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[Metadata-Support] Shibboleth cannot download InCommon metadata XML consistently

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  • From: Brent Wygant <>
  • To: "" <>
  • Cc: Stephan Fix <>
  • Subject: [Metadata-Support] Shibboleth cannot download InCommon metadata XML consistently
  • Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:28:28 +0000
  • Accept-language: en-US



We are running Shibboleth SP version 2.4.3. The application is configured to download (cURL) the IdP metadata file from the URL This is where the problem comes in. Once or twice per day, we see the following error in the logs that indicate a problem with connecting a socket >>

ERROR XMLTooling.ParserPool : fatal error on line 0, column 0, message: unable to connect socket for URL ''

ERROR OpenSAML.MetadataProvider.XML : error while loading resource ( XML error(s) during parsing, check log for specifics


We see a similar error whether the reload timer expires (currently set to 7200 seconds), or the Shibboleth 2 Daemon service is restarted. This error is sporadic in that sometimes the application can connect to the remote resource to compare and validate that no changes have been made, and sometimes it can actually connect and successfully download the XML file.


We currently have a workaround in place that cURLs the XML file to the cache and backup location configured in the application, so the failed connection will result in loading a current file. It is a _vbscript_ that copies the file and restarts the Shibboleth 2 Daemon service. This workaround is not ideal and we’d like help to get to the root of the problem as to why the Shibboleth app can’t connect to the remote XML resource.


Has anyone come across a similar problem that can provide some input and/or guidance?


Thank you for your time!


- Brent


Brent Wygant
SumTotal, a Skillsoft Company | phone: 614.781.9209 | mobile: 614.915.5102
Deployment Lead | Cloud Operations



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