Global Configuration

Ambassador supports a variety of global configuration options in the ambassador module.

The ambassador Module

If present, the ambassador module defines system-wide configuration. This module can be applied on any Kubernetes service (the ambassador service itself is a common choice). You may very well not need this module. The defaults in the ambassador module are:

apiVersion: ambassador/v1
kind:  Module
name:  ambassador
# admin_port is the port where Ambassador's Envoy will listen for
# low-level admin requests. You should almost never need to change
# this.
# admin_port: 8001

# default_label_domain and default_labels set a default domain and
# request labels to every request for use by rate limiting. For
# more on how to use these, see the Rate Limit reference.

# diag_port is the port where Ambassador will listen for requests
# to the diagnostic service.
# diag_port: 8877

# The diagnostic service (at /ambassador/v0/diag/) defaults on, but
# you can disable the api route. It will remain accessible on
# diag_port.
# diagnostics:
#   enabled: true

# Should we enable the gRPC-http11 bridge?
# enable_grpc_http11_bridge: false

# Should we enable the grpc-Web protocol?
# enable_grpc_web: false

# Should we do IPv4 DNS lookups when contacting services? Defaults to true,
# but can be overridden in a [`Mapping`](/reference/mappings).
# enable_ipv4: true

# Should we do IPv6 DNS lookups when contacting services? Defaults to false,
# but can be overridden in a [`Mapping`](/reference/mappings).
# enable_ipv6: false

# liveness probe defaults on, but you can disable the api route.
# It will remain accessible on diag_port.
# liveness_probe:
#   enabled: true

# run a custom lua script on every request. see below for more details.
# lua_scripts

# readiness probe defaults on, but you can disable the api route.
# It will remain accessible on diag_port.
# readiness_probe:
#   enabled: true

# By default Envoy sets server_name response header to 'envoy'
# Override it with this variable
# server_name: envoy

# If present, service_port will be the port Ambassador listens
# on for microservice access. If not present, Ambassador will
# use 8443 if TLS is configured, 8080 otherwise.
# service_port: 8080

# statsd configures Ambassador statistics. These values can be
# set in the Ambassador module or in an environment variable.
# For more information, see the [Statistics reference](/reference/statistics/#exposing-statistics-via-statsd)

# use_proxy_protocol controls whether Envoy will honor the PROXY
# protocol on incoming requests.
# use_proxy_proto: false

# use_remote_address controls whether Envoy will trust the remote
# address of incoming connections or rely exclusively on the 
# X-Forwarded_For header. 
# use_remote_address: true

# xff_num_trusted_hops controls the how Envoy sets the trusted 
# client IP address of a request. If you have a proxy in front
# of Ambassador, Envoy will set the trusted client IP to the
# address of that proxy. To preserve the orginal client IP address,
# setting x_num_trusted_hops: 1 will tell Envoy to use the client IP
# address in X-Forwarded-For. Please see the envoy documentation for
# more information:
# xff_num_trusted_hops: 0

# Ambassador lets through only the HTTP requests with
# `X-FORWARDED-PROTO: https` header set, and redirects all the other
# requests to HTTPS if this field is set to true. Note that `use_remote_address` 
# must be set to false for this feature to work as expected.
# x_forwarded_proto_redirect: false

# load_balancer sets the global load balancing type and policy that
# Ambassador will use for all mappings, unless overridden in a
# mapping. Defaults to round robin with Kubernetes.
# More information at the [load balancer reference](/reference/core/load-balancer)
# load_balancer:
#   policy: round_robin/ring_hash/maglev
#   ...

# Set default CORS configuration for all mappings in the cluster. See 
# CORS syntax at
# cors:
#   origins: http://foo.example,http://bar.example
#   methods: POST, GET, OPTIONS
#   ...
#   ...

Overriding Default Ports

By default, Ambassador listens for HTTP or HTTPS traffic on ports 8080 or 8443 respectively. This value can be overridden by setting the service_port in the Ambassador Module:

apiVersion: ambassador/v1
kind: Module
name: ambassador
  service_port: 4567

This will configure Ambassador to listen for traffic on port 4567 instead of 8080.

Lua Scripts (lua_scripts)

Ambassador supports the ability to inline Lua scripts that get run on every request. This is useful for simple use cases that mutate requests or responses, e.g., add a custom header. Here is a sample:

apiVersion: ambassador/v1
kind: Module
name: ambassador
  lua_scripts: |
    function envoy_on_response(response_handle)
      response_handle:headers():add("Lua-Scripts-Enabled", "Processed")

For more details on the Lua API, see the Envoy Lua filter documentation.

