Being a multi-tenant application, dask-gateway-server needs a method to authenticate users. Like backends, authentication is also configurable by setting c.DaskGateway.authenticator_class. Here we document a few common implementations.

Simple authentication for testing

For testing purposes, a “simple” authentication method can be used. This method implements authentication with no validation of the password field. As such, it is not suitable for production, only for testing. If desired, an optional password can be configured to be shared across all users. Note that this only marginally makes things more secure, as users can still easily impersonate each other.

This protocol is the default, and is implemented by dask_gateway_server.auth.SimpleAuthenticator. No further configuration is needed to enable it. If you would like to add a shared password, you can do so by adding the following line to your file:

# Set a shared password.
c.SimpleAuthenticator.password = "mypassword"

For more information see the SimpleAuthenticator docs.

Kerberos authentication

Kerberos can be used to authenticate users by enabling the dask_gateway_server.auth.KerberosAuthenticator. To do this, you’ll need to create a HTTP service principal and keytab for the host running dask-gateway-server (if one doesn’t already exist). Keytabs can be created on the command-line as:

# Create the HTTP principal (if not already created)
$ kadmin -q "addprinc -randkey HTTP/FQDN"

# Create a keytab
$ kadmin -q "xst -norandkey -k /etc/dask-gateway/http.keytab HTTP/FQDN"

where FQDN is the fully qualified domain name of the host running dask-gateway-server.

Store the keytab file wherever you see fit. We recommend storing it along with the other configuration (usually in /etc/dask-gateway/). You’ll also want to make sure that http.keytab is only readable by admin users (usually just the dask user running dask-gateway-server).

$ chown dask /etc/dask-gateway/http.keytab
$ chmod 400 /etc/dask-gateway/http.keytab

To configure dask-gateway-server to use this keytab file, you’ll need to add the following line to your

# Enable Kerberos for user-facing authentication
c.DaskGateway.authenticator_class = "dask_gateway_server.auth.KerberosAuthenticator"

# The location of the HTTP keytab
c.KerberosAuthenticator.keytab = "/etc/dask-gateway/http.keytab"

For more information see the KerberosAuthenticator docs.

Using JupyterHub’s authentication

JupyterHub provides a multi-user interactive notebook environment. When deploying Dask-Gateway alongside JupyterHub, you can configure Dask-Gateway to use JupyterHub for authentication. To do this, we register dask-gateway as a JupyterHub Service.

First we need to generate an API Token - this is commonly done using openssl:

$ openssl rand -hex 32

Then add the following lines to your file:

c.DaskGateway.authenticator_class = "dask_gateway_server.auth.JupyterHubAuthenticator"
c.JupyterHubAuthenticator.api_token = "<API TOKEN>"
c.JupyterHubAuthenticator.api_url = "<API URL>"


  • <API TOKEN> is the token generated above

  • <API URL> is JupyterHub’s API url. This is usually of the form https://<JUPYTERHUB-HOST>:<JUPYTERHUB-PORT>/hub/api.

You’ll also need to register the API token with JupyterHub. This can be done by adding the following to the corresponding file: = [
    {"name": "dask-gateway", "api_token": "<API TOKEN>"}

again, replacing <API TOKEN> with the output from above.

With this configuration, JupyterHub will be used to authenticate requests between users and the dask-gateway-server.

For more information see the JupyterHubAuthenticator docs.