Deep Network GmbH Developers' Blog

Authentication for Prometheus via nginx sidecar

Out of the box Prometheus does not support any authentication mechanism. If you like to expose your instance externally, and you don’t have the luxury of hiding it behind a VPN of some kind, one of your options is to put it behind an nginx proxy.

Preparing nginx

See below for a basic nginx configuration:

  1. Listens to port 8080
  2. Sends all requests to / to http://localhost:9090
  3. Rely on the htpasswd file for accepted credentials.

Execute htpasswd -c <filename> <username> to create a file with the given user.

error_log /dev/stdout info;
events {
  worker_connections  4096;

http {
  include    mime.types;
  access_log /dev/stdout;

    server {
            listen 8080 ;
            listen [::]:8080 ;

            server_name _;

            auth_basic "Protected by sidecar proxy!";
            auth_basic_user_file htpasswd;
            location / {
                proxy_pass http://localhost:9090;

There are couple of options out there to use as a base nginx. See the official Alpine based one or another one from bitnami.

A very quick and dirty Dockerfile for the purpose:

  1. Starts with Bitnami base image
  2. Copies the password file and the configuration file.
  3. Gives permission to everyone to the nginx folder.
FROM bitnami/nginx:latest
COPY htpasswd /opt/bitnami/nginx/conf/
COPY nginx.conf /opt/bitnami/nginx/conf/
RUN chmod -R a+rwx /opt/bitnami/nginx

Preparing prometheus

Assuming that you’re using prometheus-operator, you need to extend your prometheus deployment as such:

  externalUrl: http://localhost:8080/   
    - name: nginx-sidecar-proxy
      image: <your nginx image>
      - containerPort: 8080

Putting it together

The rest is to setup a service that exposes nginx:8080 to outside world.


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