The necessary steps are:

  1. enable the gitea-ssh service
  2. configure Traefik to recognize and open the new ports
  3. create an ingressrouteTCP resource to tell Traefik what to do
  4. configure your client
  5. make sure everything is working

In case you are new to Traefik, we recently published a (German-only) introduction to Traefik.

enable the gitea-ssh service

If you installed gitea from the official helm chart, then you just need to add some lines to your values.yaml to enable the gitea-ssh service:

    type: ClusterIP
    port: 22

The empty clusterIP is not an error, the default for that values is none, and in this way we overwrite it and tell it to use a real ClusterIP.

After modifying the values.yaml, upgrade gitea using helm, e.g. helm upgrade gitea gitea/gitea -f values.yaml and wait for everything to fully settle. Make sure the pods are up and the service is shown:

$ kubectl get svc
NAME                        TYPE        CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
gitea-http                  ClusterIP   None           <none>        3000/TCP   6d3h
gitea-postgresql-headless   ClusterIP   None           <none>        5432/TCP   6d3h
gitea-postgresql            ClusterIP   <none>        5432/TCP   6d3h
gitea-ssh                   ClusterIP   <none>        22/TCP     3d7h

configure Traefik to recognize the gitea-ssh port

If you want your Gitea instance to be reachable via port 22, which is the default port for SSH, you run into two problems:

First, the Traefik pods is running with low privileges, i.e. as a non-root user. That means it cannot bind to ports under 1024. That is intentional and good admin practice. Second, your kubernetes node might be using port 22 for its own SSH connection.

So, unless you have important reasons for really using port 22, the safer and easier approach is to use a free high port. In the following example we will be using 55522. See the footnote below if you really need port 22. But be warned…

In case you installed Traefik via the official helm chart, add the following section to your values.yaml file and upgrade Traefik (e.g. helm upgrade traefik traefik/traefik -f values.yaml or similar).

    port: 55522
    expose: true

Verify that the settings are reflected in the Traefik deployment:

$ kubectl get deployment traefik -n traefik-system -o yaml
      - args:
        - --global.checknewversion
        - --global.sendanonymoususage
        - --entrypoints.gitea-ssh.address=:55522/tcp
        - --entrypoints.traefik.address=:9000/tcp
        - --entrypoints.web.address=:8000/tcp
        - --entrypoints.websecure.address=:8443/tcp

create an IngressRouteTCP resource

Kubernetes itself only offers a very limited featureset for ingresses, mainly HTTP/HTTPS. This is where Traefik shines, as it comes with its own CRDs (custom resource definitions) that can be used until the Kubernetes ApiGateway specification is stable enough. This ApiGateway is intended as a successor to ingresses and will (hopefully) be supported by all ingress controllers, while the Traefik CRDs are only working with Traefik.

The following IngressRouteTCP resource configures Traefik to forward TCP traffic that is arriving on port 55522 to the gitea-ssh service that is listening on port 22:

kind: IngressRouteTCP
  name: gitea-ssh
  namespace: gitea
    - gitea-ssh
  - match: HostSNI(`*`)
    - name: gitea-ssh
      port: 22

Side note: The HostSNI option is mandatory for an IngressRouteTCP object, even if it is completely useless in case of SSH. As SSH is not using the TLS protocol, it is not sending any SNI information. This means, that you cannot forward traffic to different recipient services depending on the hostname that is given, like you are used to with HTTP traffic (in webserver terminology this is called virtual hosts or host-based routing). In case of SSH, you need a separate port for each of your services.

configure your client to use the proper port

As we are not using port 22, we need to configure our clients to use the correct port.

This can be done either during cloning of the repository with git or by setting the appropriate parameters in your ~/.ssh/config file.

And, of course, before you can do that, you need to add your public SSH key to your user’s profile in your Gitea instance.

For git, use the full URL that looks something like ssh://

$ git clone ssh://
Cloning into 'my-repository'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 3, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (3/3), done.
remote: Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (3/3), done.

If you want to configure this once so you do not need to remember for each clone, add this to your ~/.ssh/config file:

     Port 55522

Then just clone using the URL without the port number:

$ git clone
Cloning into 'my-repository'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 3, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (3/3), done.
remote: Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (3/3), done.

Hooray, it works!

Before you go off to party and celebrate your success: In case it is not only you that will be using this gitea instance, it might make sense to distribute the SSH settings to other users. Those can easily be added to your /etc/ssh_config (or the equivalent on your operation system) via your company’s configuration management system. Ask your local IT administrator and send her my best wishes!


In case you really need Gitea to be reachable on port 22, use the following snippet for your Traefik values.yaml:

    port: 22
    expose: true

    drop: [ALL]
  runAsGroup: 0
  runAsNonRoot: false
  runAsUser: 0

And yes, this is really NOT A GOOD IDEA…

Johannes Kastl
Johannes is a Linux trainer and consultant and has been with B1 Systems since 2017. His topics include configuration management (Ansible, Salt, Chef, Puppet), version control (git), Infrastructure as Code (Terraform) and automation (Jenkins) as well as testing (Inspec, anyone?). At daytime he works as a sysadmin and fixes problems, at night he tries new technologies like Kubernetes (openSUSE Kubic!), podman or transactional-updates.

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