Learn How to Proxy Applications With Envoy Proxy Server

Published:15 February 2022 - 6 min. read

Nicholas Xuan Nguyen Image

Nicholas Xuan Nguyen

Read more tutorials by Nicholas Xuan Nguyen!

Ever wanted to set up a proxy application? Proxy applications are an effective way to increase your privacy online. Envoy Proxy is one of the best applications to set up an HTTP proxy server. And the best part of it? It’s completely free!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use Envoy Proxy as an HTTP reverse proxy server or even a TCP relay server. Configure your own custom security policies with just a few clicks!

Read on and let Envoy Proxy Server help increase your privacy!

Prerequisites

This tutorial will be a hands-on demonstration. If you’d like to follow along, be sure you have the following:

  • A Linux machine – This demo uses Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, but any Linux distribution will work.

Installing Envoy Proxy

Before proxying applications, you’ll first install Envoy Proxy on your machine, similar to how you do so with other packages. But for Envoy Proxy, you’ll also install required dependencies before installing Envoy Proxy from a third-party repository.

1. Run the apt update command below to update your machine’s repository index.

sudo apt update -y
Updating your Machine's Repository Index
Updating your Machine’s Repository Index

2. Next, run the apt install command below to fetch packages from repositories over the HTTP Secure protocol (HTTPS) (apt-transport-https). The command then installs the required dependencies (gnupg2) for Envoy Proxy.

The command fetches packages from repositories over the FTP protocol (curl) and displays LSB (Linux Standard Base) information about the machine (lsb-release). The LSB information lets Envoy Proxy know what LSB version of Envoy Proxy your machine is compatible with.

sudo apt install apt-transport-https gnupg2 curl lsb-release -y
Installing Dependencies for Envoy Proxy
Installing Dependencies for Envoy Proxy

3. Run the below curl command to import the GPG key from the Envoy Proxy Server’s developer (gpg.8115BA8E629CC074.key) to your APT keyring (getenvoy-keyring.gpg). This GPG key ensures that you get the official version of Envoy Proxy Server rather than a man-in-the-middle attack.

The APT keyring uses GPG to check the signature of the Envoy Proxy Server’s repository before installing or upgrading it.

curl -sL 'https://deb.dl.getenvoy.io/public/gpg.8115BA8E629CC074.key' | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/getenvoy-keyring.gpg

The command has no output if the GPG key is imported correctly, like the one below.

Importing GPG key to your APT keyring
Importing GPG key to your APT keyring

4. Now, run the echo command below to verify that the GPG key is valid and trusted (sha256sum --check). Replace key_ring with the developer’s public keyring.

echo key_ring /usr/share/keyrings/getenvoy-keyring.gpg | sha256sum --check

As you can see below, the key is valid and OK to use.

Verifying the GPG key
Verifying the GPG key

5. Run the below echo command to add the Envoy Proxy Server’s official repository (https://deb.dl.getenvoy.io/public/deb/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main) to your machine. This command tells APT where to download and install packages for Envoy Proxy.

echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/getenvoy-keyring.gpg] https://deb.dl.getenvoy.io/public/deb/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getenvoy.list

You’ll see the dl.getenvoy.io/public/deb/ubuntu string in the output shown below, which is where your Envoy Proxy Server is hosted, and that it’s in the focal release channel. This output confirms that the Envoy Proxy Server’s repository is added to your machine.

Adding the Envoy Proxy Server's Official Repository
Adding the Envoy Proxy Server’s Official Repository

6. Next, rerun the apt update command to get the latest package information from repositories on your machine.

sudo apt update -y
Getting the latest package information
Getting the latest package information

7. Run the apt-cache policy command below to confirm that the Envoy Proxy Server is available for installation from the repository on your machine.

sudo apt-cache policy

Below, you can see that the Envoy Proxy Server is available for installation in your ubuntu machine from its release channel (focal channel).

