Skip to content


Trapperkeeper Authorization Service

Build Status

This project provides an authorization service for use with the trapperkeeper service framework. It aims to port Puppet's auth.conf feature to Clojure and the trapperkeeper framework, with a different way to express authorization rules.


To use this service in your trapperkeeper application, simply add this project as a dependency in your leiningen project file:

Clojars Project

Then add the authorization service to your bootstrap.cfg file, via:

The authorization service provides an implementation of the :AuthorizationService interface.

The authorization service is configured via the trapperkeeper configuration service; so, you can control the authorization logic by adding an authorization section to one of your Trapperkeeper configuration files, and setting various properties therein. For more info, see Configuring the Authorization Service.


Trapperkeeper-authorization's docs are housed in this repository.

Example code

One example, a Trapperkeeper service which wraps the authorization service around a Ring handler, is included with this project (source code).

Service protocol

This is the protocol for the current implementation of the :AuthorizationService:

(defprotocol AuthorizationService
  (wrap-with-authorization-check [this handler])
  (authorization-check [this request]))


wrap-with-authorization-check takes one argument - handler. The handler argument is just a Ring handler. wrap-with-authorization-check will wrap logic for authorizing web requests around the supplied handler argument and return the wrapped handler.

Here is an example of how a Trapperkeeper service can use the :AuthorizationService:

(defservice hello-service-using-tk-authz
    [[:AuthorizationService wrap-with-authorization-check]
     [:WebserverService add-ring-handler]]
     (init [this context]
                 (fn [_]
                     {:status  200
                     :headers {"Content-Type" "text/plain"}
                     :body    "Hello, World!"}))

See the Trapperkeeper web service project for more information on the :WebserverService.

For this example, if the web server receives a request to the "/hello" endpoint, the middleware logic behind the wrap-with-authorization-check function evaluates the request to see if it is "authorized". If the request is determined to be "allowed", the request is handed on to the handler passed into the original wrap-with-authorization-check function call. If the request is determined to be "denied", a Ring response with an HTTP status code of "403" and a message body with details about the authorization failure is returned. In the latter case, the original handler supplied to the wrap-with-authorization-check function is not called.

For more information on the rule evaluation behavior (e.g., how a request is determined to be "allowed" or "denied"), see Configuring the Authorization Service.

Upon successful authorization, a key name of authorization is appended to the Ring request map which is passed through to the handler function. The value associated with the authorization key is a map containing the following key/value pairs:

  • name - CN (Common Name) extracted from the Distinguished Name in the subject of the certificate presented with the request. When the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is false, the name value is pulled from the CN attribute in the certificate provided by the client during SSL session negotiation. When the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is true, the name value is pulled from the CN attribute in the X-Client-DN HTTP header provided with the request. If no certificate is available or a CN value cannot be retrieved from the certificate, the name is set to an empty string.

  • authenticated - A boolean value representing whether or not the client request included an authenticated user. In any case where the name value has an empty string, authenticated is false. If the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is false and the name value is non-empty, authenticated is true. If the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is true, the name value is non-empty, and an HTTP header named X-Client-Cert with a value of SUCCESS is provided, authenticated is true; for a value other than SUCCESS for X-Client-Cert, authenticated is false.

  • certificate - An object for the client's certificate, if available for the request, else a value of nil. If the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is false, the value is just reassigned from whatever is set for the ssl-client-cert key in the Ring request map. If the allow-header-cert-info configuration setting is true, the X509Certificate object is constructed by URL-decoding the string value passed in for the request's X-Client-Cert HTTP header and parsing the result as a PEM-formatted (Base-64 encoded) certificate. If the header value cannot be URL-decoded and/or converted from a Base-64 encoded string, a value of nil is set.

Note: Apache's mod_proxy converts line breaks in PEM documents in HTTP headers to spaces for some reason and trapperkeeper-authorization can't URL decode the result. We're tracking this issue as SERVER-217.


A function for directly checking whether a request is authorized or not. Useful if you'd like to take more control of the behavior than what wrap-authorization-check allows for, such as if you've got a servlet request.

The result of this function contains the authorization boolean as well as a user-friendly message if it's denied, and some meta-information like the request in question. The request will be updated to include things like destructured query parameters and authorization information. See the wrap-with-authorization-check section for more information on the authorization information.


The original work for this library, service, and the original REST authconfig work in Ruby Puppet were all contributed by [Brice Figureau](https://github .com/masterzen). This project has been graciously transferred to Puppet Labs for further development and maintenance as it becomes a critical part of the Puppet Server security model as authconfig became a critical part of Puppet's security model.


We use the Trapperkeeper project on JIRA for tickets on the Trapperkeeper Authorization Service, although Github issues are welcome too. Please note that the best method to get our attention on an issue is via JIRA.