Content outline

Feb 18, 2020
2 Min read

How to set up OpenResty reverse proxy for OpenStack

OpenResty is a web platform based on NGINX. So, our NGINX reverse proxy can be replaced with OpenResty.

We have setup a reverse proxy with NGINX for OpenStack APIs, and configured logging also becasuse logs are an essential part of troubleshooting.

But, there’s a limitation in our setup. NGINX log module cannot read the HTTP response body. While this may be acceptable for most web applications, for an OpenStack integration, the ability to log the total HTTP message body could save you from a lot of guess work.

This is where OpenResty comes to help. OpenResty is a web platform that integrates NGINX and LuaJIT. OpenResty also includes ngx_http_lua_module, which implements many advanced functions for manipulating HTTP requests and responses. So, let’s get started.

Install OpenResty

If you have NGINX already installed, you have to disable it first.

$ sudo systemctl disable nginx.service
$ sudo systemctl stop nginx.service

We are using Ubuntu 18.04, and OpenResty is not availale there in the standard repositories, so we have to use repositories provided by OpenResty.

sudo apt-get -y install --no-install-recommends wget gnupg ca-certificates
wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get -y install --no-install-recommends software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install openresty

Configure reverse proxy

OpenResty configurations are stored in /usr/local/openresty/nginx/conf. The nginx.conf file holds all the configurations, and follows the same pattern as NGINX configurations.

For each OpenStack service we add a server contex within http context. Here is the configuration for Keystone service. Note the configuration frome line 6 to 13, which copies the contents of HTTP response body to a variable.

        listen 35357 ssl;
        ssl_certificate /home/ubuntu/ssl_keys/proxy.cert;
        ssl_certificate_key /home/ubuntu/ssl_keys/proxy.key; 
        lua_need_request_body on;
        set $resp_body "";
        body_filter_by_lua '
            local resp_body = string.sub(ngx.arg[1], 1, 10000)
            ngx.ctx.buffered = (ngx.ctx.buffered or "") .. resp_body
            if ngx.arg[2] then
                ngx.var.resp_body = ngx.ctx.buffered
        location / {
            proxy_pass https://openstack.dc1.telco.xy:35357;
            proxy_ssl_trusted_certificate /home/ubuntu/ssl_key/openstack.crt;

Similarly, you have to add the configurations for all other OpenStack services. Then the variable $resp_body will be available for log_format in http contex.

    log_format  long_format escape=none  '$remote_addr - $server_port - $remote_user [$time_local] - $status - "$request" '
                     '$body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                     '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for" req_body:"$request_body" resp_body:"$resp_body"';

    access_log  logs/access.log  long_format;

Apply the configurations

Test the new configurations:

$ sudo openresty -t

If the test is successful, restart OpenResty service for the new configurations to be effective.

$ sudo systemctl restart openresty.service

Initiate few API requests, and check the log file at /usr/local/openresty/nginx/logs to verify our new log format.

This post described the basic usage of OpenResty as a reverse proxy for OpenStack. In a future post we will explore about access restrictions that can be applied by the reverse proxy.