10 October 2017 Engineering

Kibana Dashboard Only Mode

By Stacey Gammon

Ever wish you could share your Kibana dashboards without the risk of someone accidentally deleting or modifying them? Do you want to show off your dashboards without the distraction of unrelated applications and links? In version 6.0 we’re making it easier than ever to set up a restricted access user, with limited visibility into Kibana.

It’s already possible to create read only users, but new in 6.0 is a UI to match, and we’ve made it simple to set up. All you have to do is assign the new, reserved, built-in kibana_dashboard_only_user role, along with the appropriate data access roles, to your user and they will be in dashboard only mode when they log in to Kibana.

The Experience

When a user in Dashboards Only Mode first logs into Kibana, they will only see the Dashboard app in the left navigation pane. All edit and create controls will be hidden.

No write controls or unwanted application navigation links when viewing the dashboard listing page

When a dashboard is opened, they will also have a limited visual experience, with no add or edit controls.

open dashboard with no write controls

Dashboard only mode pairs well with full screen mode. Share your dashboards with the team responsible for putting them up on the “big screen”, and be confident they will remain safe and indestructible.

use full screen mode along with dashboard only mode

How to Set it Up

Under Management > Security > Users, edit or create a new user and assign them the kibana_dashboard_only_user role, along with roles that grant the user appropriate data access.

how to set up dashboard only mode for a kibana user

Advanced Configuration

The built-in kibana_dashboard_only_user role grants read only access to the .kibana index, so if you have a multi-tenant setup, or are using a custom kibana index, you’ll have to use an advanced configuration. You can do this by creating your own roles, and tagging them as “Dashboard only mode” in Advanced Settings.

You can find this configuration in Management > Advanced Settings, called xpackDashboardMode:roles. By default this will be set to kibana_dashboard_only_user. Here you can add as many additional roles as you like.

advanced dashboard only mode configuration

When creating your custom dashboard only mode roles, you should grant them read only access to your custom index.

creating read only users for the advanced, dashboard only mode configuration

Roles are stored in Elasticsearch, but because Advanced Settings are stored in your kibana index, you will have to modify this setting for each custom index you are using.

Try It Out

Dashboard only mode is available in 6.0.0-RC-1, which you can download and try out here: https://www.elastic.co/downloads/kibana#preview-release. We’d love for you to try it out and give us any feedback you have. As an added bonus, participate in the Pioneer Program by finding and filing new bugs, and be eligible for Elastic swag.