Authentication Methods Via Dex

This page describes how to setup and configure other forms of authentication via Dex.

Useful Definitions

Authentication - Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user.

Authorization - Authorization is the process of determining if an identified user has access to a particular resource or not.

Connectors - When a user logs in through Dex, the user’s identity is usually stored in another user-management system: a LDAP directory, a GitHub org, etc. Dex acts as a shim between a client app and the upstream identity provider. A connector is a strategy used by Dex for authenticating a user against another identity provider. Dex implements connectors that target specific platforms such as GitHub, LinkedIn, and Microsoft as well as established protocols like LDAP and SAML.

Dex - Dex is an identity service that uses OpenID Connect to drive authentication for other apps. Dex acts as a portal to other identity providers through connectors (see previous definition). This lets Dex defer authentication to LDAP servers, SAML providers, or established identity providers like GitHub, Google, and Active Directory. Clients write their authentication logic once to talk to Dex, then Dex handles the protocols for a given backend. For more information about Dex, click here.

LDAP/AD Auth Protocol - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an open and cross-platform application protocol for directory services authentication. Directory services, such as Active Directory (AD), store user information, account information, and security information like passwords. The service then allows the information to be shared with other devices on the network.

OIDC Auth Protocol - OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an authentication protocol based on the OAuth2 protocol (which is used for authorization). OIDC uses the standardized message flows from OAuth2 to provide identity services. It allows clients to confirm an end user's identity using authentication by an authorization server.

T4K Auth Support - T4K supports authentication via KubeConfig files and via Dex, which is an identity service IDP plugin that uses OpenID Connect to drive authentication for multiple applications, by deferring authentication to other identity providers like LDAP.


Trilio For Kubernetes (T4K) uses Dex as a portal to other identity providers through connectors. For more information about these services, refer to the Useful References section at the top of this page.

A connector is a strategy used by Dex for authenticating a user against another identity provider. Dex implements connectors that target specific platforms such as GitHub, LinkedIn, and Microsoft as well as established protocols like LDAP.


  1. LDAP / AD: LDAP protocol requires one read-only user who can perform LDAP searches to fetch users and groups.

  2. OpenShift: By default, OpenShift clusters already have Login Via OpenShift configured during the Trilio installation. T4K does not require any additional user input for that.


STEP 1: Configure your OIDC authentication provider to allow authentication for T4K Web. Create a new application on the authentication provider portal, then use the T4K callback URL http(s):///dex/callback in the OIDC provider portal, and finally, generate client and secret keys. The following are links to achieve this for the most popular OIDC authentication providers:

  1. Navigate to the Google application's API Credentials page.

  2. From the dropdown displayed, click OAuth client ID.

  3. Type a meaningful Name for the OAuth ID.

  4. Click Create.

Step 2: Prepare a secret.yaml file with the name triliovault-dex that has all the copied details of the authentication provider from Step 1 (Your Client ID and Your Client Secret). Refer to the relevant tab below to guide you how to form your secret.yaml for each of the main providers. You can choose other authentication providers and you can determine what details should be included in the associated secret.yaml file by reviewing the most common options below.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: triliovault-dex
  namespace: <tvk-install-namespace>
  labels: triliovault-dex
type: Opaque
    - type: google
      id: google
      name: Google
        clientSecret: yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
        redirectURI: http://<ingress-domain>/dex/callback

Refer this doc for all other configuration details of all other connectors and any customer configurations required.

Step 3 (Optional) - Only if using 'Port Forwarding' or 'NodePort', update your secret.yaml file created in Step 1 with an additional key T4K_URL. This provides your custom URL with a port to access the T4K dashboard.

  • Insert a new line in the secret.yaml file immediately after code line 9 (applies to all examples given in Step 1) and insert the following: TVK_URL: http://<ingress-domain>:1234

  • Save the secret YAML file using the same name as before.

Step 4: Apply the new secret.yaml in the namespace of the k8s cluster where T4K is installed.

kubectl apply -f <secret.yaml> -n <tvk-namespace>

This causes the creation of the T4K Dex deployment, which will reflect changes on the T4K Management Console UI. You will now find another way of logging in, according to what you have just configured, i.e. Login Via Github.

Step 5: Create a cluster role binding using the below command, making sure to replace the user with your user/email ID and the clusterrolebinding name, since it must be unique:

kubectl create clusterrolebinding admin-binding-1 --clusterrole=cluster-admin --user=<Google ID>

Step 6: Navigate to the Management Console UI login page. You will now see an additional login method, which corresponds to what you have just configured in the previous steps; e.g. Login Via Github.

For LDAP, you will be prompted for your Username and Password.