gRPC example

This section explains how to use Traefik as reverse proxy for gRPC application with self-signed certificates.


As gRPC needs HTTP2, we need HTTPS certificates on both gRPC Server and Træfik.

gRPC architecture

gRPC Server certificate

In order to secure the gRPC server, we generate a self-signed certificate for backend url:

openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout ./backend.key -out ./backend.cert

That will prompt for information, the important answer is:

Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []: backend.local

gRPC Client certificate

Generate your self-signed certificate for frontend url:

openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout ./frontend.key -out ./frontend.cert


Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []: frontend.local

Træfik configuration

At last, we configure our Træfik instance to use both self-signed certificates.

defaultEntryPoints = ["https"]

# For secure connection on backend.local
RootCAs = [ "./backend.cert" ]

  address = ":4443"
     # For secure connection on frontend.local
     certFile = "./frontend.cert"
     keyFile  = "./frontend.key"

  address = ":8080"


    # Access on backend with HTTPS
    url = "https://backend.local:8080"

  backend = "backend1"
    rule = "Host:frontend.local"


With some backends, the server URLs use the IP, so you may need to configure InsecureSkipVerify instead of the RootCAS to activate HTTPS without hostname verification.


We don't need specific configuration to use gRPC in Træfik, we just need to be careful that all the exchanges (between client and Træfik, and between Træfik and backend) are HTTPS communications because gRPC uses HTTP2.

A gRPC example in go

We will use the gRPC greeter example in grpc-go


In order to use this gRPC example, we need to modify it to use HTTPS

So we modify the "gRPC server example" to use our own self-signed certificate:

// ...

// Read cert and key file
BackendCert, _ := ioutil.ReadFile("./backend.cert")
BackendKey, _ := ioutil.ReadFile("./backend.key")

// Generate Certificate struct
cert, err := tls.X509KeyPair(BackendCert, BackendKey)
if err != nil {
  log.Fatalf("failed to parse certificate: %v", err)

// Create credentials
creds := credentials.NewServerTLSFromCert(&cert)

// Use Credentials in gRPC server options
serverOption := grpc.Creds(creds)
var s *grpc.Server = grpc.NewServer(serverOption)
defer s.Stop()

pb.RegisterGreeterServer(s, &server{})
err := s.Serve(lis)

// ...

Next we will modify gRPC Client to use our Træfik self-signed certificate:

// ...

// Read cert file
FrontendCert, _ := ioutil.ReadFile("./frontend.cert")

// Create CertPool
roots := x509.NewCertPool()

// Create credentials
credsClient := credentials.NewClientTLSFromCert(roots, "")

// Dial with specific Transport (with credentials)
conn, err := grpc.Dial("frontend.local:4443", grpc.WithTransportCredentials(credsClient))
if err != nil {
    log.Fatalf("did not connect: %v", err)

defer conn.Close()
client := pb.NewGreeterClient(conn)

name := "World"
r, err := client.SayHello(context.Background(), &pb.HelloRequest{Name: name})

// ...