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Develop APISIX plugin via Golang

ezio ruan

21 Jul 2022

5 min read

Develop APISIX plugin via Golang
  • Go

APISIX allows users to extend functions through plugins, Although the Apache APISIX kernel code is written in Lua by the plugin, Apache APISIX supports the development of plugins in multiple languages, such as Go and Java. This article will explain how to use plugins to develop Apache APISIX. We will write an HTTP base auth plugin in Golang

write the plugin


  • Go (>= 1.15)
  • apisix-go-plugin-runner

Let's look at the Plugin interface, To write a custom plugin, we need to implement the plugin's interface

type Plugin interface {
 // Name returns the plguin name
 Name() string

 // ParseConf is the method to parse the given plugin configuration. When the
 // configuration can't be parsed, it will be skipped.
 ParseConf(in []byte) (conf interface{}, err error)

 // Filter is the method to handle request.
 // It is like the `http.ServeHTTP`, plus the ctx and the configuration created by
 // ParseConf.
 // When the `w` is written, the execution of the plugin chain will be stopped.
 // We don't use the onion model like Gin/Caddy because we don't serve the whole request lifecycle
 // inside the runner. The plugin is only a filter running at one stage.
 Filter(conf interface{}, w http.ResponseWriter, r pkgHTTP.Request)
  • Name returns the plugin's name
  • ParseConfig will accept a bytes array and we can define our plugin settings
  • Filter that's the place we handle HTTP requests and response

Let's start writing a plugin by Golang, in this example, we'll write a basic-auth plugin, Basic Authentication is a method for an HTTP user agent (e.g., a web browser) to provide a username and password when making a request. When employing Basic Authentication, users include an encoded string in the Authorization header of each request they make.

The Authorization header follows this format: Authorization: Basic <credentials> We then construct the credentials like this:

  • The user’s username and password are combined with a colon.

  • The resulting string is base64 encoded.

    we'll implement this plugin in the following ways.

  • The plugin's name will be go-plugin-basic-auth

  • Define the plugin's config by username/password

  • Handler HTTP request from Filter function, try to decode the Authorization and compare with the config, if the username/password matches, let the request go through (do nothing) otherwise return 401

Here's the code

type BasicAuthPlugin struct {

type BasicAuthConfig struct {
        Username string `json:"username"`
        Password string `json:"password"`

func (b *BasicAuthPlugin) Name() string {
        return "go-plugin-basic-auth"

func (b *BasicAuthPlugin) ParseConf(in []byte) (interface{}, error) {
        conf := BasicAuthConfig{}
        err := json.Unmarshal(in, &conf)
        return conf, err

func (b *BasicAuthPlugin) Filter(conf interface{}, w http.ResponseWriter, r pkgHTTP.Request) {
        baseAuthConfig := conf.(BasicAuthConfig)

        username, password, ok := basicAuth(r)
        if !ok {
                w.Header().Set("WWW-Authenticate", `Basic realm="restricted", charset="UTF-8"`)
                w.Write([]byte(`No basic auth present`))

        if username != baseAuthConfig.Username || password != baseAuthConfig.Password {
                w.Header().Set("WWW-Authenticate", `Basic realm="restricted", charset="UTF-8"`)
                w.Write([]byte(`Username/Password is not correct`))

And then register the plugin in the primary function

func main() {
        cfg := runner.RunnerConfig{}
        cfg.LogLevel = zapcore.DebugLevel
        err := plugin.RegisterPlugin(&plugins.BasicAuthPlugin{})
        if err != nil {
                log.Fatalf("failed to register plugin BasicAuthPlugin: %s", err)

Run it

APISIX_LISTEN_ADDRESS=unix:/tmp/runner.sock go run main.go

After it starts, we'll see logs like this

2022-03-07T19:43:41.952+0800    INFO    plugin/plugin.go:66     register plugin go-plugin-basic-auth
2022-03-07T19:43:41.952+0800    WARN    server/server.go:177    conf cache ttl is 1h0m0s
2022-03-07T19:43:41.952+0800    WARN    server/server.go:185    listening to /tmp/runner.sock

