Teleport 16: Advancing Infrastructure Defense in Depth with Device Trust, MFA, and VNET
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Use JWT Tokens With Application Access

Teleport sends a JWT token signed with Teleport's authority with each request to a target application in a Teleport-Jwt-Assertion header.

You can use the JWT token to get information about the authenticated Teleport user, its roles, and its traits. This allows you to:

  • Map Teleport identity/roles/traits onto the identity/roles/traits of your web application.
  • Trust Teleport identity to automatically sign in users into your application.

Introduction to JWTs

JSON Web Token (JWT) is an open standard that defines a secure way to transfer information between parties as a JSON Object.

For an in-depth explanation please visit

Teleport JWTs include three sections:

  • Header
  • Payload
  • Signature

Example Header

  "alg": "RS256",
  "typ": "JWT"


Example Payload

  "aud": [
  "iss": "aws",
  "nbf": 1603835795,
  "sub": "alice",
  // Teleport user name.
  "username": "alice"
  // Teleport user roles.
  "roles": [
  // Teleport user traits.
  "traits": {
    "logins": [
  // Teleport identity expiration.
  "exp": 1603943800,

The JWT will be sent with the header: Teleport-Jwt-Assertion.

Example Teleport JWT Assertion


Inject JWT

You can inject a JWT token into any header using headers passthrough configuration and the {{internal.jwt}} template variable. This variable will be replaced with JWT token signed by Teleport JWT CA containing user identity information like described above.

For example:

- name: "elasticsearch"
  uri: https://localhost:4321
    - "Authorization: Bearer {{internal.jwt}}"

Validate JWT

Teleport provides a JSON Web Key Set (jwks) endpoint to verify that the JWT can be trusted. This endpoint is https://[cluster-name]:3080/.well-known/jwks.json:

Example jwks.json

  "keys": [
      "kty": "RSA",
      "n": "xk-0VSVZY76QGqeN9TD-FJp32s8jZrpsalnRoFwlZ_JwPbbd5-_bPKcz8o2tv1eJS0Ll6ePxRCyK68Jz2UC4V4RiYaqJCRq_qVpDQMB1sQ7p9M-8qvT82FJ-Rv-W4RNe3xRmBSFDYdXaFm51Uk8OIYfv-oZ0kGptKpkNY390aJOzjHPH2MqSvhk9Xn8GwM8kEbpSllavdJCRPCeNVGJXiSCsWrOA_wsv_jqBP6g3UOA9GnI8R6HR14OxV3C184vb3NxIqxtrW0C4W6UtSbMDcKcNCgajq2l56pHO8In5GoPCrHqlo379LE5QqpXeeHj8uqcjeGdxXTuPrRq1AuBpvQ",
      "e": "AQAB",
      "alg": "RS256"

See the example Go program used to validate Teleport's JWT tokens on our GitHub.

Application guides

Many existing web applications and APIs support JWT authentication.

The following guides are currently available showing how to configure it: