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Version: 3.1

Authorization using pxctl


This page outlines how to interact with an authorization-enabled Portworx cluster. The main way to do it is by using the pxctl context command. Also, you can integrate with a generated token through pxctl command-line tool. Use your own JWT compliant application to generate security token. For more details, refer to the Generate tokens page.


Portworx stores the following locally to your home directory, allowing you to switch between configurations with a few commands:

  • contexts
  • associated clusters
  • privileges
  • tokens

Since Portworx stores the context locally on each node, you must create your context on the node you're working on.

Run the opt/pwx/bin/pxctl context command with the --help flag to list the available subcommands and flags.

Create a context

You can create a new context by running the pxctl context create command and passing it the following arguments:

  • the name of the context
  • --token with the token Portworx must use for this context
  • --endpoint with the endpoint for this context

Here's an example of how you can create a new context:

pxctl context create <context> --token <token> --endpoint <endpoint>

Delete a context

To delete a context, run the pxctl context delete command with the name of the context as in the following example:

pxctl context delete <context>

List your contexts

Portworx stores your contexts in the ~/.pxctl/contextconfig directory. Use the pxctl context list command to view them:

pxctl context list
current: user
- context: user
token: XXXX
name: Example User
endpoint: http://localhost:9001

Select the current context

Once you've created your contexts, use the pxctl context command to switch between them. Under the hood, Portworx reads your current context and then uses the associated token for all commands.


Alternatively, you can use the global --context flag to run a single command with a given context.

Use the following command to set the current context:

pxctl context set <context>

Unset the current context with:

pxctl context unset

How to debug token issues

This section explains how to debug common token issues.

Permission denied issues

Problem symptom: You see an unexpected Permission denied or other auth-related error.

Find the root cause: Take a look into your token permissions. Decode and verify your token with a JWT token decoding tool such as


The debugger does client-side validation and debugging. It does not store your token anywhere.

Protocol error

Problem symptom: you see an error message similar to rpc error: code = Internal desc = stream terminated by RST_STREAM with error code: PROTOCOL_ERROR.

Find the root cause: Make sure your token doesn't contain a newline character. The gRPC/http2 protocol doesn't allow newline characters. that your token does not accidentally contain a newline character. This is due to gRPC/http2 not allowing newline characters.

  • For information about enabling and managing Portworx authorization through Kubernetes, refer to the Authorization page.
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