Some caveats around the embedded scripts:

  • They run in-process, so any bugs in your Lua script can break every request
  • They're inlined in the Ambassador YAML, so you likely won't want to write complex logic in here
  • They're run on every request/response to every URL

If you need more flexible and configurable options, Ambassador Pro supports a pluggable Filter system.

gRPC HTTP/1.1 bridge (enable_grpc_http11_bridge)

Ambassador supports bridging HTTP/1.1 clients to backend gRPC servers. When an HTTP/1.1 connection is opened and the request content type is application/grpc, Ambassador will buffer the response and translate into gRPC requests. For more details on the translation process, see the Envoy gRPC HTTP/1.1 bridge documentation. This setting can be enabled by setting enable_grpc_http11_bridge: true.

gRPC-Web (enable_grpc_web)

gRPC-Web is a protocol built on gRPC that extends the benefits of gRPC to the browser. The gRPC-Web specification requires a server-side proxy to translate between gRPC-Web requests and gRPC backend services. Ambassador can serve as the service-side proxy for gRPC-Web when enable_grpc_web: true is set.

enable_ivp4 and enable_ipv6

If both IPv4 and IPv6 are enabled, Ambassador will prefer IPv6. This can have strange effects if Ambassador receives AAAA records from a DNS lookup, but the underlying network of the pod doesn't actually support IPv6 traffic. For this reason, the default for 0.50.0 is IPv4 only.

A Mapping can override both enable_ipv4 and enable_ipv6, but if either is not stated explicitly in a Mapping, the values here are used. Most Ambassador installations will probably be able to avoid overridding these setting in Mappings.

Readiness and Liveness probes (readiness_probe and liveness_probe)

The default liveness and readiness probes map /ambassador/v0/check_alive and ambassador/v0/check_ready internally to check Envoy itself. If you'd like to, you can change these to route requests to some other service. For example, to have the readiness probe map to the Quote of the Moment's health check, you could do

  service: qotm
  rewrite: /health

The liveness and readiness probe both support prefix, rewrite, and service, with the same meanings as for mappings. Additionally, the enabled boolean may be set to false (as in the commented-out examples above) to disable support for the probe entirely.

Note well that configuring the probes in the ambassador module only means that Ambassador will respond to the probes. You must still configure Kubernetes to perform the checks, as shown in the Datawire-provided YAML files.


In Ambassador 0.50 and later, the default value for use_remote_address to true. When set to true, Ambassador will append to the X-Forwarded-For header its IP address so upstream clients of Ambassador can get the full set of IP addresses that have propagated a request. You may also need to set externalTrafficPolicy: Local on your LoadBalancer as well to propagate the original source IP address.. See the Envoy documentation and the Kubernetes documentation for more details.

Note well that if you need to use X-Forwarded-Proto, you must set use_remote_address to false.


Many load balancers can use the PROXY protocol to convey information about the connection they are proxying. In order to support this in Ambassador, you'll need to set use_proxy_protocol to true; this is not the default since the PROXY protocol is not compatible with HTTP.


The value of xff_num_trusted_hops indicates the number of trusted proxies in front of Ambassador. The default setting is 0 which tells Envoy to use the immediate downstream connection's IP address as the trusted client address. The trusted client address is used to populate the remote_address field used for rate limiting and can affect which IP address Envoy will set as X-Envoy-External-Address.

xff_num_trusted_hops behavior is determined by the value of use_remote_address (which defaults to true in Ambassador).

  • If use_remote_address is false and xff_num_trusted_hops is set to a value N that is greater than zero, the trusted client address is the (N+1)th address from the right end of XFF. (If the XFF contains fewer than N+1 addresses, Envoy falls back to using the immediate downstream connection’s source address as trusted client address.)

  • If use_remote_address is true and xff_num_trusted_hops is set to a value N that is greater than zero, the trusted client address is the Nth address from the right end of XFF. (If the XFF contains fewer than N addresses, Envoy falls back to using the immediate downstream connection’s source address as trusted client address.)

Refer to Envoy's documentation for some detailed examples on this interaction.

NOTE: This value is not dynamically configurable in Envoy. A restart is required changing the value of xff_num_trusted_hops for Envoy to respect the change.