Create API key APIedit

Creates an API key for access without requiring basic authentication.


POST /_security/api_key

PUT /_security/api_key


  • To use this API, you must have at least the manage_own_api_key cluster privilege.

If the credential that is used to authenticate this request is an API key, the derived API key cannot have any privileges. If you specify privileges, the API returns an error. See the note under role_descriptors.


The API keys are created by the Elasticsearch API key service, which is automatically enabled. For instructions on disabling the API key service, see API key service settings.

A successful request returns a JSON structure that contains the API key, its unique id, and its name. If applicable, it also returns expiration information for the API key in milliseconds.

By default, API keys never expire. You can specify expiration information when you create the API keys.

See API key service settings for configuration settings related to API key service.

Request bodyedit

The following parameters can be specified in the body of a POST or PUT request:

(Required, string) Specifies the name for this API key.

(Optional, object) The role descriptors for this API key. This parameter is optional. When it is not specified or is an empty array, then the API key will have a point in time snapshot of permissions of the authenticated user. If you supply role descriptors then the resultant permissions would be an intersection of API keys permissions and authenticated user’s permissions thereby limiting the access scope for API keys.

Due to the way in which this permission intersection is calculated, it is not possible to create an API key that is a child of another API key, unless the derived key is created without any privileges. In this case, you must explicitly specify a role descriptor with no privileges. The derived API key can be used for authentication; it will not have authority to call Elasticsearch APIs.


(list) A list of application privilege entries.

application (required)
(string) The name of the application to which this entry applies
privileges (required)
(list) A list of strings, where each element is the name of an application privilege or action.
resources (required)
(list) A list resources to which the privileges are applied.
(list) A list of cluster privileges. These privileges define the cluster level actions that API keys are able to execute.
(object) An object defining global privileges. A global privilege is a form of cluster privilege that is request-aware. Support for global privileges is currently limited to the management of application privileges. This field is optional.

(list) A list of indices permissions entries.

(object) The document fields that the API keys have read access to. For more information, see Setting up field and document level security.
names (required)
(list) A list of indices (or index name patterns) to which the permissions in this entry apply.
(list) The index level privileges that the API keys have on the specified indices.
A search query that defines the documents the API keys have read access to. A document within the specified indices must match this query in order for it to be accessible by the API keys.
(object) Optional meta-data. Within the metadata object, keys that begin with _ are reserved for system usage.

(object) Optional restriction for when the role descriptor is allowed to be effective. For more information, see Role restriction.


(list) A list of workflows to which the API key is restricted. For a full list see Workflows.

In order to use role restriction, an API key must be created with a single role descriptor.

(list) A list of users that the API keys can impersonate. For more information, see Submitting requests on behalf of other users.
(Optional, string) Expiration time for the API key. By default, API keys never expire.
(Optional, object) Arbitrary metadata that you want to associate with the API key. It supports nested data structure. Within the metadata object, keys beginning with _ are reserved for system usage.


The following example creates an API key:

POST /_security/api_key
  "name": "my-api-key",
  "expiration": "1d",   
  "role_descriptors": { 
    "role-a": {
      "cluster": ["all"],
      "indices": [
          "names": ["index-a*"],
          "privileges": ["read"]
    "role-b": {
      "cluster": ["all"],
      "indices": [
          "names": ["index-b*"],
          "privileges": ["all"]
  "metadata": {
    "application": "my-application",
    "environment": {
       "level": 1,
       "trusted": true,
       "tags": ["dev", "staging"]

Optional expiration for the API key being generated. If expiration is not provided then the API keys do not expire.

Optional role descriptors for this API key. If not provided, permissions of the authenticated user are applied.

A successful call returns a JSON structure that provides API key information.

  "id": "VuaCfGcBCdbkQm-e5aOx",        
  "name": "my-api-key",
  "expiration": 1544068612110,         
  "api_key": "ui2lp2axTNmsyakw9tvNnw", 
  "encoded": "VnVhQ2ZHY0JDZGJrUW0tZTVhT3g6dWkybHAyYXhUTm1zeWFrdzl0dk5udw=="  

Unique id for this API key

Optional expiration in milliseconds for this API key

Generated API key

API key credentials which is the Base64-encoding of the UTF-8 representation of the id and api_key joined by a colon (:).

To use the generated API key, send a request with an Authorization header that contains an ApiKey prefix followed by the API key credentials (the encoded value from the response).

curl -H "Authorization: ApiKey VnVhQ2ZHY0JDZGJrUW0tZTVhT3g6dWkybHAyYXhUTm1zeWFrdzl0dk5udw==" \

If your node has set to true, then you must specify https when creating your API key

On a Unix-like system, the encoded value can be created with the following command:

echo -n "VuaCfGcBCdbkQm-e5aOx:ui2lp2axTNmsyakw9tvNnw" | base64 

Use -n so that the echo command doesn’t print the trailing newline character

The following example creates an API key with a restriction to the search_application_query workflow, which allows to call only Search Application Search API:

POST /_security/api_key
  "name": "my-restricted-api-key",
  "role_descriptors": {
    "my-restricted-role-descriptor": {
      "indices": [
          "names": ["my-search-app"],
          "privileges": ["read"]
      "restriction":  {
        "workflows": ["search_application_query"]