In this section, you’ll learn how to configure Kong plugins. One of the core
principles of Kong is its extensibility through plugins. Plugins
allow you to easily add new features to your API or make your API easier to
In the steps below you will configure the key-auth plugin to add
authentication to your API. Prior to the addition of this plugin, all
requests to your API would be proxied upstream. Once you add and configure this
plugin, only requests with the correct API key(s) will be proxied - all
other requests will be rejected by Kong, thus protecting your upstream service
from unauthorized use.
1. Configure the key-auth plugin for your API
Issue the following cURL request on the previously created API named
$ curl -i -X POST \
--url http://localhost:8001/apis/example-api/plugins/ \
**Note:** This plugin also accepts a `config.key_names` parameter, which
defaults to `[apikey]`. It is a list of headers and parameters names (both
are supported) that are supposed to contain the API key during a request.
2. Verify that the plugin is properly configured
Issue the following cURL request to verify that the [key-auth][key-auth]
plugin was properly configured on the API:
$ curl -i -X GET \
--url http://localhost:8000/ \
--header 'Host: example.com'
Since you did not specify the required `apikey` header or parameter, the
response should be `401 Unauthorized`:
HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
"message": "No API key found in request"
Now that you’ve configured the key-auth plugin lets learn how to add
consumers to your API so we can continue proxying requests through Kong.
Go to Adding Consumers ›