Bring enterprise authentication and Single Sign-on (SSO) to OpenFaaS with Okta and OpenID Connect

Note: This article is over 4 years old. IAM for OpenFaaS has replaced all the instructions in this article. See: Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Single Sign-On (SSO)

Enterprise authentication

OpenID Connect is a common standard that builds upon OAuth2 to enable authentication to services and applications. Solutions like Okta can be used to enable Single Sign-On across a number of third-party and in-house applications. This reduces the burden on IT administrators - fewer requests to reset passwords, fewer employees will share credentials and policy can enforced in one place.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to setup Okta and OpenFaaS with the OIDC / OAuth2 authentication module. The OIDC auth module for OpenFaaS is a commercial add-on included in our OpenFaaS Pro Subscription.

If you don’t have an active OpenFaaS Pro Subscription, then you will need to apply for a trial key here: Apply for a 14-day trial.

Tutorial overview

  • Create a developer account with Okta
  • Register a domain or DNS sub-zone
  • Create an App in Okta
  • Collect OIDC URLS, IDs and credentials
  • Setup OpenFaaS with TLS, Ingress and the authentication module
  • Configure your DNS
  • Test out logging into OpenFaaS with Okta

Create a developer account with Okta

Head over to and create a developer account.

Register a domain or DNS sub-zone

You will need to register a domain, or to setup a sub-zone if you already own a domain.

I’ll be using the zone and then adding two entries later on in a later step.

Google Domains provide a cost-effective option.

Create an App in Okta

We will have two URLs for OpenFaaS:

  • - the OpenFaaS gateway
  • - the OpenFaaS OIDC connector

You will note that we are using the second domain here:

A valid redirect domain of is also required if you plan to use the faas-cli to authenticate to OpenFaaS.

Create the app

Collect OIDC URLs, IDs and credentials

Collect your various URLs, IDs and credentials

Get the client_id and secret values:

Get the app secrets

I was assigned a random domain of dev-624219, the corresponding URLs will be

export authServerId=default

curl -s https://${yourOktaDomain}/oauth2/${authServerId}/.well-known/openid-configuration

If you pipe the result to jq, or save it as JSON and format it, you’ll see the important URLs that OpenFaaS needs:

  "issuer": "",
  "authorization_endpoint": "",
  "token_endpoint": "",
  "userinfo_endpoint": "",
  "registration_endpoint": "",
  "jwks_uri": ""

You should set the cookieDomain to the domain or DNS-zone that was created.

Fill out the following and save it as, but do not run it yet.

export PROVIDER=""              # Set this to "azure" if using Azure AD.
export LICENSE=""
export ROOT_DOMAIN=""
export yourOktaDomain=""

arkade install openfaas \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.enabled=true \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.provider=$PROVIDER \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.license=$LICENSE \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.insecureTLS=false \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.scopes="openid profile email" \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.jwksURL=https://$yourOktaDomain/oauth2/default/v1/keys \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.tokenURL=https://$yourOktaDomain/oauth2/default/v1/token \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.audience=https://gw.$ROOT_DOMAIN \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.authorizeURL=https://$yourOktaDomain/oauth2/default/v1/authorize \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.welcomePageURL=https://gw.$ROOT_DOMAIN \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.cookieDomain=.$ROOT_DOMAIN \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.baseHost=https://auth.$ROOT_DOMAIN \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.clientSecret=$OAUTH_CLIENT_SECRET \
  --set oidcAuthPlugin.clientID=$OAUTH_CLIENT_ID

If you’re using a GitOps tool or helm to install OpenFaaS, then the above options can be written into your values.yaml file instead. The clientSecret is a confidential value, so don’t commit this to a public repo.

For instance:

  enabled: true

Setup OpenFaaS with TLS, Ingress and the auth plugin

Before running the script, you’ll either need a public Kubernetes cluster, or a private/on-premises cluster using inlets PRO to provide a LoadBalancer with a public IP.

Install an IngressController if you don’t already have one:

arkade install ingress-nginx

Install cert-manager if you don’t already have it:

arkade install cert-manager

Install OpenFaaS using Note that if you have got a setting wrong, you can edit and run it again at any time.

Create a TLS and Ingress record for the gateway and the OIDC provider:

arkade install openfaas-ingress \
 --email \
 --domain \

Configure your DNS

Your TLS certs cannot be issued until you create some DNS records.

Run the following:

kubectl get svc ingress-nginx-controller

If you have an IP address showing under EXTERNAL-IP, then create two A records for the two subdomains. If you see a DNS record, as per AWS EKS, then create a CNAME for them instead.


Check that the DNS entries have propagated using ping -c 1

In a few moments you should see both certificates created:

kubectl get cert -n openfaas

If you think there’s a problem, run kubectl describe -n openfaas order

Test out logging into OpenFaaS with Okta

We have now configured a Kubernetes cluster with an IngressController, cert-manager and OpenFaaS with the OIDC auth add-on. It’s time to try logging in.

Head over to the gateway’s UI in a browser:

Note: If you’re seeing a certificate error and the “Kubernetes Ingress Controller Fake Certificate” CA, then you need to go back to the previous step and double-check everything. Even if the DNS configuration is correct, it can take a few minutes for the certificate to be issued.

You should be redirected to your Okta developer domain, where you will be asked to log in with the user in Okta.

Log in

View the portal:


You can also log into OpenFaaS using the CLI for use on your laptop using the faas-cli auth command to obtain and store a token.

export CLIENT_ID="0oazbx89opTdXdOql4x6"
faas-cli auth \
  --grant code
  --client-id $CLIENT_ID \
  --auth-url \
  --token-url \
  --gateway \

Note: some OIDC providers like Azure Active Directory require “localhost” instead of to be given for this flow. You can provide --redirect-host=localhost when using Azure.

Starting local token server on port 31111

credentials saved for

Example usage:
  # Use an explicit token
  faas-cli list --gateway "" --token "REDACTED"

  # Use the saved token
  faas-cli list --gateway ""

Then you can use faas-cli from your machine using the token:

faas-cli list --gateway ""
Function                      	Invocations    	Replicas
nodeinfo                      	0              	1    

When you need to use a token from CI, we provide instructions for the clients_credentials flow in the OpenFaaS documentation (referenced in the summary).

Now you can invite your team and co-workers to collaborate with you and build serverless functions.

Use the User panel to add new users to Okta, or if they are already in your Okta account, setup a new OpenFaaS Group and add them to that.

Adding a new user

Wrapping up

In a relatively short period of time, we’ve been able to authenticate to OpenFaaS using Okta and a single login. Any OIDC provider should work and I’ve tested the code with GitLab, Auth0 and GitLab so far. From here, it’s easy to add other users to the OpenFaaS app, and to send them an invite over email to join.

What about authorization?

Today the authorization piece is still limited. Any valid users who are in the correct group for the OpenFaaS App in Okta will be administrators in OpenFaaS. So whilst they won’t have kubectl access, they will be able to perform CRUD operations on functions using faas-cli, the UI and the REST API.

OpenFaaS has multiple-namespace support, and adding authorization is within sights. Do you want to see authorization on a per namespace basis? Do you need it per function? Would read-only roles be a valuable addition?

Perhaps just adding OpenID Connect with Okta, Auth0, or GitLab to your corporate OpenFaaS deployment is enough, or maybe you need finer-grained authorization. I’d like to hear from you.

You can contact me at

See also:

Alex Ellis

Founder of @openfaas.