nginx reverse proxy setup for kibana dashboard

How to Setup Nginx Reverse proxy for Kibana.

In this demonstration we will see how to setup the reverse proxy using the nginx webserver to the backend kibana.

We begin by installing the latest version of nginx server on our centos server:

$ sudo yum install nginx -y

The nginx package is going to be present in the epel-repo and you have to enable it.

$ sudo yum --enablerepo=epel install nginx -y

Once the nginx package is installed we need to enable to Daemon and start it with the following command:

[vamshi@node01 ~]$ sudo systemctl enable nginx --now
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /usr/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service.

We now add the create the nginx configuration file for kibana backend, and place it under the location /etc/nginx/conf.d/kibana as shown below:

We can setup the Restricted Access configuration if needed for enhanced security as shown below on the line with auth_basic and auth_basic_user_file, You may skip the Restricted Access configuration if you believe it is now required.

[vamshi@node01 nginx]$ sudo cat conf.d/kibana.conf
server {
    listen 80;
    server_name localhost;
    auth_basic "Restricted Access";
    auth_basic_user_file /etc/nginx/.htpasswd;
    location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5601;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade';
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;

With the configuration in place .. we now check the nginx config syntax using the -t option as shown below:

[vamshi@node01 nginx]$ sudo nginx -t
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Now restart the nginx server and head over to the browser.

$ sudo systemctl restart nginx

On you Browser enter the server ip or FQDN. and you will be auto redirected to the url

Setup htacess authorization config with user details.

We now install the htpasswd tool from the package httpd-tools as follows:

$ sudo yum install httpd-tools -y

Adding the Authorization details to our .htpasswd file.

[vamshi@node01 nginx]$ sudo htpasswd -c /etc/nginx/.htpasswd vamshi
New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Adding password for user vamshi

So We have now successfully added the Auth configuration

[vamshi@node01 nginx]$ sudo htpasswd -n /etc/nginx/.htpasswd 
New password: 
Re-type new password: 

As the password is 1 way encryption we cannot decode it and are required to generate new hash.
Verifying the htpasswd configuration logins from the curl command:

$ curl http://kibana-url -u<htpasswd-username>
[vamshi@node01 ~]$ curl -uvamshi -I
Enter host password for user 'vamshi':
HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Server: nginx/1.16.1
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2020 17:48:35 GMT
Content-Length: 0
Connection: keep-alive
location: /spaces/enter
kbn-name: kibana
kbn-license-sig: 2778f2f7e07680b7aefa85db2e7ce7bd33da5592b84cefe62efa8
kbn-xpack-sig: ce2a76732a2f58fcf288db70ad3ea
cache-control: no-cache

If you tend to enter the invalid credentials you will encounter a 401 http error code Restricting the Unauthorized access.

HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Server: nginx/1.16.1
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2020 17:51:36 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 179
Connection: keep-alive
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="Restricted Access"

Now we head over to the browser to check the htaccess login page in action as shows follows:
Conclusion: With the htpasswd in place, it provides an extra layer of authorized access to your sensitive urls.. in effect now you need to enter the htpasswd logins to access the same kibana dashboard.

Leave a Comment