Table of Content

Running Thanos behind a reverse proxy #

There are many reasons to use a reverse proxy in front of Thanos, for example, TLS termination (serve Thanos over HTTPS) and basic authentication. This small guide will tell you how to do that.

External Prefix and Route Prefix #

Before continuing, let’s first take a look at two CLI flags provided by Thanos, --web.external-prefix and --web.route-prefix. The external prefix is useful when you want to prefix all requests from the UI with some path. Normally, the web UI would load all static assets from /static/..., do API calls on /api/v1/... etc. But if we use --web.external-prefix="thanos" the UI would prefix each request with /thanos. It would try to load all assets from /thanos/static/..., do API calls on /thanos/api/v1/... and so on. One thing to note here is that --web.external-prefix only prefixes the requests and redirects with the specified value, but Thanos is still listening on the root, not the specified sub-path i.e. the API is still accessible at /api/v1/... and not at /thanos/api/v1. This is where --web.route-prefix comes in. If you set --web.route-prefix="thanos" every route would get prefixed with the specified value. For example, the API will be accessible on /thanos/api/v1. As this is the most common use case when using the --web.external-prefix, the default value of --web.route-prefix is the value of --web.external-prefix.

Note: Using different values for --web.external-prefix and --web.route-prefix can lead to the web UI not working properly if it is accessed directly (without a reverse proxy).

Examples #

Let’s look into some example scenarios. All examples are using nginx as a reverse proxy here.

Serving Thanos on a subdomain #

Serving a Thanos component on the root of a subdomain is pretty straight-forward. Let’s say you want to run Thanos Query behind a nginx reverse proxy, accessible on domain thanos.example.com. A basic nginx configuration would look like this:

http {
    server {
        listen 80;
        server_name thanos.example.com;

        location / {
            proxy_pass    http://localhost:10902/;
        }
    }
}

Serving Thanos on a sub-path #

Things become a little tricky when you want to serve Thanos on a sub-path. Let’s say, you want to run Thanos Query behind an nginx server, accessible on the URL http://example.com/thanos. The Thanos web UI depends on it being accessed on the same URL as Thanos itself is listening. This is because the UI needs to know the URL from where to load static assets and what URL to use in links or redirects. If Thanos is behind a reverse proxy, particularly one where Thanos is not at the root, this doesn’t work so well.

To tackle this problem, Thanos provides a flag --web.external-prefix.

Let’s say we have Thanos Query running on the usual port, we need nginx running with the following configuration:

http {
    server {
        listen 80;
        server_name example.com;

        location /thanos/ {
            proxy_pass    http://localhost:10902/thanos/;
        }
    }
}

With this configuration, you can access Thanos Query on http://example.com/thanos. Notice that because we are using http://localhost:10902/thanos/ as the reverse proxy target, every request path will be prefixed with /thanos. To make this work we need to run Thanos Query like this:

thanos query --web.external-prefix="thanos"

It should be noted that now the /thanos path prefix would be required for all HTTP access to Thanos. For example, the /metrics endpoint would be accessible at http://localhost:10902/thanos/metrics.


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