Application Conversion Guide for SASLv2
This documents our conversion experience with Cyrus IMAPd, an application
that uses almost every part of SASL, so it should give a good idea what caveats
need to be looked for when one is converting an application which uses SASLv1
to use SASLv2.
The major changes in the SASLv2 API have to do with memory management.
That is, the rule "If you allocate it, you free it" is now enforced. That
means that if the application allocates something (for example, an interaction
or callback response), it must free it. Likewise, the application does
NOT free anything handed to it by the SASL library, such as responses
given by sasl_client_step or sasl_decode.
- Tips for both clients and servers:
- Change configure scripts to search for libsasl2 and include files
prefixed with sasl/ (sasl/sasl.h, sasl/saslutil.h, etc)
- sasl_decode64 now takes an
additional parameter that is the size of the buffer it is passed.
- External authentication properties are no longer handled by a
sasl_external_properties_t. Instead you make 2 separate calls to
One with SASL_SSF_EXTERNAL to tell the SASL library what SSF is being
provided by the external layer. The other sets SASL_AUTH_EXTERNAL to indicate
the authentication name.
sasl_getprop now returns its value in a const void **
- sasl_encode and sasl_decode now return a constant output buffer, which
you do not need to free (it is only valid until the next call for this sasl_
- The SASL_IP_REMOTE and SASL_IP_LOCAL properties are now SASL_IPLOCALPORT
and SASL_IPREMOTEPORT and take strings instead of sockaddrs. These strings
may also be passed to the sasl_[client/server]_new functions. They
are in one of the following formats:
- a.b.c.d;p (IPv4, with port)
- e:f:g:h:i:j:k:l;p (IPv6, with port)
- e:j:k:l;p (IPv6, abbreviated zero fields, with port)
- Error handling and reporting is different. All of the functions that used
to return a "reply" string no longer do. Now you should (always) check
sasl_errdetail. Callbacks MUST likewise use sasl_seterror
instead of setting their (now nonexistent) reply parameter.
- Tips for clients:
Tips for Servers:
- In sasl_client_new you can now pass ip address strings as
parameters 3 and 4 instead of calling setprop later on sockaddr's.
This is preferred but not required (not passing them by either method disables
mechs which require IP address information). You might find the iptostring()
function in utils/smtptest.c to be useful for this. If the protocol supports
the server sending data on success you should pass SASL_SUCCESS_DATA as a
- sasl_client_start loses the 3rd "secret" parameter.
Also, NULL clientout and clientoutlen indicates that the protocol does not
support client-send-first. A NULL return value indicates that there is no
first client send. (as opposed to an empty string, which indicates that
the first client send is the empty string).
Both sasl_client_start and sasl_client_step now take
const clientout parameters that you are no longer responsible for freeing
(it is only valid until the next call for this sasl_conn_t, however)
- When interactions and callbacks happen you are responsible for freeing
- SASL_SECURITY_LAYER flag no longer exists, whether or not to use a
security layer is solely determined by the security properties information,
namely, the maxbufsize member of the
- sasl_server_new now can take ip address strings.
- sasl_checkpass no longer has a "reply" parameter. There
are also considerably fewer possible values for the pwcheck_method
option (now only auxprop, saslauthd, and pwcheck).
- sasl_server_start / sasl_server_step have same
output parameter deal as their equivalents on the client side
- sasl_listmech has a constant output parameter
- If you used to canonicalize the username in a SASL_CB_PROXY_POLICY
callback you should now separate the functionality of authorization and
canonicalization. That is, only do authorization in SASL_CB_PROXY_POLICY,
and do canonicalization in the SASL_CB_CANON_USER callback