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Argo Server SSO

v2.9 and after

It is possible to use Dex for authentication. This document describes how to set up Argo Workflows and Argo CD so that Argo Workflows uses Argo CD's Dex server for authentication.

To start Argo Server with SSO

Firstly, configure the settings workflow-controller-configmap.yaml with the correct OAuth 2 values. If working towards an OIDC configuration the Argo CD project has guides on its similar (though different) process for setting up OIDC providers. It also includes examples for specific providers. The main difference is that the Argo CD docs mention that their callback address endpoint is /auth/callback. For Argo Workflows, the default format is /oauth2/callback as shown in this comment in the default values.yaml file in the helm chart.

Next, create the Kubernetes secrets for holding the OAuth2 client-id and client-secret. You may refer to the kubernetes documentation on Managing secrets. For example by using kubectl with literals:

kubectl create secret -n argo generic client-id-secret \

kubectl create secret -n argo generic client-secret-secret \

Then, start the Argo Server using the SSO auth mode:

argo server --auth-mode sso --auth-mode ...

Token Revocation

v2.12 and after

As of v2.12 we issue a JWE token for users rather than give them the ID token from your OAuth2 provider. This token is opaque and has a longer expiry time (10h by default).

The token encryption key is automatically generated by the Argo Server and stored in a Kubernetes secret name sso.

You can revoke all tokens by deleting the encryption key and restarting the Argo Server (so it generates a new key).

kubectl delete secret sso


The old key will be in the memory the any running Argo Server, and they will therefore accept and user with token encrypted using the old key. Every Argo Server MUST be restarted.

All users will need to log in again. Sorry.


v2.12 and after

You can optionally add RBAC to SSO. This allows you to give different users different access levels. Except for client auth mode, all users of the Argo Server must ultimately use a service account. So we allow you to define rules that map a user (maybe using their OIDC groups) to a service account in the same namespace as argo server by annotating the service account.

To allow service accounts to manage resources in other namespaces create a role and role binding in the target namespace.

RBAC config is installation-level, so any changes will need to be made by the team that installed Argo. Many complex rules will be burdensome on that team.

Firstly, enable the rbac: setting in workflow-controller-configmap.yaml. You likely want to configure RBAC using groups, so add scopes: to the SSO settings:

  # ...
   - groups
    enabled: true


Not all OIDC providers support the groups scope. Please speak to your provider about their options.

To configure a service account to be used, annotate it:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: admin-user
    # The rule is an expression used to determine if this service account
    # should be used.
    # * `groups` - an array of the OIDC groups
    # * `iss` - the issuer ("argo-server")
    # * `sub` - the subject (typically the username)
    # Must evaluate to a boolean.
    # If you want an account to be the default to use, this rule can be "true".
    # Details of the expression language are available in
    # "'admin' in groups"
    # The precedence is used to determine which service account to use whe
    # Precedence is an integer. It may be negative. If omitted, it defaults to "0".
    # Numerically higher values have higher precedence (not lower, which maybe
    # counter-intuitive to you).
    # If two rules match and have the same precedence, then which one used will
    # be arbitrary. "1"

If no rule matches, we deny the user access.

Tip: You'll probably want to configure a default account to use if no other rule matches, e.g. a read-only account, you can do this as follows:

  name: read-only
  annotations: "true" "0"

The precedence must be the lowest of all your service accounts.

As of Kubernetes v1.24, secrets for a service account token are no longer automatically created. Therefore, service account secrets for SSO RBAC must be created manually. See Service Account Secrets for detailed instructions.

SSO RBAC Namespace Delegation

v3.3 and after

You can optionally configure RBAC SSO per namespace. Typically, on organization has a Kubernetes cluster and a central team (the owner of the cluster) manages the cluster. Along with this, there are multiple namespaces which are owned by individual teams. This feature would help namespace owners to define RBAC for their own namespace.

The feature is currently in beta. To enable the feature, set env variable SSO_DELEGATE_RBAC_TO_NAMESPACE=true in your argo-server deployment.

Configure a default account in the installation namespace that allows access to all users of your organization. This service account allows a user to login to the cluster. You could optionally add a workflow read-only role and role-binding.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: user-default-login
  annotations: "true" "0"


All users MUST map to a cluster service account (such as the one above) before a namespace service account can apply.

Now, for the namespace that you own, configure a service account that allows members of your team to perform operations in your namespace. Make sure that the precedence of the namespace service account is higher than the precedence of the login service account. Create an appropriate role for this service account and bind it with a role-binding.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: my-namespace-read-write-user
  namespace: my-namespace
  annotations: "'my-team' in groups" "1"

With this configuration, when a user is logged in via SSO, makes a request in my-namespace, and the rbac-rule matches, this service account allows the user to perform that operation. If no service account matches in the namespace, the first service account (user-default-login) and its associated role will be used to perform the operation.

SSO Login Time

v2.12 and after

By default, your SSO session will expire after 10 hours. You can change this by adding a sessionExpiry to your workflow-controller-configmap.yaml under the SSO heading.

  # Expiry defines how long your login is valid for in hours. (optional)
  sessionExpiry: 240h

Custom claims

v3.1.4 and after

If your OIDC provider provides groups information with a claim name other than groups, you could configure config-map to specify custom claim name for groups. Argo now arbitrary custom claims and any claim can be used for expr eval. However, since group information is displayed in UI, it still needs to be an array of strings with group names as elements.

The customClaim in this case will be mapped to groups key and we can use the same key groups for evaluating our expressions

  # Specify custom claim name for OIDC groups.
  customGroupClaimName: argo_groups

If your OIDC provider provides groups information only using the user-info endpoint (e.g. Okta), you could configure userInfoPath to specify the user info endpoint that contains the groups claim.

  userInfoPath: /oauth2/v1/userinfo

Example Expression

# assuming customClaimGroupName: argo_groups "'argo_admins' in groups"

Filtering groups

v3.5 and after

You can configure filterGroupsRegex to filter the groups returned by the OIDC provider. Some use-cases for this include:

  • You have multiple applications using the same OIDC provider, and you only want to use groups that are relevant to Argo Workflows.
  • You have many groups and exceed the 4KB cookie size limit (cookies are used to store authentication tokens). If this occurs, login will fail.
    # Specify a list of regular expressions to filter the groups returned by the OIDC provider.
    # A logical "OR" is used between each regex in the list
    - ".*argo-wf.*"
    - ".*argo-workflow.*"