Have your own OpenID URL without becoming a provider

Many services, such as AOL and myOpenID, provide OpenID accounts to use on whatever site that accepts them. You simply type in your OpenID url and hit Enter. But what if your given ID was randomly generated, or the username you wanted wasn't available?

I'd like to introduce a less-widely-known feature of OpenIDs: Delegation. Delegation allows you to have another URL point to your real OpenID. The best part? No domain or DNS setup is necessary, and the only knowledge you need to know is how to use HTML.

Open the page that you want your OpenID URL to be. This most likely the index page of a domain name, since you probably want to keep it short. In the <head> section, add the following code:

<link rel="openid.server" href="http://openid.provider/server" />
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://original.open.id" />

The first "server" parameter can be found by visiting your provider's site for the server location. AOL users, use https://api.screenname.aol.com/auth/openidServer. myOpenID users can use http://www.myopenid.com/server. Yahoo users are out of luck; Yahoo does not provide the server URL.

If your provider also supports OpenID 2, it is a good idea to add these as well:
<link rel="openid2.provider" href="http://openid.provider/server" />
<link rel="openid2.local_id" href="http://original.open.id" />

Use the same options for server as described above.

Now whenever you want to sign in to a site that accepts OpenID, simply use your new delegated name. The login process will be redirected to your actual provider to sign in, but everyone else will see your domain.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord - http://jacob.peddicord.net/

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

Home » Articles »

Discussion: Have your own OpenID URL without becoming a provider

  1. # Posted on 14 April 2008 at 02:57 PM

    [...] HOW TO: Create your own OpenID URL without becoming a provider [...]

  2. Joel Watts (guest)

    # Posted on 14 April 2008 at 05:22 PM

    The Yahoo OpenID implementation is a tricky beast. In my experience, you can delegate to me.yahoo.com addresses, but not to Flickr ones. In practice though, since they only support OpenID 2.x, they're not the best choice for delegation anyway. I've also had spotty success delegating to i-names.

    I run a site that consumes OpenID and after walking people through this process a few times, I made a tool to do most of the work for you:


    You enter an OpenID and it will give you the HTML to delegate another page to that ID (or to the OpenID it was delegated to, as the case may be).

  3. # Posted on 15 April 2008 at 03:41 AM

    <strong>Story added...</strong>

    This story has been submitted to fsdaily.com! If you think this story should be read by the free software community, come vote it up and discuss it here:


  4. # Posted on 17 April 2008 at 11:58 PM

    [...] [link] [comments] &nbsp; [...]

  5. # Posted on 27 April 2008 at 03:47 PM

    [...] Quickies: roll your own&nbsp;OpenID Filed under: Technology &#8212; 0ddn1x @ 2008-04-27 15:47:00 +0000 http://fosswire.com/2008/04/13/have-your-own-openid-url-without-becoming-a-provider/ [...]

Home » Articles » Have your own OpenID URL without becoming a provider