In this tutorial, you will explore authentication with Vault tokens and GitHub credentials.
Token authentication is automatically enabled. When you started the dev server,
the output displayed a root token. The Vault CLI read the root token from the
$VAULT_TOKEN environment variable. This root token can perform
any operation within Vault because it is assigned the
root policy. One
capability is to create new tokens.
Create a new token.
$ vault token create
Key Value --- ----- token s.iyNUhq8Ov4hIAx6snw5mB2nL token_accessor maMfHsZfwLB6fi18Zenj3qh6 token_duration ∞ token_renewable false token_policies ["root"] identity_policies  policies ["root"]
The token is created and the output describes this token a table of keys and
values. The created
token is displayed here as
This token is a child of the root token, and by default, it inherits the policies from its parent.
Token is the core authentication method. You can use the generated token to login with Vault, by copy and pasting it when prompted.
$ vault login Token (will be hidden): Success! You are now authenticated. The token information displayed below is already stored in the token helper. You do NOT need to run "vault login" again. Future Vault requests will automatically use this token. Key Value --- ----- token s.iyNUhq8Ov4hIAx6snw5mB2nL token_accessor maMfHsZfwLB6fi18Zenj3qh6 token_duration ∞ token_renewable false token_policies ["root"] identity_policies  policies ["root"]
Create another token.
$ vault token create Key Value --- ----- token s.TsKT5ubouZ7TF26Eg7wNIl3k token_accessor b1d0curWHYqmgCndk0G1cM6R token_duration ∞ token_renewable false token_policies ["root"] identity_policies  policies ["root"]
The token is created and displayed here as
token that Vault creates is unique.
When a token is no longer needed it can be revoked.
Revoke the first token you created.
$ vault token revoke s.iyNUhq8Ov4hIAx6snw5mB2nL Success! Revoked token (if it existed)
The token has been revoked.
An attempt to login with the revoked token will result in an error.
$ vault login Token (will be hidden): Error authenticating: error looking up token: Error making API request. URL: GET http://127.0.0.1:8200/v1/auth/token/lookup-self Code: 403. Errors: * permission denied
Revoking a token will also revoke all tokens that were created by the token.
Vault supports authentication methods for human operators. GitHub authentication enables a user to authenticate with Vault by providing their GitHub credentials and receive a Vault token.
This authentication method, as described in the exercises, requires
that you have a GitHub profile, belong to a team in a GitHub organization, and
have generated a GitHub access token with the
Enable the GitHub auth method.
$ vault auth enable github Success! Enabled github auth method at: github/
The auth method is enabled and available at the path
This auth method requires that you set a GitHub organization in the configuration. A GitHub organization maintains a list of users which you are allowing to authenticate with Vault.
organization for the
$ vault write auth/github/config organization=hashicorp Success! Data written to: auth/github/config
Now all users within the
hashicorp GitHub organization are able to
GitHub organizations can define teams. Each team may have access to different actions across all the repositories that the organization maintains. These teams may also need access to specific secrets within Vault.
Configure the GitHub
engineering team authentication to be granted the
$ vault write auth/github/map/teams/engineering value=default,applications Success! Data written to: auth/github/map/teams/engineering
The members of the GitHub
engineering team in the
will authenticate and are authorized with the
The applications policy is not yet defined in Vault. Vault still allows users to authenticate but produces a warning until that policy is defined.
Display all the authentication methods that Vault has enabled.
$ vault auth list Path Type Description ---- ---- ----------- github/ github n/a token/ token token based credentials
The output displays the
token auth methods.
Learn more about the github auth method using
$ vault auth help github Usage: vault login -method=github [CONFIG K=V...] The GitHub auth method allows users to authenticate using a GitHub personal access token. Users can generate a personal access token from the settings page on their GitHub account. Authenticate using a GitHub token: $ vault login -method=github token=abcd1234 ## ...
The output displays an example of login with the
github method. This method
requires that the method be defined and that an operator provide a GitHub
personal access token.
Since you will attempt to login with an auth method, you should ensure that the
VAULT_TOKEN environment variable is not set for this shell session since its value will take precedence over any token you obtain from Vault.
Unset the environment variable.
$ unset VAULT_TOKEN
Attempt to login with the github auth method.
$ vault login -method=github GitHub Personal Access Token (will be hidden): Success! You are now authenticated. The token information displayed below is already stored in the token helper. You do NOT need to run "vault login" again. Future Vault requests will automatically use this token. Key Value --- ----- token s.DNtKCjVQ1TxAzgMqtDuwjjC2 token_accessor e7zLJuPg2tLpav66ZSu5AyDC token_duration 768h token_renewable true token_policies [default applications] token_meta_org hashicorp token_meta_username my-user
When the GitHub personal access token is not provided to the command
the Vault CLI prompts the operator. If a valid GitHub personal access token is
provided then the operator logs in and the output displays a Vault token. The
operator can use the Vault token until it is revoked or its lifetime exceeds the
Log back in with the root token.
$ vault login root
Revoke all tokens generated the
github auth method.
$ vault token revoke -mode path auth/github
All tokens generated by logins to the path
auth/github are revoked.
All authentication methods, except for the token auth method, can be disabled.
github auth method.
$ vault auth disable github Success! Disabled the auth method (if it existed) at: github/
All tokens generated by logins using this authentication method are revoked.
Because you have the
VAULT_TOKEN environment variable set, the CLI commands
will always use this value (the initial root token) unless the environment
variable gets unset or overwritten by another token value.
In this tutorial you learned how users can authenticate with Vault tokens and the GitHub authentication method. Vault provides a variety of authentication methods for the human operators and machines.
Next, you will learn about authorization and how to define policies.