Access Control

Authelia supports a comprehensive access control system. This section describes configuring this.

Configuration

access_control:
  default_policy: deny
  networks:
  - name: internal
    networks:
    - '10.0.0.0/8'
    - '172.16.0.0/12'
    - '192.168.0.0/18'
  rules:
  - domain: 'private.example.com'
    domain_regex: '^(\d+\-)?priv-img.example.com$'
    policy: one_factor
    networks:
    - 'internal'
    - '1.1.1.1'
    subject:
    - ['user:adam']
    - ['user:fred']
    - ['group:admins']
    methods:
    - GET
    - HEAD
    resources:
    - '^/api.*'

Options

default_policy

string deny not required

The default policy defines the policy applied if no rules section apply to the information known about the request. It is recommended that this is configured to deny for security reasons. Sites which you do not wish to secure at all with Authelia should not be configured in your reverse proxy to perform authentication with Authelia at all for performance reasons.

See Policies for more information.

networks (global)

list not required

The main/global networks section contains a list of networks with a name label that can be reused in the rules section instead of redefining the same networks over and over again. This additionally makes complicated network related configuration a lot cleaner and easier to read.

This section has two options, name and networks. Where the networks section is a list of IP addresses in CIDR notation and where name is a friendly name to label the collection of networks for reuse in the networks section of the rules section below.

This configuration option does nothing by itself, it’s only useful if you use these aliases in the rules section below.

rules

list not required

The rules have many configuration options. A rule matches when all criteria of the rule match the request excluding the policy which is the policy applied to the request.

A rule defines two primary things:

  • the policy applied when all criteria match
  • the matching criteria of the request presented to the reverse proxy

The criteria is broken into several parts:

  • domain: domain or list of domains targeted by the request.
  • domain_regex: regex form of domain.
  • resources: pattern or list of patterns that the path should match.
  • subject: the user or group of users to define the policy for.
  • networks: the network addresses, ranges (CIDR notation) or groups from where the request originates.
  • methods: the http methods used in the request.

A rule is matched when all criteria of the rule match. Rules are evaluated in sequential order, and the first rule that is a match for a given request is the rule applied; subsequent rules have no effect. This is particularly important for bypass rules. Bypass rules should generally appear near the top of the rules list. However you need to carefully evaluate your rule list in order to see which rule matches a particular scenario. A comprehensive understanding of how rules apply is also recommended.

domain

list(string) required

Required: This criteria and/or the domain_regex criteria are required.

This criteria matches the domain name and has two methods of configuration, either as a single string or as a list of strings. When it’s a list of strings the rule matches when any of the domains in the list match the request domain. When used in conjunction with domain_regex the rule will match when either the domain or the domain_regex criteria matches.

Rules may start with a few different wildcards:

  • The standard wildcard is *., which when in front of a domain means that any subdomain is effectively a match. For example *.example.com would match abc.example.com and secure.example.com. When using a wildcard like this the string must be quoted like "*.example.com".
  • The user wildcard is {user}., which when in front of a domain dynamically matches the username of the user. For example {user}.example.com would match fred.example.com if the user logged in was named fred. Warning: this is officially deprecated as the domain_regex criteria completely replaces the functionality in a much more useful way. It is strongly recommended you do not use this as it will be removed in a future version, most likely v5.0.0.
  • The group wildcard is {group}., which when in front of a domain dynamically matches if the logged in user has the group in that location. For example {group}.example.com would match admins.example.com if the user logged in was in the following groups admins,users,people because admins is in the list.

Domains in this section must be the domain configured in the session configuration or subdomains of that domain. This is because a website can only write cookies for a domain it is part of. It is theoretically possible for us to do this with multiple domains however we would have to be security conscious in our implementation, and it is not currently a priority.

Examples

Single domain of *.example.com matched. All rules in this list are effectively the same rule just expressed in different ways.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: '*.example.com'
    policy: bypass
  - domain:
    - '*.example.com'
    policy: bypass

Multiple domains matched. These rules will match either apple.example.com or orange.example.com. All rules in this list are effectively the same rule just expressed in different ways.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: ['apple.example.com', 'banana.example.com']
    policy: bypass
  - domain:
    - apple.example.com
    - banana.example.com
    policy: bypass

Multiple domains matched either via a static domain or via a domain_regex. This rule will match either apple.example.com, pub-data.example.com, or img-data.example.com.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: 'apple.example.com'
    domain_regex: '^(pub|img)-data\.example\.com$'
    policy: bypass

domain_regex

list(string) required

Required: This criteria and/or the domain criteria are required.

Important Note: If you intend to use this criteria with a bypass rule please read bypass and subjects before doing so.

Important Note: to utilize regex you must escape it properly. See regular expressions for more information.