Now we can get into the next part

Integrations with APISIX


The easy way to start apisix is to use docker, Here's the example docker-compose file

version: '3'

    image: apache/apisix:2.12.1-alpine
        - /tmp/runner.sock:/tmp/runner.sock
        - ./apisix_log:/usr/local/apisix/logs
        - ./apisix_conf/config.yaml:/usr/local/apisix/conf/config.yaml:ro
        - etcd
        - "9080:9080/tcp"
        - "9091:9091/tcp"
        - "9443:9443/tcp"
        - "9092:9092/tcp"

    image: bitnami/etcd:3.4.15
        ETCD_ENABLE_V2: "true"
      - etcd_data:/bitnami/etcd

    driver: bridge

    driver: local

and here's the config file `config.YAML

  node_listen: 9080              # APISIX listening port
  enable_ipv6: false

  allow_admin:                  # http://nginx.org/en/docs/http/ngx_http_access_module.html#allow
    -              # We need to restrict ip access rules for security. is for test.

    - name: "admin"
      key: edd1c9f034335f136f87ad84b625c8f1
      role: admin                 # admin: manage all configuration data
                                  # viewer: only can view configuration data
    - name: "viewer"
      key: 4054f7cf07e344346cd3f287985e76a2
      role: viewer

  enable_control: true
    ip: ""
    port: 9092

  host:                           # it's possible to define multiple etcd hosts addresses of the same etcd cluster.
    - "http://etcd:2379"     # multiple etcd address
  prefix: "/apisix"               # apisix configurations prefix
  timeout: 30                     # 30 seconds

  path_for_test: /tmp/runner.sock # plugin's sock address

we define the plugin's listening sock in path_for_test, That means after hitting a routing rule, APISIX will make an RPC request to /tmp/runner.sock.

run docker-compose up to start apisix, use commands below to see if it works curl "" -H 'X-API-KEY: edd1c9f034335f136f87ad84b625c8f1'

The following data is returned to indicate that Apache APISIX was successfully started: { "count":1, "action":"get", "node":{ "key":"/apisix/services", "nodes":{}, "dir":true } }

Test the plugin

runner-overview.png The diagram above shows the workflow of APISIX on the left, while the plugin runner on the right is responsible for running external plugins written in different languages. apisix-go-plugin-runner is one such runner that supports Go. When you configure a plugin runner in APISIX, APISIX will treat the plugin runner as a child process of its own. This sub-process belongs to the same user as the APISIX process. When we restart or reload APISIX, the plugin runner will also be restarted.

create test routes with upstream and enable the plugin

curl --location --request PUT '' \
--header 'X-API-KEY: edd1c9f034335f136f87ad84b625c8f1' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{
    "uri": "/get",
    "plugins": {
        "ext-plugin-pre-req": {
            "conf": [
                    "name": "go-plugin-basic-auth",
                    "value": "{\"username\":\"foo\",\"password\":\"bar\"}"
    "upstream": {
        "type": "roundrobin",
        "nodes": {
            "httpbin.org": 1

In this route, we set the following config

  • define router in /get, APISIX will pass the request to its upstream httpbin.org
  • enable ext-plugin-pre-req plugin, add go-plugin-basic-auth and its config with the value. username foo and password as bar There are two kinds of plugins ext-plugin-pre-req: before executing most of the APISIX built-in plugins (Lua language plugins) ext-plugin-post-req: after the execution of the APISIX built-in plugins (Lua language plugins)

we use ext-plugin-pre-req for the base auth plugin because we need to break the request when the Authorization fails, and in the plugin config, we pass username and password AS JSON string which matches The Golang code BasicAuthConf 's structure.

Now let's go to, the web browser will ask us to input username and password, fill the form with foo and bar then we'll see the response from httpbin.org

Let's it, develop Golang plugin in APISIX is easy


At present, go plugin runner is still in the early development stage, and we will gradually improve its functions. A successful open source project is inseparable from your contributions. Welcome to participate in the development of the APISIX Go plugin runner. Let’s build a bridge between Apache APISIX and Go!

Full code repo


Related reading


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ezio ruan

I am a programmer with 10 years + of backend experience. Good at Python/Golang/Nodejs

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