Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions regarding integrating the Authelia OpenID Connect Provider with an OpenID Connect relying party.


The following section lists individual questions.

How do I generate client secrets?

We strongly recommend the following guidelines for generating client secrets:

  1. Each client should have a unique secret.
  2. Each secret should be randomly generated.
  3. Each secret should have a length above 40 characters.
  4. The secrets should be stored in the configuration in a supported hash format. Note: This does not mean you configure the relying party / client application with the hashed version, just the secret value in the Authelia configuration.
  5. Secrets should only have alphanumeric characters as some implementations do not appropriately encode the secret when using it to access the token endpoint.

Authelia provides an easy way to perform such actions via the Generating a Random Password Hash guide. Users can perform a command such as authelia crypto hash generate pbkdf2 --variant sha512 --random --random.length 72 --random.charset rfc3986 command to both generate a client secret with 72 characters which is printed and is to be used with the relying party and hash it using PBKDF2 which can be stored in the Authelia configuration. This random command also avoids issues with a relying party / client application encoding the characters correctly as it uses the RFC3986 Unreserved Characters.


Authelia technically supports storing the plaintext secret in the configuration. This will likely be completely unavailable in the future as it was a mistake to implement it like this in the first place. While some other OpenID Connect 1.0 providers operate in this way, it’s more often than not that they operating in this way in error. The current technical support for this is only to prevent massive upheaval to users and give them time to migrate.

As per RFC6819 Section the secret should only be stored by the authorization server as hashes / digests unless there is a very specific specification or protocol that is implemented by the authorization server which requires access to the secret in the clear to operate properly in which case the secret should be encrypted and not be stored in plaintext. The most likely long term outcome is that the client configurations will be stored in the database with the secret both salted and peppered.

Authelia currently does not implement any of the specifications or protocols which require secrets being accessible in the clear such as most notably the client_secret_jwt grant, we will however likely soon implement client_secret_jwt. We are however strongly discouraging and formally deprecating the use of plaintext client secrets for purposes outside those required by specifications. We instead recommended that users remove this from their configuration entirely and use the How Do I Generate Client Secrets FAQ.

Plaintext is either denoted by the $plaintext$ prefix where everything after the prefix is the secret. In addition if the secret does not start with the $ character it’s considered as a plaintext secret for the time being but is deprecated as is the $plaintext$ prefix.

Why isn’t my application able to retrieve the token even though I’ve consented?

The most common cause for this issue is when the affected application can not make requests to the Token Endpoint. This becomes obvious when the log level is set to debug or trace and a presence of requests to the Authorization Endpoint without errors but an absence of requests made to the Token Endpoint.

These requests can be identified by looking at the path field in the logs, or by messages prefixed with Authorization Request indicating a request to the Authorization Endpoint and Access Request indicating a request to the Token Endpoint.

All causes should be clearly logged by the client application, and all errors that do not match this scenario are clearly logged by Authelia. It’s not possible for us to log requests that never occur however.

One potential solution to this is detailed in the Solution: Configure DNS Appropriately section. This section also details how to identity if you’re affected.

Why doesn’t the discovery endpoint return the correct issuer and endpoint URL’s?

The most common cause for this is if the X-Forwarded-Proto and X-Forwarded-Host / Host headers do not match the fully qualified URL of the provider. This can be because of requesting from the Authelia port directly i.e. without going through your proxy or due to a poorly configured proxy.

If you’ve configured Authelia alongside a proxy and are making a request directly to Authelia you need to perform the request via the proxy. If you’re avoiding the proxy due to a DNS limitation see Solution: Configure DNS Appropriately section.

Why doesn’t the access control configuration work with OpenID Connect 1.0?

The access control configuration contains several elements which are not very compatible with OpenID Connect 1.0. They were designed with per-request authorizations in mind. In particular the resources, query, methods, and networks criteria are very specific to each request and to some degree so are the domain and domain regex criteria as the token is issued to the client not a specific domain.

For these reasons we implemented the authorization policy as a direct option in the client. It’s likely in the future that we’ll expand this option to encompass the features that work well with OpenID Connect 1.0 such as the subject criteria which reasonably be matched to an individual authorization policy. Because the other criteria are mostly geared towards per-request authorization these criteria types are fairly unlikely to become part of OpenID Connect 1.0 as there are no ways to apply these criteria except during the initial authorization request.


The following section details solutions for multiple of the questions above.

Configure DNS Appropriately

In order to make requests to Authelia an application must be able to resolve it. It’s important in all instances to check if the application with the issue can resolve the correct IP address for Authelia between each step of the process, and this check also can be used to clearly identity if this is the most likely underlying cause for an issue you’re facing.

  1. If you’re running an internal DNS server ensure an A record exists for the FQDN of Authelia with the value being the IP of the server responsible for handling requests for Authelia.
  2. If you’re not running an internal DNS server then do check the following:
    1. Ensure the external DNS server(s) have the same A record as described above.
    2. Ensure that that your NAT-hairpin is configured correctly.
    3. If all else fails add a hosts file entry to work around this issue.
  1. Ensure both the application with the issue shares a network in common with the proxy container.
  2. Ensure an alias for the FQDN of Authelia is present for the proxy container:
    • If using docker compose see the network aliases documentation reference for more information.
    • If using docker run see the --network-alias option of the docker run reference for more information.

Examples (assuming your Authelia Root URL is

version: "3.8"
    ## Mandatory that the application is on the same network as the proxy.
      proxy: {}
      ## Mandatory that the proxy is on the same network as the application, and that it has this alias.
      proxy: {}
    ## An external network can be created manually and shared between multiple compose files. This is NOT mandatory.
    external: true
    name: proxy-net
docker run -d --name proxy --network proxy --network-alias <other proxy arguments>
docker run -d --name application --network proxy <other application arguments>