Software Heritage uses Keycloak, an open source identity and access management solution, to identify and authenticate users on its services (for instance the archive’s Web API and the deposit server).

Keycloak implements the OpenID Connect specification, a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. It allows to get single sign-on (SSO) on various services.

The base URL to interact with that authentication service is


Keycloak defines three important concepts to know about:


It manages a set of users, credentials, roles, and groups. A user belongs to and logs into a realm. Realms are isolated from one another and can only manage and authenticate the users that they control.


Entities that can request Keycloak to authenticate a user. Most often, clients are applications and services that want to use Keycloak to secure themselves and provide a single sign-on solution. Clients can also be entities that just want to request identity information or an access token so that they can securely invoke other services on the network that are secured by Keycloak.


It identifies a type or category of users. Applications (e.g. webapp, deposit) often assign access and permissions to specific roles rather than individual users as dealing with users can be too fine grained and hard to manage. There is a global namespace for roles and each client also has its own dedicated namespace where roles can be defined.

Software Heritage Realms

Two realms are available for Software Heritage:

The links above target the Admin console of each realm from which everything can be configured.

Realm administration

User registration

While public user registration is available by clicking on the “Register” link from the login page, realm administrators can still manually create a new user by following that guide.

To register and invite a new user in a realm, click on the Users menu entry on the left part of the admin interface, then click on the Add user button on the top right part of the users page.


Click on the Add user button

Then fill in the form with basic information about the user: username, email, first name and last name.

Save the user and then go to the Credentials tab.


Fill in information on user

We are now going to send a mail to the user telling him that an account has been created for him with a link to verify his email, set his password and update its profile if needed.

Go to Credential Reset section and insert the Verify Email , Update Password and Update Profile actions into the Reset Actions field. Increase the Expires In value to 24 hours and then click on Send Mail.


Send the invite and reset password email

The user account will be active once the email verified, the password changed and the profile validated.

Setting user permissions for a given client

User permissions are defined as client roles in the Keycloak semantics. That guide explains how to set client roles for an existing user.

As an example, we will set the swh.web.api.throttling_exempted role associated to the swh-web client enabling to lift rate limit for the Software Heritage Web API.

To edit a user, click on the Users menu entry on the left part of the admin interface, then click on the View all users button on the top left part of the users page.

Then select the user you want to set permission and click on the Edit action.


List and select user for edition

Once the user details interface is displayed, click on the Role Mappings tab then type the name of the client containing the roles to add for the user in the Client roles combobox and select it.

The client roles will then be displayed in multiple lists.


Edit the client role

To add a client role for the user, select the one of interest in the Available Roles list and click on the Add selected button.

To remove a client role for the user, select the one of interest in the Assigned Roles list and click on the Removed selected button.

And that’s it, assigned roles can then be found in the JSON Web Tokens generated by Keycloak.


Assign client role


Client role assigned