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auth-request Test

auth-request allows you to add access control to your HTTP services based on a subrequest to a configured HAProxy backend. The workings of this Lua script are loosely based on the ngx_http_auth_request_module module for nginx.


  • HAProxy 1.8.4+ (2.2.0+ recommended)
    • Only the latest version of each HAProxy branch is supported.
  • USE_LUA=1 must be set at compile time.
  • haproxy-lua-http must be available within the Lua path.
    • A json library within the Lua path (dependency of haproxy-lua-http).
    • With HAProxy 2.1.3+ you can use the lua-prepend-path configuration option to specify the search path.


  1. Load this Lua script in the global section of your haproxy.cfg:

        # *snip*
        lua-prepend-path /usr/share/haproxy/?/http.lua # If haproxy-lua-http is saved as /usr/share/haproxy/haproxy-lua-http/http.lua
        lua-load /usr/share/haproxy/auth-request.lua
  2. Define a backend that is used for the subrequests:

    backend auth_request
        mode http
        server auth_request check
  3. Execute the subrequest in your frontend (as early as possible):

    frontend http
        mode http
        bind :::80 v4v6
        # *snip*
        # auth-request syntax:
        #                             Backend name     Path to request
        http-request lua.auth-request auth_request     /is-allowed
        # auth-intercept syntax:                                           (Headers to copy)
        #                               Backend name  Path         Method  Request  Success  Failure
        http-request lua.auth-intercept auth_request  /is-allowed  HEAD    *        -        -
  4. Act on the results:

    frontend http
        # *snip*
        http-request deny if ! { var(txn.auth_response_successful) -m bool }


The scripts receive a list of parameters used to build the authentication request:

  • Backend name: is the name of an HAProxy backend. See the Inner Workings section.
  • Path to request: the request URL sent to the auth-request backend.

The following parameters are only available in the auth-intercept script:

  • Method: the HTTP method that should be used. Use an asterisk * to ask auth-intercept to copy the same method used by the client. auth-request uses the HEAD method.
  • Headers to copy on Request: a comma-separated list of a simplified glob pattern that should match the HTTP header names to copy from the client to the auth-intercept backend. Use a dash - to not copy any header.
  • Headers to copy on Success: a comma-separated list of a simplified glob pattern that should match the HTTP header names to copy from the auth-intercept backend to the protected backend server, if the auth-intercept backend respond with 2xx response code and the request succeed. All headers received from the auth-intercept will override headers with the same name provided by the client. Use * to copy all headers, or use a dash - to not copy any header. HAProxy variables are always created, see the Available Variables section.
  • Headers to copy on Failure: a comma-separated list of a simplified glob pattern that should match the HTTP header names to copy from the auth-intercept backend to the client, if the request failed. auth-intercept will use the same HTTP method and body sent by the auth-intercept backend to respond to the client, closing the transaction. The protected backend server will not be used. Use * to copy all headers. Use a dash - to not close the transaction and leave to the HAProxy configuration the task to deny the request based on the txn.auth_response_successful variable. HAProxy variables are always created, see the Available Variables section.

Simplified glob pattern: use an asterisk * to match any sequence of characters and ? to match a single char. * will match any header name. x-* will match all header names started with x-. x-???? will match x-user but will not match neither x-token nor x-id.

HAProxy 2.1 or older: the On Failure param (the last one) will close the transaction and respond to the client if the value is not a dash -, however this feature is only supported on HAProxy 2.2 or newer. The only supported option on 2.1 and older is a dash -.

Available Variables

auth-request uses HAProxy variables to communicate the results back to you. The var() sample fetch can be used to retrieve the variable contents.

The following list of variables may be set.

Set to true if the subrequest returns an HTTP status code in the 2xx range. false otherwise.
The HTTP status code of the subrequest. If the subrequest did not return a valid HTTP response the value will be 500.
The location response header of the subrequest.

This variable is only set if the HTTP status code of the subrequest indicates a redirect (i.e. 301, 302, 303, 307, or 308).

These variables store the subrequest’s response headers. The values of duplicate response headers will be merged with a comma.

HAProxy variables may only contain alphanumeric characters, the dot (.), and an underscore _. Any non-alphanumeric characters will be replaced with an underscore to be representable. If the response contains duplicate response headers after normalizing the header name the result for these headers will be undefined.

Normalization examples:


Please note: The scope of the response header variables is req compared to txn for the other variables. The contents will no longer be available during response processing to save memory. Copy the values of interest into a txn. variable if you need access them during response processing.

Inner Workings

The Lua script will make a HTTP request to the first server in the given backend that is either marked as UP or that does not have checks enabled. This allows for basic health checking of the auth-request backend. If you need more complex processing of the request forward the auth-request to a separate HAProxy frontend that performs the required modifications to the request and response.

The requested URL is the one given in the second parameter.

Any request headers will be forwarded as-is to the auth-request backend, with the exception of the content-length header which will be stripped, because the request body will not be forwarded.

Known limitations

  • The Lua script only supports basic health checking, without redispatching or load balancing of any kind.
  • The backend must not be using TLS.