Because of what I'll euphemistically call the current historical moment on Twitter, I (like a lot of people) decided to give another look at Mastodon. The normal way one would use it would be to sign up at mastodon.social and be on one's merry way, treating it just like a slightly-different Twitter.
However, Mastodon is intentionally designed to be federated in a way similar to email, and the software is available on GitHub complete with scripts for Docker Compose, Vagrant, and so forth. So I went and did that, setting up my currently-barely-used account at @firstname.lastname@example.org.
That on its own isn't particularly notable, nor are the specifics of how I set it up (it was a hodgepodge of a couple posts you can find by looking for "mastodon docker compose"). What I found neat for our purposes here was the way I could piggyback authentication onto stuff I had recently done with Keycloak. Keycloak, incidentally, was the topic of today's OpenNTF webinar, so, if you didn't see it, check back there for the replay when it's posted.
Having done the legwork for setting up Keycloak backed by Domino LDAP for my earlier tinkering, the setup to work with Mastodon was pretty straightforward (as far as these things go). I did the professional thing and took the basic config from a StackOverflow post, tweaking it to suit my needs.
The main Domino-y thing I wanted to tweak here was the username that I ended up with on Mastodon. Internally, the Domino short name for my account is "jgallagh", but I like to go by "jesse" when in an environment small enough to get away with it. So I cracked open the names.nsf subform I had added years ago for POSIX and SSH pubkey purposes and added a Mastodon section:
(apologies for how bad the new-era fonts look in my poor old Windows VM)
Then, I told my Mastodon config about that field for the UID:
On Keycloak, I made a new realm to cover this sort of "personal" setup to be able to split the user pool and then added a Client definition for Mastodon. I set it up as "Access Type" "confidential" and grabbed the client ID and secret for the config above and then configured the Redirect URI. To get the custom username field over from LDAP, I added a "user-attribute-ldap-mapper" Mapper in the LDAP User Federation definition to bring it in. Then, back in the Client definition, I added a "User attribute" token mapper to the config to bring this in as well so it's added to the JWT.
That covered the auth config, and it's been working well since. When you have OIDC configured in your Mastodon config, it sprouts a button below the main login mechanically labeled "OPENID_CONNECT":
Clicking that will send you to the configured Keycloak page to do the OIDC dance and, when all goes well, back to a freshly-configured Mastodon account.
Now, technically, this doesn't really gain me much that I couldn't have gotten by configuring the users separately in the Mastodon instance, but the experience is useful. I'm gradually getting really sold on the idea of having a multi-purpose Keycloak instance to handle authentication and authorization. Most of the time, it's a thin layer over what you could get by pointing to Domino LDAP from these disparate apps themselves. However, there are some benefits in that Keycloak is now the only one that has to deal with Domino's weird LDAP and also this gives me a lot of room for fine-grained control and federation with other providers. It's just neat.