A Vagrantfile and example project are available to show what’s needed to convert a Django project from form based authentication to ADFS authentication.


  • A hypervisor like virtualbox.

  • A working vagrant installation. On Debian 11 (bullseye) if you use the stock vagrant package you need to install these plugins:

    vagrant plugin install winrm
    vagrant plugin install winrm-fs
    vagrant plugin install winrm-elevated
    vagrant plugin install vagrant-reload
  • The github repository should be cloned/downloaded in some directory.

This guide assumes you’re using VirtualBox, but another hypervisor should also work. If you choose to use another one, make sure there’s a windows server 2019 vagrant box available for it.


The demo consists of 2 parts:

  • A web server VM.
  • A windows server 2019 VM.

The webserver will run Django and is reachable at The windows server will run a domain controller and ADFS service.

Starting the environment

Web server

First we get the web server up and running.

  1. Navigate to the directory where you cloned/downloaded the github repository.

  2. Bring up the web server by running the command:

    vagrant up web
  3. Wait as the vagrant box is downloaded and the needed software installed.

  4. Next, SSH into the web server:

    vagrant ssh web
  5. Once connected, start the Django project:

    cd /vagrant/demo/adfs
    python3 runserver

you should now be able to browse the demo project by opening the page http://localhost:8000 in a browser. Pages requiring authentication wont work, because the ADFS server is not there yet.


There are 2 versions of the web example. One is a forms based authentication example, the other depends on ADFS. If you want to run the forms based example, change the path above to /vagrant/demo/formsbased

ADFS server

The next vagrant box to start is the ADFS server. The scripts used for provisioning the ADFS server can be found in the folder /vagrant inside the repository.

  1. Navigate to the directory where you cloned/downloaded the github repository.

  2. Bring up the ADFS server by running the command:

    vagrant up adfs
  3. Wait as the vagrant box is downloaded and the needed software installed. For this windows box, it takes a couple of coffees before it’s done.

  4. Next, open window showing the login screen of the windows server. The login credentials are:

    username: vagrant
    password: vagrant
  5. Once logged in, install a browser like Chrome of Firefox.

  6. Next, in that browser on the windows server, verify you can open the page

In the AD FS management console, you can check how the example project is configured. The config is in the Application Groups folder.


You wont be able to test the demo project from outside the windows machine because port 443 is not forwarded and name resolution of won’t work. You can workaround this by forwarding that port 443 from the guest to port 443 on your host and manually adding the right IP addresses in you hosts file.


Because windows server virtual boxes are rather rare on the vagrant cloud (they need to be rebuild every 180 days), it might be that the box specified in the Vagrantfile doesn’t work anymore. If you replace it by another one that’s just a vanilla windows server, it should work.

Using the demo

Once everything is up and running, you can click around in the very basic poll app that the demo is.

  • The bottom of the page shows details about the logged in user.

  • There are 2 users already created in the Active Directory domain. Both having the default password Password123

    • which is a Django super user because he’s a member of active directory group django_admins.
    • which is a regular Django user.
  • By default, only the page to vote on a poll requires you to be logged in.

  • There are no questions by default. Create some in the admin section with user bob.

  • Compare the files in /vagrant/demo/formsbased to those in /vagrant/demo/adfs to see what was changed to enable ADFS authentication in a demo project.