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About


Table of Contents

Features

  • Lightweight
    • Distributed as a single file module ~50KB
    • Uses only ~5-20MB RAM
    • No external dependency other than standard Python library
  • Programmable
    • Optionally enable builtin Web Server
    • Customize proxy and http routing via plugins
    • Enable plugin using command line option e.g. --plugins plugin_examples.CacheResponsesPlugin
    • Plugin API is currently in development state, expect breaking changes.
  • Secure
  • Man-In-The-Middle
    • Can decrypt TLS traffic between clients and upstream servers
    • See TLS Encryption
  • Supported proxy protocols
    • http
    • https
    • http2
    • websockets
  • Optimized for large file uploads and downloads
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support
  • Basic authentication support
  • Can serve a PAC (Proxy Auto-configuration) file
    • See --pac-file and --pac-file-url-path flags

Install

Stable version

$ pip install --upgrade proxy.py

Development version

$ pip install git+https://github.com/abhinavsingh/[email protected]

For Docker usage see Docker Image.

Start proxy.py

Command line

Simply type proxy.py on command line to start it with default configuration.

$ proxy.py
...[redacted]... - Loaded plugin 
...[redacted]... - Starting 8 workers
...[redacted]... - Started server on ::1:8899

Things to notice from above logs:

  • Loaded plugin - proxy.py will load HttpProxyPlugin by default. It adds http(s) proxy server capabilities to proxy.py

  • Started N workers - Use --num-workers flag to customize number of Worker processes. By default, proxy.py will start as many workers as there are CPU cores on the machine.

  • Started server on ::1:8899 - By default, proxy.py listens on IPv6 ::1, which is equivalent of IPv4 127.0.0.1. If you want to access proxy.py externally, use --hostname :: or --hostname 0.0.0.0 or bind to any other interface available on your machine.

  • Port 8899 - Use --port flag to customize default TCP port.

All the logs above are INFO level logs, default --log-level for proxy.py.

Lets start proxy.py with DEBUG level logging:

$ proxy.py --log-level d
...[redacted]... - Open file descriptor soft limit set to 1024
...[redacted]... - Loaded plugin 
...[redacted]... - Started 8 workers
...[redacted]... - Started server on ::1:8899

As we can see, before starting up:

  • proxy.py also tried to set open file limit ulimit on the system.
  • Default value for --open-file-limit used is 1024.
  • --open-file-limit flag is a no-op on Windows operating systems.

See flags for full list of available configuration options.

Docker image

$ docker run -it -p 8899:8899 --rm abhinavsingh/proxy.py:v1.0.0

By default docker binary is started with IPv4 networking flags:

--hostname 0.0.0.0 --port 8899

To override input flags, start docker image as follows. For example, to check proxy.py --version:

$ docker run -it \
    -p 8899:8899 \
    --rm abhinavsingh/proxy.py:v1.0.0 \
    --version

docker image is currently broken on macOS due to incompatibility with vpnkit.

Plugin Examples

See plugin_examples.py for full code.

All the examples below also works with https traffic but require additional flags and certificate generation. See TLS Interception.

RedirectToCustomServerPlugin

Redirects all incoming http requests to custom web server. By default, it redirects client requests to inbuilt web server, also running on 8899 port.

Start proxy.py and enable inbuilt web server:

$ proxy.py \
    --enable-web-server \
    --plugins plugin_examples.RedirectToCustomServerPlugin

Verify using curl -v -x localhost:8899 http://google.com

... [redacted] ...
< HTTP/1.1 404 NOT FOUND
< Server: proxy.py v1.0.0
< Connection: Close
< 
* Closing connection 0

Above 404 response was returned from proxy.py web server.

Verify the same by inspecting the logs for proxy.py. Along with the proxy request log, you must also see a http web server request log.

2019-09-24 19:09:33,602 - INFO - pid:49996 - access_log:1241 - ::1:49525 - GET /
2019-09-24 19:09:33,603 - INFO - pid:49995 - access_log:1157 - ::1:49524 - GET localhost:8899/ - 404 NOT FOUND - 70 bytes

FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin

Drops traffic by inspecting upstream host. By default, plugin drops traffic for google.com and www.google.com.

