443:

  1. Before running the Nucleus SSO service, pull the necessary containers to ensure all required software is locally available:

sudo docker-compose --env-file /opt/ove/sso/nucleus-sso-gateway.env -f /opt/ove/sso/nucleus-sso-gateway.yml pull
  1. Once the software is pulled, it can be started:

sudo docker-compose --env-file /opt/ove/base_stack/nucleus-stack.env -f /opt/ove/base_stack/nucleus-stack-ssl.yml up -d


The above configuration assumes that SSL is being used for your Nucleus environment. If SSL is not being used, specify the no-ssl.yml configuration file.

Part IV: Testing

In your web browser, visit the URL for your Nucleus server, which should now display an Azure AD SSO login option:

Nucleus login

Clicking the Azure AD SSO button will direct you to Azure AD for authentication. Once correct credentials are entered and the user is authenticated, Nucleus Navigator will appear.

Part V: Optional Configuration

Hiding Local Account Credential Fields

Once your Nucleus server is configured for SSO, the login dialog can be configured to hide the username, password, and Create Account link which then forces the user to log in only using the SSO provider.

To remove the extra credential fields, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Enterprise Nucleus Server and change to the directory where Nucleus is installed.

  2. Using your preferred text editor, make the following change to nucleus-stack.env: (Change True to False.)

  1. Restart the Docker containers on your Enterprise Nucleus Server.

The login page for Nucleus will now only display the link for the SSO provider as shown in the example below:

Nucleus login with no creds

Using a Custom SSO Button Icon

If it’s desired to use a custom SSO button icon, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Enterprise Nucleus Server and change to the directory where Nucleus is installed.

  2. Using your preferred text editor, make the following change to nucleus-stack.env:

# Add the URL of where the image is hosted.  (e.g.,
  1. Additionally, make the following change to nucleus-stack-ssl.yml or nucleus-stack-no-ssl.yml: (Depending on the use of SSL or not.)

# Uncomment (and set to valid URL) if custom SSO
# icon is desired
  1. Restart the Docker containers on your Enterprise Nucleus Server.

The SSO button will now display your preferred icon as shown in the example below:

Nucleus login with custom icon


If connections to your Nucleus server are failing, telnet to the SSO Gateway port from your computer. (By default, telnet is not enabled within Windows and is sometimes not installed on Linux distributions.)

If a connection refused or similar message is displayed, verify the following:

  • Ensure the Nucleus SSO Gateway service is running and the port configuration is correct.

  • Ensure there is not a local firewall running on the server and/or a firewall blocking connections.

To verify that your Nucleus SSO Gateway is configured correctly, visit the URL of the Nucleus SSO Gateway using your browser. If the configuration settings are correct, the following message will appear:

SSO Gateway Confirmation

If you are using an NGINX proxy to provide TLS/SSL for Nucleus and are receiving a 414 Request-URI Too Large message when logging in with SSO:

414 error message

Make the following changes within the nginx.ingress.router.conf file on your NGINX server:

server {
    # Disable size limit on request bodies
    client_max_body_size 0;
    large_client_header_buffers  16 16k;

Once the change is made and the file is saved, restart the NGINX service and try again.