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Authentication identifies an individual. To gain access to restricted resources, a user must prove their identity, via passwords, credentials, or some other means (typically referred to as authentication tokens).
You can use the native support for managing and authenticating users, or integrate with external user management systems such as LDAP and Active Directory. For information about managing native users, see Managing Native Users.
X-Pack security provides built-in user credentials to help you get up and running.
These users have a fixed set of privileges and cannot be authenticated until their
passwords have been set. The
elastic user can be used to
set all of the built-in user passwords.
- A built-in superuser. See Built-in Roles.
- The user Kibana uses to connect and communicate with Elasticsearch.
- The user Logstash uses when storing monitoring information in Elasticsearch.
How the Built-in Users Workedit
These built-in users are stored within a special
.security index managed by
This means that, if the password is changed, or a user is disabled, then that
change is automatically reflected on each node in the cluster. It also means
that if your
.security index is deleted, or restored from a snapshot, then
any changes you have applied will be lost.
Although they share the same API, the built-in users are separate and distinct from users managed by the native realm. Disabling the native realm will not have any effect on the built-in users. The built-in users can be disabled individually, using the user management API.
The Elastic Bootstrap Passwordedit
When you install X-Pack, if the
elastic user does not already have a password,
it uses a default bootstrap password. The bootstrap password is a transient
password that enables you to run the tools that set all the built-in user passwords.
By default, the bootstrap password is derived from a randomized
setting, which is added to the keystore when you install X-Pack. You do not need
to know or change this bootstrap password. If you have defined a
bootstrap.password setting in the keystore, however, that value is used instead.
For more information about interacting with the keystore, see
After you set passwords for the built-in users,
in particular for the
elastic user, there is no further use for the bootstrap
Setting Built-in User Passwordsedit
You must set the passwords for all built-in users.
setup-passwords tool is the simplest method to set the built-in users'
passwords for the first time. It uses the
elastic user’s bootstrap password to
run user management API requests. For example, you can run the command in
an "interactive" mode, which prompts you to enter new passwords for the
For more information about the command options, see setup-passwords.
After you set a password for the
elastic user, the bootstrap
password is no longer valid; you cannot run the
setup-passwords command a
Alternatively, you can set the initial passwords for the built-in users by using
the Management > Users page in Kibana or the
Change Password API. These methods are
more complex. You must supply the
elastic user and its bootstrap password to
log into Kibana or run the API. This requirement means that you cannot use the
default bootstrap password that is derived from the
Instead, you must explicitly set a
bootstrap.password setting in the keystore
before you start Elasticsearch. For example, the following command prompts you to enter a
new bootstrap password:
bin/elasticsearch-keystore add "bootstrap.password"
You can then start Elasticsearch and Kibana and use the
elastic user and bootstrap
password to log into Kibana and change the passwords. Alternatively, you can
submit Change Password API requests for each built-in user. These methods are
better suited for changing your passwords after the initial setup is complete,
since at that point the bootstrap password is no longer required.
Adding Built-in User Passwords To Kibana and Logstashedit
kibana user password is set, you need to update the Kibana server
with the new password by setting
elasticsearch.password in the
logstash_system user is used internally within Logstash when
monitoring is enabled for Logstash.
To enable this feature in Logstash, you need to update the Logstash
configuration with the new password by setting
logstash.yml configuration file:
If you have upgraded from an older version of elasticsearch/x-pack,
logstash_system user may have defaulted to disabled for security reasons.
Once the password has been changed, you can enable the user via the following API call:
Disabling Default Password Functionalityedit
This setting is deprecated. The elastic user no longer has a default password. The password must be set before the user can be used. See The Elastic Bootstrap Password.
X-Pack security has three internal users (
that are responsible for the operations that take place inside an Elasticsearch cluster.
These users are only used by requests that originate from within the cluster. For this reason, they cannot be used to authenticate against the API and there is no password to manage or reset.
From time-to-time you may find a reference to one of these users inside your logs, including audit logs.