AuthN / authZ

Basic authentication

When your traffic is HTTP, you can use Basic authentication to display a login prompt to users. Configuring it is easy, but it does have one drawback: credentials are transmitted in the clear over HTTP. You can mitigate this exposure by enabling TLS to encrypt the traffic. In our examples, we will do just that.

Enable Basic authentication Jump to heading

Follow these steps to set up Basic authentication:

  1. Usernames and their associated passwords are stored in the load balancer’s running memory.

    To define them, create a userlist section. Each entry in this section has a user argument to indicate the username and an insecure-password argument to indicate the password.

    haproxy
    userlist mycredentials
    user joe insecure-password joespassword
    user alice insecure-password alicespassword
    user mark insecure-password markspassword
    haproxy
    userlist mycredentials
    user joe insecure-password joespassword
    user alice insecure-password alicespassword
    user mark insecure-password markspassword
  2. In your frontend section, enable TLS on your bind line so that credentials will be encrypted when transmitted between the client and load balancer.

    In this example, we also redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS. We use the http-request auth line to display the Basic authentication login prompt to users. If a user has already logged in, then they will not see the prompt again.

    haproxy
    frontend www
    bind :80
    bind :443 ssl crt /site.pem
    http-request redirect scheme https unless { ssl_fc }
    http-request auth unless { http_auth(mycredentials) }
    default_backend webservers
    haproxy
    frontend www
    bind :80
    bind :443 ssl crt /site.pem
    http-request redirect scheme https unless { ssl_fc }
    http-request auth unless { http_auth(mycredentials) }
    default_backend webservers

Hash passwords in the userlist Jump to heading

You can store a hashed value for a password in the userlist section instead of storing it as cleartext.

  1. Install the mkpasswd tool:

    nix
    # mkpasswd is included in the whois package
    sudo apt install whois
    nix
    # mkpasswd is included in the whois package
    sudo apt install whois
    nix
    sudo yum install mkpasswd
    nix
    sudo yum install mkpasswd
  2. Call mkpasswd with the SHA-256 algorithm to hash your password:

    nix
    mkpasswd -m sha-256 mypassword123
    nix
    mkpasswd -m sha-256 mypassword123
    output
    text
    $5$s6Subz0X7FSX2zON$r94OtF6gOfWlGmySwvn3pDFIAHbIpe6mWneueqtBOm/
    output
    text
    $5$s6Subz0X7FSX2zON$r94OtF6gOfWlGmySwvn3pDFIAHbIpe6mWneueqtBOm/
  3. Store the hashed password by using the password argument:

    haproxy
    userlist mycredentials
    user joe password $5$s6Subz0X7FSX2zON$r94OtF6gOfWlGmySwvn3pDFIAHbIpe6mWneueqtBOm/
    haproxy
    userlist mycredentials
    user joe password $5$s6Subz0X7FSX2zON$r94OtF6gOfWlGmySwvn3pDFIAHbIpe6mWneueqtBOm/

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