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ElasticSearch + Kibana and TeskaLabs SeaCat Auth Batman

This is a guide to configuring SeaCat Auth as a proxy to Kibana users and roles. As Kibana is not OAuth-compatible and supports only Basic Authentication, integrating it into a Single Sign-On environment requires a special approach. The Batman component (Basic Auth Token MANager) is designed exactly for this task - it "translates" Seacat session cookies into Basic Auth headers and synchronizes Kibana/ElasticSearch users with Seacat Auth credentials and their access rights.

How does it work?

The flow for using Batman auth is almost the same as the cookie auth flow, the only difference being in the type of introspection used. Instead of the PUT /cookie/nginx endpoint (which exchanges Seacat client cookie for ID token), Batman auth uses PUT /batman/nginx (which exchanges Seacat client cookie for Basic auth header).

Configuration example

Let's say we want to Seacat Batman authorization for our Kibana app. We have ElasticSearch and Kibana applications up and running, as well as a working instance of Seacat Auth with Nginx reverse proxy. We will need to configure these three components: - Update Seacat Auth configuration with [batman:elk] section to allow it to use ElasticSearch API to synchronize users and manage their authorization. - Create and configure a Kibana client. This client object represents and identifies Kibana in communication with Seacat Auth. - Prepare the necessary server locations in Nginx config.

Seacat Auth configuration

Create the respective Batman section for the type of your app and provide the app's base URL and API credentials, e.g.


Client configuration

Use Seacat Auth client API (or Seacat Admin UI) to register your app as a client. In our case, we can send the following request:

POST /client
    "client_name": "Kibana",
    "redirect_uri_validation_method": "prefix_match",
    "redirect_uris": [

The server will respond with our client's assigned ID and other attributes:

    "client_id": "RZhlE-D4yuJxoKitYVL4dg",
    "client_id_issued_at": 1687170414,
    "application_type": "web",
    "cookie_name": "SeaCatSCI_QLFLEAU4D726UPA3"

We will use the client_id and client_cookie in the next step.

Nginx configuration

The minimal configuration requires the following three locations to be defined in nginx: - Client site location: Protected public location with client content (e.g. Kibana app) . - Client introspection: Internal endpoint used by the nginx auth_request directive. - Client cookie entry point: Public endpoint which dispenses the Seacat client cookie at the end of a successful authorization flow.

Client site location

location /kibana/ {
    # Kibana upstream
    proxy_pass http://kibana_api;

    # Auth introspection endpoint
    auth_request /_kibana_introspection;

    # Pass the Batman header obtained from Seacat Auth introspection to Kibana
    auth_request_set $auth_header $upstream_http_authorization;
    proxy_set_header Authorization $auth_header;

    # In the case when introspection detects invalid authorization, redirect to OAuth authorize endpoint
    # !! Use your client's actual client_id !!
    error_page 401$request_uri;

    # Headers required by Kibana
    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;

Client introspection

location = /_kibana_introspection {

    # Seacat Auth Batman introspection upstream
    # !! Use your client's actual client_id !!
    proxy_method          PUT;
    proxy_pass            http://seacat_auth_api/batman/nginx?client_id=RZhlE-D4yuJxoKitYVL4dg;

    proxy_set_header      X-Request-URI "$request_uri";
    proxy_ignore_headers  Cache-Control Expires Set-Cookie;

    # Introspection response caching
    proxy_buffer_size     128k;
    proxy_buffers         4 256k;
    proxy_busy_buffers_size  256k;
    proxy_cache           kibana_auth;
    # !! Fill in your client's actual cookie_name !!
    proxy_cache_key       $cookie_SeaCatSCI_QLFLEAU4D726UPA3;
    proxy_cache_lock      on;
    proxy_cache_valid     200 10s;

Client cookie entry point

Must be located on the same hostname as the protected client location.

location = /auth/api/cookie/kibana {
    # Seacat Auth cookie entry upstream
    proxy_method          POST;
    proxy_pass            http://seacat_auth_api/cookie/entry;

    # Transfer the OAuth authorization code from query to request body
    # !! Use your client's actual client_id !!
    proxy_set_header      Content-Type "application/x-www-form-urlencoded";
    proxy_set_body        "client_id=RZhlE-D4yuJxoKitYVL4dg&grant_type=authorization_code&code=$arg_code";