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Securing System Services

Access to Prometheus, Grafana and all other system services included with Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform (KKP) is secured by running them behind OAuth2-Proxy and using Dex as the authentication provider.

It is still possible to access the system services by using kubectl port-forward and thereby circumventing the proxy’s authentication entirely.

Dex can then be configured to use external authentication sources like GitHub’s or Google’s OAuth endpoint, LDAP or OpenID Connect. For this to work you have to configure both Dex (the oauth Helm chart) and OAuth2-Proxy (called “IAP”, Identity-Aware Proxy) in your Helm values.yaml.


For each service that is supposed to use Dex as an authentication provider, configure a client. The callback URL is called after authentication has been completed and must point to https://<domain>/oauth/callback. Remember that this will point to OAuth2-Proxy and is therefore independent of the actual underlying application (Gatekeeper will intercept the requesta and not forward it to the upstream service). Generate a secure random secret for each client, for example by doing cat /dev/urandom | tr -dc A-Za-z0-9 | head -c32.

A sample configuration for Prometheus and Alertmanager could look like this:


   # keep the KKP client for the login to the KKP dashboard
  - id: kubermatic
    # ...

  # new client used for authenticating Prometheus
  - id: prometheus # a unique identifier
    name: Prometheus
    secret: <generate random secret key here>
    - ''

  # new client used for authenticating Alertmanager
  - id: alertmanager # a unique identifier
    name: Alertmanager
    secret: <generate another random secret key here>
    - ''

Each service should have its own credentials (i.e. a different secret for every client). Re-deploying the oauth chart with Helm will now prepare Dex to act as an authentication provider, but there is no OAuth2-Proxy yet to make use of this:

Helm 3

helm --namespace oauth upgrade --install --wait --values /path/to/your/helm-values.yaml oauth charts/oauth/

Helm 2

helm --tiller-namespace kubermatic upgrade --install --values /path/to/your/helm-values.yaml --namespace oauth oauth charts/oauth/

OAuth2-Proxy (IAP)

Now that you have setup Dex, you need to configure OAuth2-Proxy to sit in front of the system services and use it for authentication. The configuration for this happens in the iap Helm chart. For each client that we configured in Dex, add a deployment to the IAP configuration. Use the client’s secret (from Dex) as the client_secret and generate another random, secure encryption key to encrypt the client state with (which is then stored as a cookie in the user’s browser).

Extend your values.yaml with a section for the IAP:

      # will be used to create kubernetes Deployment object
      name: prometheus


      # the Kubernetes service and port the IAP should point to
      upstream_service: prometheus.monitoring.svc.cluster.local
      upstream_port: 9090

      # OAuth configuration from Dex
      # client_id is the "id" from the Dex config
      client_id: prometheus
      # client_secret is the "secret" from the Dex config
      client_secret: <copy value from Dex>

      # generate a fresh secret key here
      encryption_key: <generate random secret key here>

      # see
      # this example configures that only users belong to a special GitHub
      # organization can access the service behind the proxy (Prometheus in this case)
        scope: "groups openid email"
        github_org: mygithuborg
        github_team: mygroup

      name: alertmanager
      upstream_service: alertmanager.monitoring.svc.cluster.local
      upstream_port: 9093
      client_id: alertmanager
      client_secret: <copy value from Dex>
      encryption_key: <generate another random secret key here>
        scope: "groups openid email"
        github_org: mygithuborg
        github_team: mygroup

With all this configured, it’s now time to install/upgrade the iap Helm chart:

Helm 3

helm --namespace iap upgrade --install --wait --values /path/to/your/helm-values.yaml iap charts/iap/

Helm 2

helm --tiller-namespace kubermatic upgrade --install --values /path/to/your/helm-values.yaml --namespace iap iap charts/iap/

This will create one Ingress per deployment you configured. If all your Ingress hosts are subdomains of your primary domain, the wildcard DNS record we already set up earlier will be enough. Otherwise you will need to update your DNS accordingly.

In addition, this will also create a TLS certificate for each IAP deployment. Once you setup the required DNS records (see next steps) you can check their progress like so:

watch kubectl -n iap get certificates
#NAME           READY   SECRET             AGE
#prometheus     True    prometheus-tls     1h
#alertmanager   True    alertmanager-tls   1h

DNS Records

To allow incoming traffic and to acquire a TLS certificate, DNS records must be in place. This can be either a single wildcard entry for all IAP deployments or individual records. Refer to the installation instructions for more information on what records to create.

Alternative Authentication Provider

It’s possible to use a different authentication provider than Dex. Please refer to the OIDC provider chapter for more information on how to configure KKP and OAuth2-Proxy accordingly.

Security Considerations

The IAP does not protect services against access from within the cluster. Sensitive services should therefore be configured to require further authentication. Grafana, the monitoring stack‘s dashboard UI, requires proper authentication by default, for example.