If you use file-based user authentication, the elasticsearch-users command enables you to add and remove users, assign user roles, and manage passwords per node.


([useradd <username>] [-p <password>] [-r <roles>]) |
([list] <username>) |
([passwd <username>] [-p <password>]) |
([roles <username>] [-a <roles>] [-r <roles>]) |
([userdel <username>])


If you use the built-in file internal realm, users are defined in local files on each node in the cluster.

Usernames and roles must be at least 1 and no more than 1024 characters. They can contain alphanumeric characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9), spaces, punctuation, and printable symbols in the Basic Latin (ASCII) block. Leading or trailing whitespace is not allowed.

Passwords must be at least 6 characters long.

For more information, see File-based user authentication.

To ensure that Elasticsearch can read the user and role information at startup, run elasticsearch-users useradd as the same user you use to run Elasticsearch. Running the command as root or some other user updates the permissions for the users and users_roles files and prevents Elasticsearch from accessing them.


-a <roles>
If used with the roles parameter, adds a comma-separated list of roles to a user.
List the users that are registered with the file realm on the local node. If you also specify a user name, the command provides information for that user.
-p <password>

Specifies the user’s password. If you do not specify this parameter, the command prompts you for the password.

Omit the -p option to keep plaintext passwords out of the terminal session’s command history.

passwd <username>
Resets a user’s password. You can specify the new password directly with the -p parameter.
-r <roles>
  • If used with the useradd parameter, defines a user’s roles. This option accepts a comma-separated list of role names to assign to the user.
  • If used with the roles parameter, removes a comma-separated list of roles from a user.
Manages the roles of a particular user. You can combine adding and removing roles within the same command to change a user’s roles.
useradd <username>
Adds a user to your local node.
userdel <username>
Deletes a user from your local node.


The following example adds a new user named jacknich to the file realm. The password for this user is theshining, and this user is associated with the network and monitoring roles.

bin/elasticsearch-users useradd jacknich -p theshining -r network,monitoring

The following example lists the users that are registered with the file realm on the local node:

bin/elasticsearch-users list
rdeniro        : admin
alpacino       : power_user
jacknich       : monitoring,network

Users are in the left-hand column and their corresponding roles are listed in the right-hand column.

The following example resets the jacknich user’s password:

bin/elasticsearch-users passwd jachnich

Since the -p parameter was omitted, the command prompts you to enter and confirm a password in interactive mode.

The following example removes the network and monitoring roles from the jacknich user and adds the user role:

bin/elasticsearch-users roles jacknich -r network,monitoring -a user

The following example deletes the jacknich user:

bin/elasticsearch-users userdel jacknich