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Configure the Pinniped Supervisor to use Okta as an OIDC provider

The Supervisor is an OpenID Connect (OIDC) issuer that supports connecting “upstream” identity providers to many “downstream” cluster clients.

This guide shows you how to configure the Supervisor so that users can authenticate to their Kubernetes cluster using their Okta credentials.


This how-to guide assumes that you have already installed the Pinniped Supervisor with working ingress, and that you have configured a FederationDomain to issue tokens for your downstream clusters.

Create an Okta Application

Follow the instructions for setting up an app using authcode flow and create an app. Optionally follow the instructions for customizing tokens returned from Okta with a groups claim if you want to pass users' Okta group information through to your Kubernetes clusters.

For example, to create an app:

  1. In the Okta Admin Console, navigate to Applications > Applications.
  2. Create a new app:
    1. Click Create App Integration.
    2. For Sign-on method, select OIDC.
    3. For Application type, app Web Application, then click next. Only if you would like to offer the password grant flow to your end users, then choose Native Application instead.
    4. Enter a name for your app, such as “My Kubernetes Clusters”.
    5. If you chose to create a Web Application then in the General Settings section, choose Grant Types Authorization Code and Refresh Token.
    6. If you chose Native Application then in the General Settings section, choose Grant Types Authorization Code, Refresh Token, and Resource Owner Password.
    7. Enter the sign-in redirect URI. This is the spec.issuer you configured in your FederationDomain appended with /callback.
    8. Optionally select Limit access to selected groups to restrict which Okta users can log in to Kubernetes using this integration.
    9. Save the app and make note of the Client ID and Client secret. If you chose to create a Native Application then there is an extra step required to get a client secret: after saving the app, in the Client Credentials section click Edit, choose Use Client Authentication, and click Save.
    10. Navigate to the Sign On tab > OpenID Connect ID Token and click Edit. Fill in the Groups claim filter. For example, for all groups to be present under the claim name groups, fill in “groups” in the first box, then select “Matches regex” and “.*”.

Configure the Supervisor

Create an OIDCIdentityProvider in the same namespace as the Supervisor.

For example, this OIDCIdentityProvider and corresponding Secret use Okta’s email claim as the Kubernetes username:

kind: OIDCIdentityProvider
  namespace: pinniped-supervisor
  name: okta

  # Specify the upstream issuer URL (no trailing slash). Change this to be the
  # actual issuer provided by your Okta account.

  # Specify how to form authorization requests to Okta.

    # Request any scopes other than "openid" for claims besides
    # the default claims in your token. The "openid" scope is always
    # included.
    # To learn more about how to customize the claims returned, see here:
    additionalScopes: [offline_access, groups, email]

    # If you would also like to allow your end users to authenticate using
    # a password grant, then change this to true. Password grants only work
    # with applications created in Okta as "Native Applications".
    allowPasswordGrant: false

  # Specify how Okta claims are mapped to Kubernetes identities.

    # Specify the name of the claim in your Okta token that will be mapped
    # to the "username" claim in downstream tokens minted by the Supervisor.
    username: email

    # Specify the name of the claim in Okta that represents the groups
    # that the user belongs to. This matches what you specified above
    # with the Groups claim filter.
    groups: groups

  # Specify the name of the Kubernetes Secret that contains your Okta
  # application's client credentials (created below).
    secretName: okta-client-credentials

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  namespace: pinniped-supervisor
  name: okta-client-credentials

  # The "Client ID" that you got from Okta.
  clientID: "<your-client-id>"

  # The "Client secret" that you got from Okta.
  clientSecret: "<your-client-secret>"

Note that the of the OIDCIdentityProvider resource may be visible to end users at login prompts if you choose to enable allowPasswordGrant, so choose a name which will be understood by your end users. For example, if you work at Acme Corp, choose something like acme-corporate-okta over my-idp.

Once your OIDCIdentityProvider has been created, you can validate your configuration by running:

kubectl describe OIDCIdentityProvider -n pinniped-supervisor okta

Look at the status field. If it was configured correctly, you should see phase: Ready.

Next steps

Next, configure the Concierge to validate JWTs issued by the Supervisor! Then you’ll be able to log into those clusters as any of the users from the Okta directory.