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Many endpoints exposed by Transiter, such as the install and delete systems endpoints, are subject to permissions restrictions so that arbitrary users cannot alter the Transiter instance. The permissions system is very basic and assumes that Transiter is running behind a reverse proxy like Nginx.

Every endpoint has a required permissions level. In order of increasing restriction, there are three permissions levels:

  1. USER_READ - the default, any user can access this endpoint.
  2. ADMIN_READ - any user with ADMIN_READ or ALL permissions can access this endpoint.
  3. ALL - a user must have ALL permission to access this endpoint.

An endpoint having a required permissions level means that the user of the endpoint must have at that level or higher of permissions.

The permissions level of a user is determined by a specific HTTP header X-Transiter-PermissionsLevel that the user sends in the HTTP request. If not provided, the permission level defaults to ALL.

As currently described, any user hitting Transiter directly has access to all endpoints. The key to the system is putting Transiter behind a reverse proxy like Nginx, and then in forwarding the request to Transiter adding in the desired permissions header. If the Transiter webservice is listening on port 8000, this Nginx config proxies to the webservice and adds the USER_READ permissions:

  location / {
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP  $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Transiter-PermissionsLevel "USER_READ";
    proxy_set_header Host $host;