Start proxy.py as:

$ proxy.py \
    --plugins plugin_examples.FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin

Verify using curl -v -x localhost:8899 http://google.com:

... [redacted] ...
< HTTP/1.1 418 I'm a tea pot
< Proxy-agent: proxy.py v1.0.0
* no chunk, no close, no size. Assume close to signal end
< 
* Closing connection 0

Above 418 I'm a tea pot is sent by our plugin.

Verify the same by inspecting logs for proxy.py:

2019-09-24 19:21:37,893 - ERROR - pid:50074 - handle_readables:1347 - ProtocolException type raised
Traceback (most recent call last):
... [redacted] ...
2019-09-24 19:21:37,897 - INFO - pid:50074 - access_log:1157 - ::1:49911 - GET None:None/ - None None - 0 bytes

CacheResponsesPlugin

Caches Upstream Server Responses.

Start proxy.py as:

$ proxy.py \
    --plugins plugin_examples.CacheResponsesPlugin

Verify using curl -v -x localhost:8899 http://httpbin.org/get:

... [redacted] ...
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true
< Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
< Content-Type: application/json
< Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 02:24:25 GMT
< Referrer-Policy: no-referrer-when-downgrade
< Server: nginx
< X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
< X-Frame-Options: DENY
< X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
< Content-Length: 202
< Connection: keep-alive
< 
{
  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"
  }, 
  "origin": "1.2.3.4, 5.6.7.8", 
  "url": "https://httpbin.org/get"
}
* Connection #0 to host localhost left intact

Get path to the cache file from proxy.py logs:

... [redacted] ... - GET httpbin.org:80/get - 200 OK - 556 bytes
... [redacted] ... - Cached response at /var/folders/k9/x93q0_xn1ls9zy76m2mf2k_00000gn/T/httpbin.org-1569378301.407512.txt

Verify contents of the cache file cat /path/to/your/cache/httpbin.org.txt

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Content-Type: application/json
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 02:24:25 GMT
Referrer-Policy: no-referrer-when-downgrade
Server: nginx
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-Frame-Options: DENY
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
Content-Length: 202
Connection: keep-alive

{
  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"
  }, 
  "origin": "1.2.3.4, 5.6.7.8", 
  "url": "https://httpbin.org/get"
}

ManInTheMiddlePlugin

Modifies upstream server responses.

Start proxy.py as:

$ proxy.py \
    --plugins plugin_examples.ManInTheMiddlePlugin

Verify using curl -v -x localhost:8899 http://google.com:

... [redacted] ...
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Content-Length: 28
< 
* Connection #0 to host localhost left intact
Hello from man in the middle

Response body Hello from man in the middle is sent by our plugin.

Plugin Ordering

When using multiple plugins, depending upon plugin functionality, it might be worth considering the order in which plugins are passed on the command line.

Plugins are called in the same order as they are passed. Example, say we are using both FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin and RedirectToCustomServerPlugin. Idea is to drop all incoming http requests for google.com and www.google.com and redirect other http requests to our inbuilt web server.

Hence, in this scenario it is important to use FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin before RedirectToCustomServerPlugin. If we enable RedirectToCustomServerPlugin before FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin, google requests will also get redirected to inbuilt web server, instead of being dropped.

