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Authentication daemon for nginx-proxied or nginx-served applications

Project description

Authentication daemon for nginx-proxied or nginx-served applications.

Installation and Configuration

  1. Create virtual environment for the daemon virtualenv env
  2. Activate it using . ./env/bin/activate
  3. Install nginxauthdaemon from pypi pip install nginxauthdaemon
  4. Create config file overriding default values, see [Daemon configuration]. NB! You need to override default SESSION_SALT, DES_IV and DES_KEY for security.
  5. Setup env variable DAEMON_SETTINGS pointing to your config file.
  6. Run daemon with your favorite WSGI server, for ex gunicorn nginxauthdaemon:app.
  7. Update nginx.conf. See [NGINX Configuration].
  8. Reload nginx (nginx -t reload).
  9. Test your setup.

Daemon configuration

Basic configuration properties are:

Option Description
REALM_NAME Realm name shown on login page
SESSION_COOKIE Session cookie name. Typically you do not need to change this.
TARGET_HEADER Header used to pass protected URL from NGINX
SESSION_SALT Long string used a salt for creation of session key.
DES_IV 8byte initial vector for DES algorithm
DES_KEY 8byte DES encryption key
AUTHENTICATOR Authenticator class name, by default ‘auth.DummyAuthenticator’

Authenticators available out-of-the-box:

Authenticator name Description
nginxauthdaemon.auth.DummyAuthenticator Simplest authenticator checking username equals password
nginxauthdaemon.crowdauth.CrowdAuthenticator Atlassian Crowd based authenticator

Crowd authenticator has additional options:

Option Description
CROWD_URL Crowd server URL, for ex http://localhost:8095/crowd/
CROWD_APP_NAME Crowd application name
CROWD_APP_PASSWORD Crowd application password

NGINX Configuration

Your NGINX should be compiled with ngx_http_auth_request_module. Please check it using nginx -V command.

Example configuration:

upstream auth-backend {

location = /auth/validate {
    proxy_pass http://auth-backend;

    proxy_pass_request_body off;
    proxy_set_header Content-Length "";

location = /auth/login {
    proxy_pass http://auth-backend;
    proxy_set_header X-Target $request_uri;

# Protected application
location / {
    auth_request /auth/validate;

    # redirect 401 and 403 to login form
    error_page 401 403 =200 /auth/login;


Daemon can be extended to support LDAP or any other auth method, but it support only Atlassian Crowd for now. I’ll be happy to merge PRs with new auth methods.


The reference implementation is subject to MIT License.

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