This criteria matches the domain name and has two methods of configuration, either as a single string or as a list of strings. When it’s a list of strings the rule matches when any of the domains in the list match the request domain. When used in conjunction with domain the rule will match when either the domain or the domain_regex criteria matches.

In addition to standard regex patterns this criteria can match some Named Regex Groups.

Examples

An advanced multiple domain regex example with user/group matching. This will match the user john in the groups example and example1, when the request is made to user-john.example.com, group-example.example.com, or group-example1.example.com, it would not match when the request is made to user-fred.example.com or group-admin.example.com.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain_regex:
    - '^user-(?P<User>\w+)\.example\.com$'
    - '^group-(?P<Group>\w+)\.example\.com$'
    policy: one_factor

Multiple domains example, one with a static domain and one with a regex domain. This will match requests to protected.example.com, img-private.example.com, or data-private.example.com.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: 'protected.example.com'
  - domain_regex: '^(img|data)-private\.example\.com'
    policy: one_factor

policy

string required

The specific policy to apply to the selected rule. This is not criteria for a match, this is the action to take when a match is made.

subject

list(list(string)) not required

Note: this rule criteria may not be used for the bypass policy the minimum required authentication level to identify the subject is one_factor. We have taken an opinionated stance on preventing this configuration as it could result in problematic security scenarios with badly thought out configurations and cannot see a likely configuration scenario that would require users to do this. If you have a scenario in mind please open an issue on GitHub.

This criteria matches identifying characteristics about the subject. Currently this is either user or groups the user belongs to. This allows you to effectively control exactly what each user is authorized to access or to specifically require two-factor authentication to specific users. Subjects are prefixed with either user: or group: to identify which part of the identity to check.

The format of this rule is unique in as much as it is a list of lists. The logic behind this format is to allow for both OR and AND logic. The first level of the list defines the OR logic, and the second level defines the AND logic. Additionally each level of these lists does not have to be explicitly defined.

Examples

Matches when the user has the username john, or the user is in the groups admin and app-name, or the user is in the group super-admin. All rules in this list are effectively the same rule just expressed in different ways.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: example.com
    policy: two_factor
    subject:
    - 'user:john'
    - ['group:admin', 'group:app-name']
    - 'group:super-admin'
  - domain: example.com
    policy: two_factor
    subject:
    - ['user:john']
    - ['group:admin', 'group:app-name']
    - ['group:super-admin']

Matches when the user is in the super-admin group. All rules in this list are effectively the same rule just expressed in different ways.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: example.com
    policy: one_factor
    subject: 'group:super-admin'
  - domain: example.com
    policy: one_factor
    subject:
    - 'group:super-admin'
  - domain: example.com
    policy: one_factor
    subject:
    - ['group:super-admin']

methods

list(string) not required

This criteria matches the HTTP request method. This is primarily useful when trying to bypass authentication for specific request types when those requests would prevent essential or public operation of the website. An example is when you need to do CORS preflight requests you could apply the bypass policy to OPTIONS requests.

It’s important to note that Authelia cannot preserve request data when redirecting the user. For example if the user had permission to do GET requests, their authentication level was one_factor, and POST requests required them to do two_factor authentication, they would lose the form data. Additionally it is sometimes not possible to redirect users who have done requests other than HEAD or GET which means the user experience may suffer. These are the reasons it’s only recommended to use this to increase security where essential and for CORS preflight.

The accepted and valid methods for this configuration option are those specified in well known RFC’s. The RFC’s and the relevant methods are listed in this table:

RFCMethodsAdditional Documentation
RFC7231GET, HEAD, POST, PUT, DELETE, CONNECT, OPTIONS, TRACEMDN
RFC5789PATCHMDN
RFC4918PROPFIND, PROPPATCH, MKCOL, COPY, MOVE, LOCK, UNLOCK
Examples

Bypass OPTIONS requests to the example.com domain.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: example.com
    policy: bypass
    methods:
    - OPTIONS

networks

list(string) not required

This criteria is a list of values which can be an IP Address, network address range in CIDR notation, or an alias from the global section. It matches against the first address in the X-Forwarded-For header, or if there are none it will fall back to the IP address of the packet TCP source IP address. For this reason it’s important for you to configure the proxy server correctly in order to accurately match requests with this criteria. Note: you may combine CIDR networks with the alias rules as you please.

The main use case for this criteria is adjust the security requirements of a resource based on the location of a user. You can theoretically consider a specific network to be one of the factors involved in authentiation, you can deny specific networks, etc.

For example if you have an application exposed on both the local networks and the external networks, you are able to distinguish between those requests and apply differing policies to each. Either denying access when the user is on the external networks and allowing specific external clients to access it as well as internal clients, or by requiring less privileges when a user is on the local networks.

There are a large number of scenarios regarding networks and the order of the rules. This provides a lot of flexibility for administrators to tune the security to their specific needs if desired.

