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Px

What is Px?

Px is a HTTP(s) proxy server that allows applications to authenticate through an NTLM or Kerberos proxy server, typically used in corporate deployments, without having to deal with the actual handshake. It is primarily designed to run on Windows systems and authenticates on behalf of the application using the currently logged in Windows user account.

Px is similar to "NTLM Authorization Proxy Server" NTLMAPS and Cntlm in that it sits between the corporate proxy and applications and offloads authentication. The advantage is that Px is able to use the currently logged in user's credentials automatically without requiring any user supplied credentials. This is accomplished by using Microsoft SSPI to generate the tokens and signatures required to authenticate with the proxy.

Px also supports Kerberos and works with user supplied credentials for cases where SSPI is not available.

Microsoft provides a good starting point to understand how NTLM authentication works. And similarly for Kerberos (warning: long!)

Installation

Px can be obtained in multiple ways:-

Running from source requires a few dependencies installed. Px along with all dependencies can be installed to the standard Python location using:

python setup.py install

After installation, Px can be run on the command line like an executable and the --save and --install commands can be used per usual.

px --proxy=proxy.server.com --save
px --install

NOTE: Command line parameters passed with --install are not saved for use on startup. The --save flag or manual editing of px.ini is required to provide configuration to Px on startup.

If installed, Px can be uninstalled as follows:

px --uninstall
pip uninstall px-proxy

Lastly, Px can be run as a standard Python script. Download the source as described above. Install all dependencies manually using pip and then run Px:

pip install keyring netaddr ntlm-auth psutil pywin32 winkerberos futures

python px.py --help

Configuration

Px requires only one piece of information in order to function - the server name and port of the proxy server. This needs to be configured in px.ini. If not specified, Px will check Internet Options for any proxy definitions and use them. Without this, Px will not work and exit immediately.

The noproxy capability allows Px to connect to hosts in the configured subnets directly, bypassing the proxy altogether. This allows clients to connect to hosts within the intranet without requiring additional configuration for each client or at the proxy. If noproxy is defined, the proxy is optional - this allows Px to run as a regular proxy full time if required.

If SSPI is not available or not preferred, providing a username in domain\username format allows Px to authenticate as that user. The corresponding password is retrieved using Python keyring and needs to be setup directly in the backend.

On Windows, Credential Manager is the backend and can be accessed as follows:

Control Panel > User Accounts > Credential Manager > Windows Credentials

Or run command line

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

Px looks for a 'generic credential' type with 'Px' as the network address name. More information on keyring backends can be found here.

There are a few other settings to tweak in the INI file but most are obvious. All settings can be specified on the command line for convenience. The INI file can also be created or updated from the command line using --save.

The binary distribution of Px runs in the background once started and can be quit by running px --quit. When run directly using Python, use CTRL-C to quit.

Px can also be setup to automatically run on startup with the --install flag. This is done by adding an entry into the Window registry which can be removed with --uninstall.

Usage

px [FLAGS]
python px.py [FLAGS]

Actions:
  --save
  Save configuration to px.ini or file specified with --config
    Allows setting up Px config directly from command line
    Values specified on CLI override any values in existing config file
    Values not specified on CLI or config file are set to defaults

  --install
  Add Px to the Windows registry to run on startup

  --uninstall
  Remove Px from the Windows registry

  --quit
  Quit a running instance of Px.exe

Configuration:
  --config=
  Specify config file. Valid file path, default: px.ini in working directory

  --proxy=  --server=  proxy:server= in INI file
    Proxy server(s) to connect through. IP:port, hostname:port
    Multiple proxies can be specified comma separated. Px will iterate through
    and use the one that works. Required field unless --noproxy is defined. If
    remote server is not in noproxy list and proxy is undefined, Px will reject
    the request

  --pac=  proxy:pac=
  PAC file to use to connect
    Use in place of server if PAC file should be loaded from a custom URL or
    file location instead of from Internet Options

  --listen=  proxy:listen=
  IP interface to listen on. Valid IP address, default: 127.0.0.1

  --port=  proxy:port=
  Port to run this proxy. Valid port number, default: 3128

  --gateway  proxy:gateway=
  Allow remote machines to use proxy. 0 or 1, default: 0
    Overrides 'listen' and binds to all interfaces

  --hostonly  proxy:hostonly=
  Allow only local interfaces to use proxy. 0 or 1, default: 0
    Px allows all IP addresses assigned to local interfaces to use the service.
    This allows local apps as well as VM or container apps to use Px when in a
    NAT config. Px does this by listening on all interfaces and overriding the
    allow list.

  --allow=  proxy:allow=
  Allow connection from specific subnets. Comma separated, default: *.*.*.*
    Whitelist which IPs can use the proxy. --hostonly overrides any definitions
    unless --gateway mode is also specified
    127.0.0.1 - specific ip
    192.168.0.* - wildcards
    192.168.0.1-192.168.0.255 - ranges
    192.168.0.1/24 - CIDR

  --noproxy=  proxy:noproxy=
  Direct connect to specific subnets like a regular proxy. Comma separated
    Skip the proxy for connections to these subnets
    127.0.0.1 - specific ip
    192.168.0.* - wildcards
    192.168.0.1-192.168.0.255 - ranges
    192.168.0.1/24 - CIDR

  --useragent=  proxy:useragent=
  Override or send User-Agent header on client's behalf

  --username=  proxy:username=
  Authentication to use when SSPI is unavailable. Format is domain\username
  Service name "Px" and this username are used to retrieve the password using
  Python keyring. Px only retrieves credentials and storage should be done
  directly in the keyring backend.
    On Windows, Credential Manager is the backed and can be accessed from
    Control Panel > User Accounts > Credential Manager > Windows Credentials.
    Create a generic credential with Px as the network address, this username
    and corresponding password.

