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An authentication front-end to Kubernetes clusters, enabling users to log into a Kubernetes cluster through the configuration and use of Dex, OIDC and Kubernetes OIDC

This has been developed for developers in large teams, with lots of new joiners to provide an easy way to switch between environments / regions in non-federated deployments.

It also provides an easy method to switch out Dex Connectors, so when your team ends up moving from Github to Okta, you have a minimal set of changes to implement.

What does it look like?

Login Page Command Page
Login page Command page

I have a cluster, lets go!


Install dex:

helm upgrade --install dex ./charts/dex --set --set secrets.github.client.secret=blah

Install kubernetes-auth:

helm upgrade --install kubernetes-auth ./charts/kubernetes-auth

Once the application has been deployed an running, the next step is to point Kubernetes' OIDC options in the Kube API server.


Dex? Aka Kubernetes Authentication

Dex acts as an intermediary between Github authentication and Kubernetes acting as an identity provider. This gives us the flexibility to move to another backed (LDAP, SAML, etc.) at some point in the future.

At the moment user logins are federated by github teams. Each team then belongs to a namespace with view on everything in that namespace. As time progresses we might want to restrict / expand on this.

To Login a user will use the following flow, with sandbox being replaced by their environment of choice (levels of access will be handled):

  • Navigate to
  • Login to Github and authorise the YLD github application
  • Follow the instructions and Copy the kubeconfig to your local ~/.kube/config
  • check access with kubectl get pods

How does kubernetes-auth work with Dex?

We recommend reading the Dex Documentation before continuing as it is required to be working correctly before kubernetes-auth can start.

In our example helm chart for kubernetes-auth and dex, we specifically use only the Github Connector and the PostgresSQL backend. This was the working combination at time of implementation, but we plan to extend the chart to make it configurable.

For a Github Organisation as such:

  • yldio
    • Team
      • platform
      • software-engineering

It becomes possible to map the team platform with the Kubernetes RBAC ClusterRole cluster-admin to give anyone in the team platform cluster-wide access to the kubernetes cluster. As such if we gave the team software-engineering a Role to a specific namespace, any new members will have access to the Kubernetes cluster in that specific namespace.


We're delighted that you'd like to contribute to kubernetes-auth, as we're always looking for ways to improve it.

If there is anything that you'd like to improve or propose, please submit a pull request. And remember to check the contribution guidelines!


  • Minikube
  • kubectl
  • helm
echo $(minikube ip) cluster-auth.minikube.local | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts
minikube ssh 'echo cluster-auth.minikube.local | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts'
helm upgrade --install dex ./charts/dex --set --set secrets.github.client.secret=abcedf
kubectl apply -f charts/dex/minikube.yaml



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