Basic authentication sends encoded user credentials in a standard header within the request. Then, Gloo Mesh authenticates the request against a dictionary of usernames and passwords that are written in the external auth policy. If the credentials in the request header match the policy, the request is sent to the destination. If not, Gloo Mesh Gateway returns a 401 response.

You might use basic auth for testing environments, such as when you release a new API method or version to a small number of known users.

Before you begin

  1. Complete the multicluster getting started guide to set up the following testing environment.

    • Three clusters along with environment variables for the clusters and their Kubernetes contexts.
    • The Gloo meshctl CLI, along with other CLI tools such as kubectl and istioctl.
    • The Gloo management server in the management cluster, and the Gloo agents in the workload clusters.
    • Istio installed in the workload clusters.
    • A simple Gloo workspace setup.
  2. Install Bookinfo and other sample apps.
  3. Make sure that the external auth service is installed and running. If not, install the external auth service.

      kubectl get pods --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT1 -A -l app=ext-auth-service
      
  4. Make sure that you have the following CLI tools, or something comparable:

    • htpasswd to generate hashed, salted passwords.
    • base64 to encode strings.

Configure basic external auth policies

You can apply a basic external auth policy at the route or destination level. For more information, see Applying policies.

  1. Generate a salt and hashed password for your user credentials. The following example uses the htpasswd tool for a user named user.

      htpasswd -nbm user password
      

    Example output:

      user:$apr1$TYiryv0/$8BvzLUO9IfGPGGsPnAgSu1
      
  2. Retrieve the salt and hashed password from the output of the previous step.

    • Salt: TYiryv0/
    • Hashed password: 8BvzLUO9IfGPGGsPnAgSu1
  3. Review the following sample configuration file.

      apiVersion: security.policy.gloo.solo.io/v2
    kind: ExtAuthPolicy
    metadata:
      annotations:
        cluster.solo.io/cluster: ""
      name: basic-auth
      namespace: bookinfo
    spec:
      applyToDestinations:
      - port:
          number: 9080
        selector:
          labels:
            app: ratings
      config:
        glooAuth:
          configs:
          - basicAuth:
              apr:
                users:
                  user:
                    hashedPassword: 8BvzLUO9IfGPGGsPnAgSu1
                    salt: TYiryv0/
        server:
          name: default-server
      

Review the following table to understand this configuration. For more information, see the API docs.

SettingDescription
applyToDestinationsConfigure which destinations to apply the policy to, by using labels. Destinations can be a Kubernetes service, VirtualDestination, or ExternalService. If you do not specify any destinations or routes, the policy applies to all destinations in the workspace by default. If you do not specify any destinations but you do specify a route, the policy applies to the route but to no destinations.
basicAuthConfigure the basic auth credentials to use to authenticate requests. The example sets up user credentials for a user named user in the required APR1 format. For more information, see the API reference.
hashedPasswordThe hashed password that you generated in the previous step. The example sets 8BvzLUO9IfGPGGsPnAgSu1.
saltThe salt, or random data that hashes the password, that you generated in the previous step. The example sets TYiryv0/.
serverThe ExtAuthServer resource that represents the server for the policy to use. In this example, only the name is specified. Gloo attempts to find the resource in the same namespace and cluster as the policy, or you can add namespace and cluster fields. To create an ExtAuthServer resource, see Set up the Gloo Mesh Enterprise external auth server.

Apply external auth to external services

The following example is for an external auth policy that applies to an external service. Note that this policy requires different routing table and external auth server resources, as well as an external service.

Verify basic external auth policies

  1. Apply the example basic external auth policy and server in the workload cluster. The following example refers directly to the default Gloo Mesh Enterprise external auth service, but you can also use a virtual destination instead. For more information, see External auth server setup. Note: Change cluster-1 as needed to your cluster’s actual name.

      kubectl apply --context ${REMOTE_CONTEXT1} -f - << EOF
    apiVersion: security.policy.gloo.solo.io/v2
    kind: ExtAuthPolicy
    metadata:
      annotations:
        cluster.solo.io/cluster: ""
      name: basic-auth
      namespace: bookinfo
    spec:
      applyToDestinations:
      - port:
          number: 9080
        selector:
          labels:
            app: ratings
      config:
        glooAuth:
          configs:
          - basicAuth:
              apr:
                users:
                  user:
                    hashedPassword: 8BvzLUO9IfGPGGsPnAgSu1
                    salt: TYiryv0/
        server:
          name: default-server
    ---
    apiVersion: admin.gloo.solo.io/v2
    kind: ExtAuthServer
    metadata:
      annotations:
        cluster.solo.io/cluster: ""
      name: default-server
      namespace: bookinfo
    spec:
      destinationServer:
        port:
          number: 8083
        ref:
          cluster: cluster-1
          name: ext-auth-service
          namespace: gloo-mesh-addons
    EOF
      
  2. View the ext-auth-service deployment logs to verify that the policy was accepted. Look for a message similar to the following: "logger":"extauth","caller":"runner/run.go:179","msg":"got new config". If you don’t see this message, check the management server logs for errors.

      meshctl logs ext-auth --kubecontext $REMOTE_CONTEXT1
      
  3. Send an unauthenticated request to the app. Create a temporary curl pod in the bookinfo namespace, so that you can test the app setup. You can also use this method in Kubernetes 1.23 or later, but an ephemeral container might be simpler.

    1. Create the curl pod.
        kubectl run -it -n bookinfo --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT1 curl \
        --image=curlimages/curl:7.73.0 --rm  -- sh
        
    2. Send a request to the reviews app.
        curl http://reviews:9080/reviews/1 -v
        

    Example output: Notice that the request is denied with a 401 Unauthorized response.

      HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
      
  4. Encode the expected user credentials in base64 format.

      echo -n "user:password" | base64
      

    Example output:

      dXNlcjpwYXNzd29yZA==
      
  5. Repeat the request to the ratings app, including the authorization header with the user credentials. This time, the request succeeds.

    1. Create the curl pod.
        kubectl run -it -n bookinfo --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT1 curl \
        --image=curlimages/curl:7.73.0 --rm  -- sh
        
    2. Send a request to the reviews app.
        curl -H "Authorization: basic dXNlcjpwYXNzd29yZA==" http://reviews:9080/reviews/1 -v
        
    3. Exit the temporary pod. The pod deletes itself.
        exit
        

    Example output:

      HTTP/1.1 200 OK
      

Cleanup

You can optionally remove the resources that you set up as part of this guide.
  kubectl --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT1 -n bookinfo delete ExtAuthPolicy basic-auth
kubectl --context $REMOTE_CONTEXT1 -n bookinfo delete ExtAuthServer default-server