Managing ALLOWED_HOSTS in Django for Kubernetes Health Check

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of configuring the ALLOWED_HOSTS setting in a Django application running on Kubernetes to seamlessly manage health checks.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When operating in a Kubernetes environment and utilizing liveness or readiness probes for health checks, it becomes imperative to configure the ALLOWED_HOSTS setting in Django accurately. This configuration ensures that HTTP requests from these probes are accepted by the Django application. By tailoring ALLOWED_HOSTS to permit traffic from Kubernetes health checks, we can efficiently handle these requests without any hiccups.



import os

DEBUG = False  # Ensure DEBUG is set to False in production

# Retrieve allowed hosts from environment variable or use a default value
ALLOWED_HOSTS = [os.environ.get('DJANGO_ALLOWED_HOST', 'localhost')]

# Add additional hosts if required for health checks
if os.environ.get('KUBERNETES_HEALTH_CHECK'):

# Optionally, wildcard subdomains can be allowed with proper DNS configuration
if os.environ.get('ALLOW_WILDCARD_DOMAIN') == 'true':

# Copyright PHD



The code snippet dynamically adjusts the ALLOWED_HOSTS based on environment variables. It fetches the primary host from an environment variable (DJANGO_ALLOWED_HOST) and supplements it with any extra hosts necessary for Kubernetes health checks. By authorizing these hosts, we guarantee that requests from Kubernetes probes are accommodated by Django without triggering SuspiciousOperation errors due to host header validation.

    1. How does misconfiguring ALLOWED_HOSTS impact my Django application? Misconfiguring ALLOWED_HOSTS can result in security vulnerabilities like host header attacks where an attacker deceives your application into processing requests intended for another domain.

    2. Can I set ALLOWED_HOSTS as ‘*’ to allow all hosts? While feasible, setting ‘*’ is not recommended as it exposes your application to potential security risks. It’s advisable to explicitly define allowed hosts.

    3. How do I test if my ALLOWED_HOSTS configuration is correct? You can simulate a request with specific host headers using tools like cURL or Postman and ensure that your Django application responds appropriately without any SuspiciousOperation errors.

    4. Should I include localhost in my ALLOWED_HOSTS settings? Yes, particularly during development as many services utilize localhost for communication. However, remember to exclude it or adjust it accordingly in production settings.

    5. Can I use regular expressions in ALLOWED_HOSTS? No, Django’s ALLOWED_HOSTS does not support regular expressions directly; valid hostnames or IP addresses must be specified explicitly.


Accurately configuring the ALLOWDHOST_SETTINGS is vital for ensuring the smooth operation of a Django application within a Kubernetes ecosystem while effectively managing health checks.

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