  --auth=  proxy:auth=
  Force instead of discovering upstream proxy type
    By default, Px will attempt to discover the upstream proxy type and either
    use pywin32/ntlm-auth for NTLM auth or winkerberos for Kerberos or Negotiate
    auth. This option will force either NTLM, Kerberos or Basic and not query the
    upstream proxy type.

  --workers=  settings:workers=
  Number of parallel workers (processes). Valid integer, default: 2

  --threads=  settings:threads=
  Number of parallel threads per worker (process). Valid integer, default: 5

  --idle=  settings:idle=
  Idle timeout in seconds for HTTP connect sessions. Valid integer, default: 30

  --socktimeout=  settings:socktimeout=
  Timeout in seconds for connections before giving up. Valid float, default: 20

  --proxyreload=  settings:proxyreload=
  Time interval in seconds before reloading proxy info. Valid int, default: 60
    Proxy info is reloaded from a PAC file found via WPAD or AutoConfig URL, or
    manual proxy info defined in Internet Options

  --foreground  settings:foreground=
  Run in foreground when frozen or with pythonw.exe. 0 or 1, default: 0
    Px will attach to the console and write to it even though the prompt is
    available for further commands. CTRL-C in the console will exit Px

  --debug  settings:log=
  Enable debug logging. default: 0
    Logs are written to working directory and over-written on startup
    A log is automatically created if Px crashes for some reason

  --uniqlog
  Generate unique log file names
    Prevents logs from being overwritten on subsequent runs. Also useful if
    running multiple instances of Px

Examples

Use proxyserver.com:80 and allow requests from localhost only:

px --proxy=proxyserver.com:80

Don't use any forward proxy at all, just log what's going on:

px --noproxy=0.0.0.0/0 --debug

Allow requests from localhost and all locally assigned IP addresses. This is very useful for Docker for Windows and VMs in a NAT configuration because all requests originate from the host's IP:

px --proxy=proxyserver.com:80 --hostonly

Allow requests from localhost, locally assigned IP addresses and the IPs specified in the allow list outside the host:

px --proxy=proxyserver:80 --hostonly --gateway --allow=172.*.*.*

Allow requests from everywhere. Be careful, every client will use your login:

px --proxy=proxyserver.com:80 --gateway

NOTE: In Docker for Windows you need to set your proxy to http://<your_ip>:3128 (or actual port Px is listening to) and be aware of https://github.com/docker/for-win/issues/1380.

Workaround:

docker build --build-arg http_proxy=http://<your ip>:3128 --build-arg https_proxy=http://<your ip>:3128 -t containername ../dir/with/Dockerfile

Dependencies

Px doesn't have any GUI and runs completely in the background. It is distributed using Python 3.x and PyInstaller to have a self-contained executable but can also be run using a Python distribution with the following additional packages.

keyring, netaddr, ntlm-auth, psutil, pywin32, winkerberos

futures on Python 2.x

Px is tested with the latest releases of Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 using the Miniconda distribution.

In order to make Px a capable proxy server, it is designed to run in multiple processes. The number of parallel workers or processes is configurable. However, this only works on Python 3.3+ since that's when support was added to share sockets across processes in Windows. On older versions of Python, Px will run multi-threaded but in a single process. The number of threads per process is also configurable.

Building

To build an executable, run built.bat. You will need PyInstaller and the Microsoft VC++ toolset. PyInstaller will prompt you with a link if not present.

pip install pyinstaller

If it complains about missing libraries, then you may modify build.bat to give it the path to the MS dlls:

pyinstaller --clean --paths "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Redist\ucrt\DLLs\x64" --noupx -w -F -i px.ico px.py --hidden-import win32timezone --exclude-module win32ctypes

Substitute the correct path for your system.

Feedback

Px is definitely a work in progress and any feedback or suggestions are welcome. It is hosted on GitHub with an MIT license so issues, forks and PRs are most appreciated. Also join us on Gitter to chat about Px.

Credits

Thank you to all contributors for their PRs and all issue submitters.

Px is based on code from all over the internet and especially acknowledges these sources:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2969481/ntlm-authentication-in-python

http://www.oki-osk.jp/esc/python/proxy/

http://stupidpythonideas.blogspot.com/2014/09/sockets-and-multiprocessing.html

https://curl.haxx.se/mail/lib-2014-09/0070.html

https://github.com/fl4re/curl/blob/master/lib/curl_sasl_sspi.c

https://github.com/mongodb-labs/winkerberos/issues/19

https://www.tillett.info/2013/05/13/how-to-create-a-windows-program-that-works-as-both-as-a-gui-and-console-application/

http://www.boku.ru/2016/02/28/posting-to-console-from-gui-app/

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/42108978/what-is-the-priority-mechanism-in-proxy-settings-of-internet-explorer-browser

https://gist.github.com/mgeeky/8960f4fa3f9462ae7bcd6db4ce42a8d3

https://github.com/pypa/sampleproject/