I have a Kubernetes cluster with an external load balancer on a self hosted server running NGINX. I tried to activate the proxy_protocol in order to get the real_ip of clients but NGINX logs are

2020/05/11 14:57:54 [error] 29614#29614: *1325 broken header: "▒▒▒▒▒▒▒Ωߑa"5▒li<c▒*▒ ▒▒▒s▒       ▒6▒▒▒▒▒X▒▒o▒▒▒E▒▒i▒{ ▒/▒0▒+▒,̨̩▒▒ ▒▒
▒▒/5▒" while reading PROXY protocol, client:, server:

Here is my NGINX configuration file:

worker_processes 4;
worker_rlimit_nofile 40000;

events {
    worker_connections 8192;

stream {

    upstream rancher_servers_http {
        server <IP_NODE_1>:80 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;
        server <IP_NODE_2>:80 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;
        server <IP_NODE_3>:80 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;
    server {
        listen     80;
        proxy_protocol on;
        proxy_pass rancher_servers_http;

    upstream rancher_servers_https {
        server <IP_NODE_1>:443 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;
        server <IP_NODE_2>:443 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;
        server <IP_NODE_3>:443 max_fails=3 fail_timeout=5s;

    server {
        listen     443 ssl proxy_protocol;
        ssl_certificate /certs/fullchain.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /certs/privkey.pem;
        proxy_pass rancher_servers_https;
        proxy_protocol on;

Here is my configmap for the ingress-controller:

apiVersion: v1
  compute-full-forwarded-for: "true"
  proxy-body-size: 500M
  proxy-protocol: "true"
  use-forwarded-headers: "true"
kind: ConfigMap
    kubectl.kubernetes.io/last-applied-configuration: '{"apiVersion":"v1","data":null,"kind":"ConfigMap","metadata":{"annotations":{},"labels":{"app":"ingress-nginx"},"name":"nginx-configuration","namespace":"ingress-nginx"}}'
  creationTimestamp: "2019-12-09T13:26:59Z"
    app: ingress-nginx
  name: nginx-configuration
  namespace: ingress-nginx

Everything was working fine before I add the proxy_protocol directive but now I got all these broken headers errors and I can't reach any services behind ingresses without getting a connection reset error.

What could be wrong with my config ?

Should I use an http reverse proxy instead of a tcp reverse proxy ?

Thank you.


I should also say that I doesn't have any service of type LoadBalancer in my cluster. Should I have one ? I'm thinking of Metallb but I'm not sure what it will add to my configuration as I'm already load balancing to nodes with nginx.


Nginx allows you to specify whether to use proxy_protocol in incoming or outgoing requests, and you're confusing the two.

To use proxy_protocol in incoming connections, you have to add proxy_protocol to the listen line like this:

listen     443 ssl proxy_protocol;

To use proxy_protocol in outgoing connections, you have to use the standalone proxy_protocol directive, like this:

proxy_protocol on;

They are not the same. In a load balancer, incoming connections come from browsers, which do not speak the proxy protocol. You want proxy protocol only in your outgoing requests, to the nginx-ingress in your kubernetes cluster.

Therefore, remove the proxy_protocol argument from the listen directive, and it should work.

Additionally, you want use-forwarded-headers: "false" in your nginx-ingress config. That controls whether to use the X-Forwarded-For & co. headers in incoming connections (from the point of view of the nginx-ingress, ie outgoing from your load balancer), and you're using proxy protocol in these instead of the headers. With it enabled, your users may be able to spoof IPs by specifying X-Forwarded-For, which can be a security issue. (only if nginx-ingress gives priority to the headers over the proxy protocol, which I'm not sure)

An aside: nginx-ingress itself already load-balances traffic between all pods. With your architecture, you're running two "layers" of load balancers, which is probably unnecessary. If you want to simplify, force nginx-ingress to run on a single node (with nodeSelector for example) and simply send all your traffic to that node. If you want to keep the load balancer on a dedicated machine, you can join the 4th machine to the cluster and make sure it just runs nginx-ingress (with taints and tolerations).

Also, make sure you're running nginx-ingress with hostNetwork: true, otherwise you may be having yet another layer of balancing (kube-proxy, the kubernetes service proxy)

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