You can configure X-Pack security to use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates to authenticate users. This requires clients to present X.509 certificates. To use PKI, you configure a PKI realm, enable client authentication on the desired network layers (transport or http), and map the Distinguished Names (DNs) from the user certificates to X-Pack security roles in the role mapping file.
You can also use a combination of PKI and username/password authentication. For
example, you can enable SSL/TLS on the transport layer and define a PKI realm to
require transport clients to authenticate with X.509 certificates, while still
authenticating HTTP traffic using username and password credentials. You can also set
optional to allow clients without
certificates to authenticate with other credentials.
You must enable SSL/TLS and enabled client authentication to use PKI. For more information, see Setting Up SSL/TLS on a Cluster.
Like other realms, you configure options for a
pki realm under the
xpack.security.authc.realms namespace in
Add a realm configuration of type
xpack.security.authc.realmsnamespace. At a minimum, you must set the realm
pki. If you are configuring multiple realms, you should also explicitly set the
orderattribute. See PKI Realm Settings for all of the options you can set for a
For example, the following snippet shows the most basic
xpack: security: authc: realms: pki1: type: pki
With this configuration, any certificate trusted by the SSL/TLS layer is accepted for authentication. The username is the common name (CN) extracted from the DN of the certificate.
When you configure realms in
elasticsearch.yml, only the realms you specify are used for authentication. If you also want to use the
filerealms, you must include them in the realm chain.
If you want to use something other than the CN of the DN as the username, you can specify a regex to extract the desired username. For example, the regex in the following configuration extracts the email address from the DN:
xpack: security: authc: realms: pki1: type: pki username_pattern: "EMAILADDRESS=(.*?)(?:,|$)"
You can also specify which truststore to use for authentication. This is useful when the SSL/TLS layer trusts clients with certificates that are signed by a different CA than the one that signs your users' certificates. To specify the location of the truststore, specify the
xpack: security: authc: realms: pki1: type: pki truststore: path: "/path/to/pki_truststore.jks" password: "changeme"
- Restart Elasticsearch.
Indicates the realm type. Must be set to
Indicates the priority of this realm within the realm
chain. Realms with a lower order are consulted first.
Although not required, we recommend explicitly
setting this value when you configure multiple realms.
Indicates whether this realm is enabled or disabled.
Enables you to disable a realm without removing its
configuration. Defaults to
Specifies the regular expression pattern used to extract
the username from the certificate DN. The first match
group is used as the username. Defaults to
The path to the truststore. Defaults to the path defined by SSL/TLS settings.
Specifies the password for the truststore. Must be
Specifies the algorithm used for the truststore.
You map roles for PKI users in the role mapping file stored on each node. You
identify a user by the distinguished name in their certificate. For example, the
following mapping configuration maps
John Doe to the
For more information, see Mapping Users and Groups to Roles.