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Access REST APIs With Teleport Application Access


Application API Access

Teleport Application Access can be used to access applications' (REST or Teleport's own gRPC) APIs with tools like curl or Postman.


You will need a running Teleport cluster, either self hosted or in Teleport Cloud. We'll assume that you followed the Getting Started guide or the general App Access Usage guide to connect the web application providing an API to Teleport.

For simplicity's sake, we'll use Grafana running in a Docker container and execute API queries against it. You can launch Grafana too with a single Docker command:

docker run -d -p 3000:3000 grafana/grafana

Connect Grafana to your Teleport cluster by adding the following section in the Teleport App Service YAML configuration file:

  enabled: yes
  - name: "grafana"
    description: "Test Grafana server"
    uri: "http://localhost:3000"
      "env": "dev"

Accessing the API

Log into your Teleport cluster and view available applications:

tsh login
tsh app ls

Application Description Public Address Labels

----------- ------------------- ---------------------------- -------

grafana Test Grafana server env=dev

Retrieve short-lived X.509 certificate for the application:

tsh app login grafana

Logged into app grafana. Example curl command:

curl \ --cacert /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \ --cert /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \ --key /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \

The login message shows an example curl command you can run to call the target application's API through Teleport App Access.

CA and Key Pair Files

Note the paths to the CA certificate and your user's certificate/key pair in the command - curl will use a client certificate to authenticate with Teleport.

As Grafana's API requires authentication, let's update the curl command to provide basic auth information using default Grafana username/password and call its /api/users endpoint:

curl --user admin:admin \ --cacert /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \ --cert /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \ --key /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/ \

[{"id":1,"name":"","login":"admin","email":"[email protected]","avatarUrl":"/avatar/46d229b033af06a191ff2267bca9ae56","isAdmin":true,"isDisabled":false,"lastSeenAt":"2021-03-18T17:25:59Z","lastSeenAtAge":"\u003c 1m","authLabels":[]}]

The app's X.509 certificate will expire on its own after the TTL allowed by your user's role. You can also remove it explicitly:

tsh app logout

Logged out of app "grafana"

Application information

tsh app config

shows current app URI and paths to the secrets.

This is useful when configuring CLI tools (such as curl) or GUI tools (such as Postman).

Let's print the app information in a table format:

tsh app config

Name: grafana


CA: /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/

Cert: /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/

Key: /Users/alice/.tsh/keys/

We can also provide different --format values to print specific parts of the app configuration:

tsh app config --format=uri

tsh app config --format=ca


tsh app config --format=cert


tsh app config --format=key


This can be useful in automation for simple templating e.g. to construct an appropriate curl command. Using our Grafana /api/users example above:

curl --user admin:admin \ --cacert $(tsh app config --format=ca) \ --cert $(tsh app config --format=cert) \ --key $(tsh app config --format=key) \ $(tsh app config --format=uri)/api/users