Forwarded Headers#

You may have a middleware that does authentication and then passes identity on to web applications in a header. If you do, then Grist can be configured to respect that header.


The redirection logic for authentication using forwarded headers currently assumes a single team site configuration, and may misbehave for multi-site configurations.

To make this work, here is what you’ll need to do:

  • Set GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_HEADER to a header that will contain authorized user emails, say x-forwarded-user. This needs to match what your middleware will set.
  • Make sure the /auth/login path is handled by your middleware before reaching Grist.
  • Set GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_LOGOUT_PATH to a path that will trigger a logout for your middleware (for example, /_oauth/logout). Make sure that the logout path is handled by your middleware!
  • If you want to allow anonymous access in some cases, make sure all other Grist paths are free of your middleware. Grist will trigger the middleware (by redirecting to /auth/login) as needed. It’s a good idea to strip GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_HEADER from outside requests on all paths that aren’t handled by your middleware.
  • Your middleware may allow you to specify where to forward the user to after logging out. That should be /signed-out on the Grist site.

Example: traefik-forward-auth#

traefik-forward-auth is “A minimal forward authentication service that provides OAuth/SSO login and authentication for the traefik reverse proxy/load balancer.”

  • The GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_HEADER should be X-Forwarded-User, and this should be set in the authResponseHeaders settings for traefik.

  • The GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_LOGOUT_PATH should be /_oauth/logout, unless you have changed the default url-path setting for traefik-forward-auth.

  • LOGOUT_REDIRECT for traefik-forward-auth should be https://<grist-site>/signed-out.

There are worked examples at A template for self-hosting Grist with traefik and docker compose and Grist Omnibus.


For many, this method of authentication works great. A user with multiple web apps served by the same middleware had difficulty coordinating logouts. That could be resolved by applying the middleware to all Grist paths and setting GRIST_IGNORE_SESSION=true so Grist has no separate notion of who is signed in. But then sharing some documents with everyone publically (without signing in) became a problem. Note that with GRIST_IGNORE_SESSION=true, Grist will trust GRIST_FORWARD_AUTH_HEADER on all requests, so it is imperative that you have middleware that overrides or strips this header for all outside requests before forwarding them to Grist.

If on the contrary you want to be sure the user must be logged in before using Grist in any way, you can set GRIST_FORCE_LOGIN=true.