Verifying the Envoy Proxy Server is Available for Installation
Verifying the Envoy Proxy Server is Available for Installation

8. Finally, run the apt install command below to install the Envoy Proxy Server (getenvoy-envoy).

sudo apt install getenvoy-envoy -y
Installing the Envoy Proxy Server
Installing the Envoy Proxy Server

Running the Envoy Proxy Server

You have installed the Envoy Proxy Server, but how do you know it works? You’ll run an Envoy Proxy Server demo instance from your terminal.

1. Run the envoy --version command to check the Envoy Proxy Server version running on your machine.

envoy --version

If you’ve installed Envoy Proxy Server correctly, you’ll see the Envoy Proxy Server version printed on your terminal. In this demo, the version is 1.18.2, but yours may be different.

Checking Envoy Proxy Version
Checking Envoy Proxy Version

2. Next, run the envoy --help command to list all the options you can use when running the Envoy Proxy Server.

envoy --help

You can use most of the options listed in the output below to view or change the behavior of the Envoy Proxy Server.

Showing all options for Envoy Proxy
Showing all options for Envoy Proxy

3. Run the wget command below to download the demo configuration named envoy-demo.yaml file from Envoy Proxy Server’s website. You will use this file to start a demo Envoy Proxy Server.

wget https://www.envoyproxy.io/docs/envoy/latest/_downloads/92dcb9714fb6bc288d042029b34c0de4/envoy-demo.yaml
downloading the demo configuration
downloading the demo configuration

The envoy-demo.yaml file’s content looks like the one below. This file tells Envoy Proxy Server to listen for incoming connections (0.0.0.0) to process HTTP requests in port 10000.

Viewing the envoy-demo.yaml file’s content
Viewing the envoy-demo.yaml file’s content

4. Now, run the below command to tell Envoy Proxy Server to read the configuration (-c envoy-demo.yaml) file, which starts an instance of Envoy Proxy Server.

envoy -c envoy-demo.yaml
Starting a Demo Instance of Envoy Proxy Server
Starting a Demo Instance of Envoy Proxy Server

5. Next, run the below command to check all running processes in your system (ps -ef) and verify that Envoy Proxy Server is running (grep envoy).

ps -ef | grep envoy

You’ll see the Envoy Proxy Server process listed in the output below. At this point, your Envoy Proxy Server listens for requests and proxying on port 10000.

Verifying the Demo Envoy Proxy Server is Running
Verifying the Demo Envoy Proxy Server is Running

6. Run the netstat command below to check if the Envoy Proxy Server listens to port 10000.

sudo netstat -tulpn | grep :10000

Below, you can see the port number (10000) you used to configure Envoy Proxy Server.

Checking Port 10000
Checking Port 10000

7. Now, run the ufw command below to open port 10000 on your firewall. If you use a third-party firewall, you might need to adjust the command to open the corresponding port for your proxy server.

The below command adds a firewall rule to secure your server since it only listens to incoming connections from port 10000.

sudo ufw allow 10000/tcp
Opening Port 10000 on your Firewall
Opening Port 10000 on your Firewall

8. Run the ufw status command to check your firewall status and confirm that your Envoy Proxy Server port is open.

sudo ufw status verbose

The output below confirms that the Envoy Proxy Server’s port (10000) is open on your firewall.

Confirming Port 10000 is Open
Confirming Port 10000 is Open

9. Finally, run the curl command below to know if your Envoy Proxy Server is proxying/working as intended.

curl -v localhost:10000

As expected, the curl command is proxied by Envoy Proxy Server, as you can see the default welcome page from Envoy Proxy below.

Testing your Proxy Server
Testing your Proxy Server

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to install and run Envoy Proxy Server on your Ubuntu machine. You’ve also touched on adding a firewall rule to open Envoy Proxy Server’s port (10000) and verified your Envoy Proxy Server works perfectly.

At this point, you have a fully-functional proxy server, and you can now use it to proxy your application’s traffic.

Now, why not set up a scalable and highly available proxy infrastructure with Envoy Proxy Server with this newfound knowledge?

Hate ads? Want to support the writer? Get many of our tutorials packaged as an ATA Guidebook.

Explore ATA Guidebooks

Looks like you're offline!