End-to-End Encryption

By default, proxy.py uses http protocol for communication with clients e.g. curl, browser. For enabling end-to-end encrypting using tls / https first generate certificates:

make https-certificates

Start proxy.py as:

$ proxy.py \
    --cert-file https-cert.pem \
    --key-file https-key.pem

Verify using curl -x https://localhost:8899 --proxy-cacert https-cert.pem https://httpbin.org/get:

{
  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"
  }, 
  "origin": "1.2.3.4, 5.6.7.8", 
  "url": "https://httpbin.org/get"
}

TLS Interception

By default, proxy.py doesn't decrypt https traffic between client and server. To enable TLS interception first generate CA certificates:

make ca-certificates

Lets also enable CacheResponsePlugin so that we can verify decrypted response from the server. Start proxy.py as:

$ proxy.py \
    --plugins plugin_examples.CacheResponsesPlugin \
    --ca-key-file ca-key.pem \
    --ca-cert-file ca-cert.pem \
    --ca-signing-key-file ca-signing-key.pem

Verify using curl -v -x localhost:8899 --cacert ca-cert.pem https://httpbin.org/get

*  issuer: C=US; ST=CA; L=SanFrancisco; O=proxy.py; OU=CA; CN=Proxy PY CA; [email protected]
*  SSL certificate verify ok.
> GET /get HTTP/1.1
... [redacted] ...
< Connection: keep-alive
< 
{
  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"
  }, 
  "origin": "1.2.3.4, 5.6.7.8", 
  "url": "https://httpbin.org/get"
}

The issuer line confirms that response was intercepted.

Also verify the contents of cached response file. Get path to the cache file from proxy.py logs.

$ cat /path/to/your/tmp/directory/httpbin.org-1569452863.924174.txt

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Content-Type: application/json
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 23:07:05 GMT
Referrer-Policy: no-referrer-when-downgrade
Server: nginx
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-Frame-Options: DENY
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
Content-Length: 202
Connection: keep-alive

{
  "args": {}, 
  "headers": {
    "Accept": "*/*", 
    "Host": "httpbin.org", 
    "User-Agent": "curl/7.54.0"
  }, 
  "origin": "1.2.3.4, 5.6.7.8", 
  "url": "https://httpbin.org/get"
}

Viola!!! If you remove CA flags, encrypted data will be found in the cached file instead of plain text.

Now use CA flags other plugin examples to make them work for https traffic.

Plugin Developer and Contributor Guide

Everything is a plugin

As you might have guessed by now, in proxy.py everything is a plugin.

  • We enabled proxy server plugins using --plugins flag. All the plugin examples were implementing HttpProxyBasePlugin. See documentation of HttpProxyBasePlugin for available lifecycle hooks. Use HttpProxyBasePlugin to modify behavior of http(s) proxy protocol between client and upstream server. Example, FilterByUpstreamHostPlugin.

  • We also enabled inbuilt web server using --enable-web-server. Inbuilt web server implements ProtocolHandlerPlugin plugin. See documentation of ProtocolHandlerPlugin for available lifecycle hooks. Use ProtocolHandlerPlugin to add new features for http(s) clients. Example, HttpWebServerPlugin.

  • There also is a --disable-http-proxy flag. It disables inbuilt proxy server. Use this flag with --enable-web-server flag to run proxy.py as a programmable http(s) server. HttpProxyPlugin also implements ProtocolHandlerPlugin.

proxy.py Internals

  • ProtocolHandler thread is started with the accepted TcpClientConnection. ProtocolHandler is responsible for parsing incoming client request and invoking ProtocolHandlerPlugin lifecycle hooks.

  • HttpProxyPlugin which implements ProtocolHandlerPlugin also has its own plugin mechanism. Its responsibility is to establish connection between client and upstream TcpServerConnection and invoke HttpProxyBasePlugin lifecycle hooks.

  • ProtocolHandler threads are started by Worker processes.

  • --num-workers Worker processes are started by WorkerPool on start-up. Worker processes receives TcpClientConnection over a pipe from WorkerPool.

  • WorkerPool implements TcpServer abstract class. TcpServer accepts TcpClientConnection. WorkerPool ensures full utilization of available CPU cores, for which it dispatches accepted TcpClientConnection to Worker processes in a round-robin fashion.

Pull Request

Every pull request goes through set of tests which must pass:

  • mypy: Run make lint locally for compliance check. Fix all warnings and errors before sending out a PR.

  • coverage: Run make coverage for coverage report. Its ideal to add tests for any critical change. Depending upon the change, it's ok if test coverage falls by `

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