WARNING: Version 6.2 of the Elastic Stack has passed its EOL date.
This documentation is no longer being maintained and may be removed. If you are running this version, we strongly advise you to upgrade. For the latest information, see the current release documentation.
You can manage and authenticate users with the built-in
file internal realm.
file realm users are defined in local files on each node in the cluster.
As the administrator of the cluster, it is your responsibility to ensure the same users are defined on every node in the cluster. X-Pack security does not deliver any mechanism to guarantee this.
file realm is primarily supported to serve as a fallback/recovery realm. It
is mostly useful in situations where all users locked themselves out of the system
(no one remembers their username/password). In this type of scenarios, the
realm is your only way out - you can define a new
admin user in the
and use it to log in and reset the credentials of all other users.
When you configure realms in
elasticsearch.yml, only the
realms you specify are used for authentication. To use the
file realm as a fallback, you must include it in the realm chain.
To define users, X-Pack security provides the users command-line tool. This tool enables you to add and remove users, assign user roles and manage user passwords.
file realm is added to the realm chain by default. You don’t need to
explicitly configure a
file realm to manage users with the
Like other realms, you can configure options for a
file realm in the
xpack.security.authc.realms namespace in
To configure an
Add a realm configuration of type
xpack.security.authc.realmsnamespace. At a minimum, you must set the realm
file. If you are configuring multiple realms, you should also explicitly set the
orderattribute. See File Realm Settings for all of the options you can set for a
For example, the following snippet shows a
filerealm configuration that sets the
orderto zero so the realm is checked first:
xpack: security: authc: realms: file1: type: file order: 0
- 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. Defaults to
Indicates whether this realm is enabled or
disabled. Enables you to disable a realm without
removing its configuration. Defaults to
Specifies the time-to-live for cached user entries.
A user’s credentials are cached for this period of
time. Specify the time period using the standard
Elasticsearch time units.
Specifies the maximum number of user entries that can be stored in the cache at one time. Defaults to 100,000.
Specifies the hashing algorithm that is used for the cached user credentials. See Cache hash algorithms for the possible values. (Expert Setting).
All the data about the users for the
file realm is stored in two files,
users_roles. Both files are located in
ES_PATH_CONF/x-pack/ and are read
By default, X-Pack security checks these files for changes every 5 seconds. You can
change this default behavior by changing the
resource.reload.interval.high setting in
elasticsearch.yml file (as this is a common setting in Elasticsearch,
changing its value may effect other schedules in the system).
These files are managed locally by the node and are not managed globally by the cluster. This means that with a typical multi-node cluster, the exact same changes need to be applied on each and every node in the cluster.
A safer approach would be to apply the change on one of the nodes and have the
users_roles files distributed/copied to all other nodes in the
cluster (either manually or using a configuration management system such as
Puppet or Chef).
While it is possible to modify these files directly using any standard text
editor, we strongly recommend using the
command-line tool to apply the required changes.
users file stores all the users and their passwords. Each line in the
users file represents a single user entry consisting of the username and
rdeniro:$2a$10$BBJ/ILiyJ1eBTYoRKxkqbuDEdYECplvxnqQ47uiowE7yGqvCEgj9W alpacino:$2a$10$cNwHnElYiMYZ/T3K4PvzGeJ1KbpXZp2PfoQD.gfaVdImnHOwIuBKS jacknich:$2a$10$GYUNWyABV/Ols/.bcwxuBuuaQzV6WIauW6RdboojxcixBq3LtI3ni
X-Pack security uses
bcrypt to hash the user passwords.
users_roles file stores the roles associated with the users, as in the
admin:rdeniro power_user:alpacino,jacknich user:jacknich
Each row maps a role to a comma-separated list of all the users that are associated with that role.
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