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TCP over HTTP Support

In addition to managing HTTP based applications, Pomerium can be used to protect non-HTTP systems with the same consistent authorization policy. This is achieved by tunneling TCP over HTTP with the help of a client side command built into pomerium-cli.

Operations and engineering teams frequently require access to lower level administrative and data protocols such as SSH, RDP, Postgres, MySQL, Redis, etc.

Internally, Pomerium uses the CONNECT method to establish the TCP tunnel.


To minimize issues with TCP support, Pomerium should not be placed behind another HTTP proxy. Instead, configure your load balancer in L4 or TCP mode.

Otherwise, the HTTP proxy in front of Pomerium must know how to properly handle the CONNECT command and proxy it upstream. This capability will be specific to each proxy implementation.

Configure Routes

TCP configuration is simple. Just specify the correct scheme and ports in your route to and from fields.


- from: tcp+
to: tcp://
- allow:
- email:
- claim/groups: ''

When creating TCP routes, note the following:

  • When configuring a TCP route, any HTTP specific settings such as regex_rewrite_pattern or set_request_headers have no effect.
  • While data is encrypted from a user system to Pomerium's proxy, the underlying application protocol must also support encryption for data to be fully encrypted end-to-end. Otherwise, traffic from the Pomerium Proxy service to the upstream service will be unencrypted.
  • The ports in from and to are independent. Users only need to know the from URL to connect. The to can be changed without end user participation.
  • The port defined in from does not dictate what port the tunneled traffic uses. This will always be the port defined by address in your Pomerium configuration (443 by default). The port instead differentiates multiple routes to the same hostname for different services.

Connect to TCP Routes

While HTTP routes can be consumed with just a normal browser, pomerium-cli or Pomerium Desktop must serve as a proxy for TCP routes. See Pomerium Desktop and CLI Clients for more information.

To connect, you normally need just the external hostname and port of your TCP route:

$ pomerium-cli tcp
2023/10/02 11:19:59 listening on

By default, pomerium-cli will start a listener on loopback on a random port.

On first connection, you will be sent through a standard Pomerium HTTP authentication flow. After completing this, your TCP connection should be established!

$ redis-cli -h localhost -p 52046
localhost:52046> keys *
(empty array)
Long-lived connections behavior

When you create a TCP or Websocket connection, Pomerium validates the access policy at the time the connection is made.

Currently, there is no mechanism in place to terminate long-running connections if a policy becomes invalid.

Advanced Usage

Listen Configuration

You may specify an optional address and port for the tcp command to listen on.

- specifies that STDIN and STDOUT should be directly attached to the remote TCP connection. This is useful for SSH or for sending data through a shell pipe.

Bastion Host

If the Pomerium proxy is not reachable through port 443 or the route is not in external DNS, you can use Pomerium as a bastion host using the extended TCP URL syntax in your route definition:

from: tcp+

And then using the same URL in the pomerium-cli command invocation:

pomerium-cli tcp tcp+

The command above connects to and then requests the TCP route for

Service-Specific Documentation

We've outlined how to use a TCP tunnel through Pomerium for several popular services that use TCP connections: