How can I setup an nginx proxy_pass directive that will also include HTTP Basic authentication information sent to the proxy host?

This is an example of the URL I need to proxy to:

http://username:[email protected]/export?uuid=1234567890

The end goal is to allow 1 server present files from another server (the one we're proxying to) without exposing the URI of the proxy server. I have this working 90% correct now from following the Nginx config found here:


I just need to add in the HTTP Basic authentication to send to the proxy server

  • 1
    @all: Be sure you need HTTP Basic authentication when using this solution - not HTTP Digest Authentication ;) Had quite a hard time debugging around until I figured it out ... stackoverflow.com/questions/9534602/… Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 9:27

4 Answers 4


I did a writeup on this a while ago. See the details here:


For example:

 location / {
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header Authorization "Basic a2luZzppc25ha2Vk";

"a2luZzppc25ha2Vk" is "king:isnaked" base64 encoded, so that would work for

http://king:[email protected]

Feel free to check out blog post for more details.

  • 2
    The link is broken
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 6:30
  • 1
    Link is now here: shairosenfeld.blogspot.com/search?q=nginx in case anyone is wondering
    – ckm
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 22:25
  • 1
    I need something more difficult
    – Ilja
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 0:02
  • 7
    Your solution is not flexible enough. It could be very useful to encode username:password on the fly. First, nginx must parse username:password from URL, secondly, nginx must encode this data and set in appropriate header. I don't want to hardcode encoded credentials.
    – Johnny
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 16:42
  • 1
    lol @Alex, you tried the link?
    – caub
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 7:09

I got this working with alvosu's answer but I had to enter the word "Basic" inside the quotation of the base64 string so it looked like this:

proxy_set_header Authorization "Basic dGVzdHN0cmluZw==";


proxy_set_header Authorization "Basic USER_AND_PASS"

where USER_AND_PASS = base64(user:pass).


Remove the authorization header that gets passed forwarded by nginx with proxy_set_header Authorization "";.

I configured nginx to do basic auth but the Authorization header was getting passed along in the proxy_pass directive and the receiving end couldn't handle the token.

# Basic Auth
auth_basic "Private Stuff";
auth_basic_user_file /etc/nginx/.htpasswd;

location /server {
    proxy_set_header Authorization "";

(Specific to my case, this error was returned Reason: No AuthenticationProvider found for org.springframework.security.authentication.UsernamePasswordAuthenticationToken)

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