Vault Secret Engine

Pachyderm supports Vault integration by providing a Vault Secret Engine.


Vault instructions for the admin deploying/configuring/managing vault

  1. Get plugin binary
  • Navigate to the Pachyderm Repo on github
    • Go to the latest release page
    • Download the vault asset
  1. Download / Install that binary on your vault server instance

On your vault server:

# Assuming the binary was downloaded to /tmp/vault-plugins/pachyderm
export SHASUM=$(shasum -a 256 "/tmp/vault-plugins/pachyderm" | cut -d " " -f1)
echo $SHASUM
vault write sys/plugins/catalog/pachyderm sha_256="$SHASUM" command="pachyderm"
vault secrets enable -path=pachyderm -plugin-name=pachyderm plugin

Note: You may need to enable memory locking on the pachyderm plugin (see []). That will look like:

sudo setcap cap_ipc_lock=+ep $(readlink -f /tmp/vault-plugins/pachyderm)
  1. Configure the plugin

We’ll need to gather and provide this information to the plugin for it to work:

  • admin_token : is the (machine user) pachyderm token the plugin will use to cut new credentials on behalf of users
  • pachd_address : is the URL where the pachyderm cluster can be accessed
  • ttl : is the max TTL a token can be issued

Admin Token

To get a machine user admin_token from pachyderm:

If auth is not activated

(this activates auth with a robot user. It’s also possible to activate auth with a github user. Also, the choice of robot:admin is arbitrary. You could name this admin robot:<any string>)

$ pachctl auth activate --initial-admin=robot:admin
Retrieving Pachyderm token...
Pachyderm token for "robot:admin":

$ ADMIN_TOKEN=34cffc9254df40f0a277ee23e9fb005d
$ echo "${ADMIN_TOKEN}" | pachctl auth use-auth-token # authenticates you as the cluster admin

If auth is already activated

# Login as a cluster admin
$ pachctl auth login
... login as cluster admin ...

# Appoint a new robot user as the cluster admin (if needed)
$ pachctl auth modify-admins --add=robot:admin

# Get a token for that robot user admin
$ pachctl auth get-auth-token robot:admin
New credentials:
  Subject: robot:admin
  Token: 3090e53de6cb4108a2c6591f3cbd4680

$ ADMIN_TOKEN=3090e53de6cb4108a2c6591f3cbd4680

Pass the new admin token to Pachyderm:

vault write pachyderm/config \
    admin_token="${ADMIN_TOKEN}" \
    pachd_address="${ADDRESS:-}" \
    ttl=5m # optional
  1. Test the plugin
vault read pachyderm/version

# If this fails, check if the problem is in the client (rather than the server):
vault read pachyderm/version/client-only
  1. Manage user tokens with revoke
$ vault token revoke d2f1f95c-2445-65ab-6a8b-546825e4997a
Success! Revoked token (if it existed)

Which will revoke the vault token. But if you also want to manually revoke a pachyderm token, you can do so by issuing:

$vault write pachyderm/revoke user_token=xxx


When your application needs to access pachyderm, you will first do the following:

  1. Connect / login to vault

Depending on your language / deployment this can vary. see the vault documentation for more details.

  1. Anytime you are going to issue a request to a pachyderm cluster first:
  • check to see if you have a valid pachyderm token
    • if you do not have a token, hit the login path as described below
    • if you have a token but it’s TTL will expire soon (latter half of TTL is what’s recommended), hit the renew path as described below
  • then use the response token when constructing your client to talk to the pachyderm cluster


Again, your client could be in any language. But as an example using the vault CLI:

$ vault write -f pachyderm/login/robot:test
Key                Value
---                -----
lease_id           pachyderm/login/robot:test/e93d9420-7788-4846-7d1a-8ac4815e4274
lease_duration     768h
lease_renewable    true
user_token         aa425375f03d4a5bb0f529379d82aa39

The response metadata contains the user_token that you need to use to connect to the pachyderm cluster, as well as the pachd_address. Again, if you wanted to use this Pachyderm token on the command line:

$ echo "aa425375f03d4a5bb0f529379d82aa39" | pachctl auth use-auth-token
$ ADDRESS= pachctl list-repo

The TTL is tied to the vault lease in lease_id, which can be inspected or revoked using the vault lease API (documented here:

$ vault write /sys/leases/lookup lease_id=pachyderm/login/robot:test/e93d9420-7788-4846-7d1a-8ac4815e4274
Key             Value
---             -----
expire_time     2018-06-17T23:32:23.317795215-07:00
id              pachyderm/login/robot:test/e93d9420-7788-4846-7d1a-8ac4815e4274
issue_time      2018-05-16T23:32:23.317794929-07:00
last_renewal    <nil>
renewable       true
ttl             2764665


You should issue a renew request once the halfway mark of the TTL has elapsed. Like revocation, renewal is handled using the vault lease API:

$ vault write /sys/leases/renew lease_id=pachyderm/login/robot:test/e93d9420-7788-4846-7d1a-8ac4815e4274 increment=3600
Key                Value
---                -----
lease_id           pachyderm/login/robot:test/e93d9420-7788-4846-7d1a-8ac4815e4274
lease_duration     2h
lease_renewable    true