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Role Based Access Control (RBAC)


This example applies to ingress-nginx-controllers being deployed in an environment with RBAC enabled.

Role Based Access Control is comprised of four layers:

  1. ClusterRole - permissions assigned to a role that apply to an entire cluster
  2. ClusterRoleBinding - binding a ClusterRole to a specific account
  3. Role - permissions assigned to a role that apply to a specific namespace
  4. RoleBinding - binding a Role to a specific account

In order for RBAC to be applied to an ingress-nginx-controller, that controller should be assigned to a ServiceAccount. That ServiceAccount should be bound to the Roles and ClusterRoles defined for the ingress-nginx-controller.

Service Accounts created in this example

One ServiceAccount is created in this example, ingress-nginx.

Permissions Granted in this example

There are two sets of permissions defined in this example. Cluster-wide permissions defined by the ClusterRole named ingress-nginx, and namespace specific permissions defined by the Role named ingress-nginx.

Cluster Permissions

These permissions are granted in order for the ingress-nginx-controller to be able to function as an ingress across the cluster. These permissions are granted to the ClusterRole named ingress-nginx

  • configmaps, endpoints, nodes, pods, secrets: list, watch
  • nodes: get
  • services, ingresses: get, list, watch
  • events: create, patch
  • ingresses/status: update

Namespace Permissions

These permissions are granted specific to the ingress-nginx namespace. These permissions are granted to the Role named ingress-nginx

  • configmaps, pods, secrets: get
  • endpoints: get

Furthermore to support leader-election, the ingress-nginx-controller needs to have access to a configmap using the resourceName ingress-controller-leader-nginx

Note that resourceNames can NOT be used to limit requests using the “create” verb because authorizers only have access to information that can be obtained from the request URL, method, and headers (resource names in a “create” request are part of the request body).

  • configmaps: get, update (for resourceName ingress-controller-leader-nginx)
  • configmaps: create

This resourceName is the concatenation of the election-id and the ingress-class as defined by the ingress-controller, which defaults to:

  • election-id: ingress-controller-leader
  • ingress-class: nginx
  • resourceName : <election-id>-<ingress-class>

Please adapt accordingly if you overwrite either parameter when launching the ingress-nginx-controller.


The ServiceAccount ingress-nginx is bound to the Role ingress-nginx and the ClusterRole ingress-nginx.

The serviceAccountName associated with the containers in the deployment must match the serviceAccount. The namespace references in the Deployment metadata, container arguments, and POD_NAMESPACE should be in the ingress-nginx namespace.