Examples

Require two_factor for all clients other than internal clients and 112.134.145.167. The first two rules in this list are effectively the same rule just expressed in different ways.

access_control:
  default_policy: two_factor
  networks:
  - name: internal
    networks:
      - '10.0.0.0/8'
      - '172.16.0.0/12'
      - '192.168.0.0/18'
  rules:
  - domain: secure.example.com
    policy: one_factor
    networks:
    - '10.0.0.0/8'
    - '172.16.0.0/12'
    - '192.168.0.0/18'
    - '112.134.145.167/32'
  - domain: secure.example.com
    policy: one_factor
    networks:
    - 'internal'
    - '112.134.145.167/32'
  - domain: secure.example.com
    policy: two_factor

resources

list(string) not required

Important Note: to utilize regex you must escape it properly. See regular expressions for more information.

This criteria matches the path and query of the request using regular expressions. The rule is expressed as a list of strings. If any one of the regular expressions in the list matches the request it’s considered a match. A useful tool for debugging these regular expressions is called Regex 101 (ensure you pick the Golang option).

In addition to standard regex patterns this criteria can match some Named Regex Groups.

Note: Prior to 4.27.0 the regular expressions only matched the path excluding the query parameters. After 4.27.0 they match the entire path including the query parameters. When upgrading you may be required to alter some of your resource rules to get them to operate as they previously did.

It’s important when configuring resource rules that you enclose them in quotes otherwise you may run into some issues with escaping the expressions. Failure to do so may prevent Authelia from starting. It’s technically optional but will likely save you a lot of time if you do it for all resource rules.

Examples

Applies the bypass policy when the domain is app.example.com and the url is /api, or starts with either /api/ or /api?.

access_control:
  rules:
  - domain: app.example.com
    policy: bypass
    resources:
    - '^/api([/?].*)?$'

Policies

The policy of the first matching rule in the configured list decides the policy applied to the request, if no rule matches the request the default_policy is applied.

deny

This is the policy applied by default, and is what we recommend as the default policy for all installs. Its effect is literally to deny the user access to the resource. Additionally you can use this policy to conditionally deny access in desired situations. Examples include denying access to an API that has no authentication mechanism built in.

bypass

This policy skips all authentication and allows anyone to use the resource. This policy is not available with a rule that includes a subject restriction because the minimum authentication level required to obtain information about the subject is one_factor.

bypass and user identity

The bypass policy cannot be used when the rule uses a criteria that requires we know the users identity. This means:

  • If the rule defines subjects criteria
  • If the rule defines domain regex criteria which contains either the user or group named match groups

This is because these criteria types require knowing who the user is in order to determine if their identity matches the request. This information can only be known after 1FA, which means the minimum policy that can be used logically is one_factor.

one_factor

This policy requires the user at minimum complete 1FA successfully (username and password). This means if they have performed 2FA then they will be allowed to access the resource.

two_factor

This policy requires the user to complete 2FA successfully. This is currently the highest level of authentication policy available.

Named Regex Groups

Some criteria allow matching named regex groups. These are the groups we accept:

Group NameMatch Value
Userusername
Groupgroups (contains)

For the group name Group the regex pattern matches if the user has the specific group name matching the pattern. Both regex groups are case-insensitive due to the fact that the regex groups are used in domain criteria and domain names should not be compared in a case-sensitive way as per the RFC4343 abstract and RFC3986 Section 3.2.2.

Detailed example

Here is a detailed example of an example access control section:

access_control:
  default_policy: deny
  networks:
    - name: internal
      networks:
        - '10.10.0.0/16'
        - '192.168.2.0/24'
    - name: VPN
      networks: 10.9.0.0/16
  rules:
    - domain: 'public.example.com'
      policy: bypass

    - domain: '*.example.com'
      policy: bypass
      methods:
        - OPTIONS

    - domain: 'secure.example.com'
      policy: one_factor
      networks:
        - 'internal'
        - 'VPN'
        - '192.168.1.0/24'
        - '10.0.0.1'

    - domain:
      - 'secure.example.com'
      - 'private.example.com'
      policy: two_factor

    - domain: 'singlefactor.example.com'
      policy: one_factor

    - domain: 'mx2.mail.example.com'
      subject: 'group:admins'
      policy: deny

    - domain: '*.example.com'
      subject:
        - 'group:admins'
        - 'group:moderators'
      policy: two_factor

    - domain: dev.example.com
      resources:
      - '^/groups/dev/.*$'
      subject: 'group:dev'
      policy: two_factor

    - domain: dev.example.com
      resources:
      - '^/users/john/.*$'
      subject:
      - ['group:dev', 'user:john']
      - 'group:admins'
      policy: two_factor

    - domain: '{user}.example.com'
      policy: bypass