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Anonymous strategy


The anonymous strategy removes any authentication requirement. Users will have access to Kiali without providing any credentials.

Although the anonymous strategy doesn’t provide any access protection, it’s valid for some use-cases. Some examples known from the community:

  • Exposing Kiali through a reverse proxy, where the reverse proxy is providing a custom authentication mechanism.

  • Exposing Kiali on an already limited network of trusted users.

  • When Kiali is accessed through kubectl port-forward or alike commands that allow usage of the cluster’s RBAC capabilities to limit access.

  • When developing Kiali, where a developer has a private instance on his own machine.

  It’s worth to empasize that the anonymous strategy will leave Kiali unsecured. If you are using this option, make sure that Kiali is available only to trusted users, or access is protected by other means.


To use the anonymous strategy, use the following configuration in the Kiali CR:

    strategy: anonymous

The anonymous strategy doesn’t have any additional configuration.

Access control

When using the anonymous strategy, the content displayed in Kiali is based on the permissions of the Kiali service account. By default, the Kiali service account has cluster wide access and will be able to display everything in the cluster.

If you are running Kiali in OpenShift, access can be customized by changing privileges to the Kiali ServiceAccount. For example, to reduce permissions to individual namespaces, first, remove the cluster-wide permissions granted by default:

  oc delete clusterrolebindings kiali

Then grant the kiali role only in needed namespaces. For example:

  oc adm policy add-role-to-user kiali system:serviceaccount:istio-system:kiali-service-account -n ${NAMESPACE}

Alternatively, you can tell the Kiali Operator to install Kiali in "view only" mode (this does work for either OpenShift or Kubernetes). You do this by setting the view_only_mode to true in the Kiali CR, which allows Kiali to read service mesh resources found in the cluster, but it does not allow any change:

    view_only_mode: true