Configuring ingress with GafaelfawrIngress

The recommended way to configure Ingress resources for protected services is by using the GafaelafwrIngress custom resource.

Gafaelfawr only supports HTTP ingresses and only supports a limited subset of the full syntax for the rules and tls keys for the GafaelfawrIngress resource. If you need other Ingress functionality, or if you need to add Gafaelfawr support to an ingress created outside of your control (such as by a third-party Helm chart), see Configuring an ingress manually.

See How Gafaelfawr-protected ingresses work for an overview of how Gafaelfawr protects services.

Basic configuration

Rather than creating an Ingress resource for a protected service, create a GafaelfawrIngress resource.

Here is a simple example, which requires read:all scope to access a service, does not delegate tokens, and returns 401 errors to unauthorized users rather than redirecting them to the login page.

kind: GafaelfawrIngress
  name: service-ingress
  namespace: service
  baseUrl: ""
      - "read:all"
    name: service-ingress
      - host:
            - path: /foo
              pathType: Prefix
                  name: service
                    name: http

The apiVersion and kind keys must always have those values.

The metadata section is standard Kubernetes resource metadata. You can add labels and annotations here if you wish, but they will have no effect on the generated Ingress resource.

The config section configures Gafaelfawr. Here, only the two mandatory parameters are shown.

config.baseUrl should be the base URL under which Gafaelfawr is installed. In particular, appending /auth and /login should produce the URLs for those Gafaelfawr routes. config.scopes specifies the scopes required to access this service. The scopes can be listed under either all, meaning that all of those scopes are required, or any, meaning that any one of those scopes is required. Only one of all or any may be given.

The template section is a template for the Ingress resource. It uses a subset of the Ingress schema. specifies the name of the Ingress resource to create and must be present. template.metadata.labels and template.metadata.annotations may be set to add labels and annotations to the created Ingress, in addition to the annotations that will be added by Gafaelfawr.

template.spec.rules are the normal Ingress routing rules. Only the above structure is supported, but all standard pathType options are supported, as is using either name or number for the port. template.spec.tls may also be given and, if present, uses the same schema as the normal tls section of an Ingress.

For the configuration options discussed in the rest of this page, only the relevant portion of the GafaelfawrIngress resource is shown. Add the example configuration to the above full resource to get a valid GafaelfawrIngress resource.

Redirecting users to log in

By default, unauthenticated users receive a 401 response from Gafaelfawr, which is passed back to the user by NGINX.

If you want unauthorized users to be redirected to the login page instead, use the config.loginRedirect parameter:

  loginRedirect: true

This setting should be used for services that are accessed interactively from a web browser.

Do not set this to true if the ingress uses one of the non-primary hostnames added via the Helm setting ingress.additionalHosts (see Additional hosts). It will not work correctly.

Changing the challenge type

When presenting an authentication challenge (a 401 response) instead of redirecting the user to the login page, the default is to request a bearer token (RFC 6750). In some cases, you may want Gafaelfawr to request Basic authentication (RFC 7617) instead. Do this with the config.authType parameter:

  authType: basic

This will normally cause the browser to pop up a request for username and password. This setting cannot be used with config.loginRedirect; Gafaelfawr can either redirect the user or present a challenge, but not both.

Requesting delegated tokens

Some services may need to make additional web requests on behalf of the user to other services protected by Gafaelfawr.

Internal tokens

Services may request an internal token from Gafaelfawr using the config.delegate parameter:

      service: "service-name"
        - "read:image"
        - "read:tap"

config.delegate.internal.service should be an identifier for the service (generally the service name). It will be added to the metadata of the generated internal token and, from there, to log messages, so that it’s possible to track which service is using a delegated token.

config.delegate.internal.scopes is a list of scopes requested for the internal token. The delegated token will have these scopes if the token used by the user to authenticate to the service had these scopes.

The scopes listed here are not mandatory; if the user’s authentication token didn’t have them, the Gafaelfawr authorization check will still succeed, the internal delegated token will be provided, but it will not have the missing scopes. If the scopes must always be present, also list them in config.scopes.all as required to access this service.

The delegated token will be included in the request to the protected service in the X-Auth-Request-Token HTTP header. This token may be used in an Authorization header with type bearer to make requests to other protected services. It can also be verified and used to obtain information about a user by presenting it in an Authorization header with type bearer to either of the /auth/v1/api/token-info or /auth/v1/api/user-info Gafaelfawr routes.

Notebook tokens

As a special case, JupyterLab notebooks can request a type of internal token called a notebook token, which will always have the same scope as the user’s session token (and thus can do anything the user can do). To request such a token, use this configuration instead:

    notebook: {}

Note that the config.delegate.notebook key must be empty. (This allows for possible future configuration options.)

Minimum token lifetime

For either internal or notebook tokens, the service can request the token have a minimum lifetime:

    minimumLifetime: 3600

This value is in seconds, so the above requests a minimum lifetime of one hour.

If the user’s authentication token does not have a sufficient remaining lifetime to create an internal or notebook token with at least this remaining life, the request will be treated the same as if the user had no token. In other words, they will receive either a 401 response or be redirected to the login page, depending on the value of config.loginRedirect. Presumably logging in again will create a token with sufficient remaining lifetime to satisfy this restriction.

Obviously, do not request a minimum lifetime longer than the default token lifetime! See Basic settings for more details.

Delegate token in Authorization header

The delegated token is passed to the protected service in the X-Auth-Request-Token header, but this is a custom Gafaelfawr header. Some services may expect that token to be passed in the Authorization header as a bearer token, as specified in RFC 6750. To tell Gafaelfawr to do this, use:

    useAuthorization: true

The same token will also still be passed in the X-Auth-Request-Token header.

If this configuration option is set, the incoming Authorization header will be entirely replaced by one containing only the delegated token, unlike Gafaelfawr’s normal behavior of preserving any incoming Authorization header that doesn’t include a Gafaelfawr token.

Per-user ingresses

Access to an ingress may be restricted to a specific user as follows:

  username: <username>

Any user other than the one with the username <username> will then receive a 403 error. The scope requirements must still be met to allow access.

Anonymous ingresses

An anonymous ingress (one that doesn’t require authentication and performs no authorization checks) can be configured using GafaelfawrIngress as follows:

    anonymous: true

None of the other configuration options are supported in this mode.

The reason to use this configuration over simply writing an Ingress resource directly is that Gafaelfawr will still be invoked to strip Gafaelfawr tokens and secrets from the request before it is passed to the underlying service. This prevents credential leakage to anonymous services. See Header filtering for more details.

Request headers

The following headers will be added by Gafaelfawr to the incoming request before it is sent to the protected service.


The email address of the authenticated user, if available.


The username of the authenticated user.

In addition, if a delegated token was requested, it will be sent in the X-Auth-Request-Token HTTP header as discussed in Requesting delegated tokens.

HTTP headers starting with X-Auth-Request-* are reserved for Gafaelfawr. More headers may be added in the future.

As discussed in Header filtering, Gafaelfawr also modifies the Authorization and Cookie headers to hide Gafaelfawr’s own tokens and cookies. This should be invisible to the protected application, and it can still set and receive its own cookies.