Enabling Plugins

In this section, you'll learn how to configure Kong plugins. One of the core principles of Kong is its extensibility through plugins. Plugins allow you to easily add new features to your API or make your API easier to manage.

In the steps below you will configure the key-auth plugin to add authentication to your API. Prior to the addition of this plugin, all requests to your API would be proxied upstream. Once you add and configure this plugin, only requests with the correct API key(s) will be proxied - all other requests will be rejected by Kong, thus protecting your upstream service from unauthorized use.

1. Configure the key-auth plugin for your API

Issue the following cURL request on the previously created API named example-api:

$ curl -i -X POST \
  --url http://localhost:8001/apis/example-api/plugins/ \
  --data 'name=key-auth'

Or, add your first plugin via the Admin GUI:

Note: This plugin also accepts a config.key_names parameter, which defaults to [apikey]. It is a list of headers and parameters names (both are supported) that are supposed to contain the API key during a request.

2. Verify that the plugin is properly configured

Issue the following cURL request to verify that the key-auth plugin was properly configured on the API:

$ curl -i -X GET \
  --url http://localhost:8000/ \
  --header 'Host: example.com'

Since you did not specify the required apikey header or parameter, the response should be 401 Unauthorized:

HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
...

{
  "message": "No API key found in request"
}

Next Steps

Now that you've configured the key-auth plugin, let's learn to add Consumers to your API so we can continue proxying requests through Kong.

Go to Adding Consumers ›

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