You are looking at the documentation of a prior release. To read the documentation of the latest release, please visit here.

New to KubeVault? Please start here.


Prerequisite : To configure TLS/SSL in VaultServer, KubeVault uses cert-manager to issue certificates. So first you have to make sure that the cluster has cert-manager installed. To install cert-manager in your cluster following steps here.

To issue a certificate, the following cr of cert-manager is used:

  • Issuer/ClusterIssuer: Issuers and ClusterIssuers represent certificate authorities (CAs) that are able to generate signed certificates by honoring certificate signing requests. All cert-manager certificates require a referenced issuer that is in a ready condition to attempt to honor the request. You can learn more details here.

  • Certificate: cert-manager has the concept of Certificates that define the desired x509 certificate which will be renewed and kept up to date. You can learn more details here.

VaultServer CRD Specification:

KubeValt uses the following cr fields to enable SSL/TLS encryption in VaultServer.

      apiGroup: ""
      kind: Issuer
      name: vault-issuer
    - alias: server
      secretName: vautl-server-certs
        - kubevault
    - alias: client
      secretName: vault-client-certs
        - kubevault

The spec.tls contains the following fields:

  • tls.issuerRef - is an optional field that references to the Issuer or ClusterIssuer custom resource object of cert-manager. It is used to generate the necessary certificate secrets for Elasticsearch. If the issuerRef is not specified, the operator creates a self-signed CA and also creates necessary certificate (valid: 365 days) secrets using that CA.

    • apiGroup - is the group name of the resource that is being referenced. Currently, the only supported value is
    • kind - is the type of resource that is being referenced. The supported values are Issuer and ClusterIssuer.
    • name - is the name of the resource ( Issuer or ClusterIssuer ) that is being referenced.
  • tls.certificates - is an optional field that specifies a list of certificate configurations used to configure the certificates. It has the following fields:

    • alias - represents the identifier of the certificate. It has the following possible value:

      • server - is used for the server certificate configuration.
      • client - is used for the client certificate configuration.
      • storage - is used for the storage certificate configuration.
      • ca - is used for the ca certificate configuration.
    • secretName - ( string | "<vault-name>-alias-certs" ) - specifies the k8s secret name that holds the certificates.

    • subject - specifies an X.509 distinguished name (DN). It has the following configurable fields:

      • organizations ( []string | nil ) - is a list of organization names.
      • organizationalUnits ( []string | nil ) - is a list of organization unit names.
      • countries ( []string | nil ) - is a list of country names (ie. Country Codes).
      • localities ( []string | nil ) - is a list of locality names.
      • provinces ( []string | nil ) - is a list of province names.
      • streetAddresses ( []string | nil ) - is a list of street addresses.
      • postalCodes ( []string | nil ) - is a list of postal codes.
      • serialNumber ( string | "" ) is a serial number.

      For more details, visit here.

    • duration ( string | "" ) - is the period during which the certificate is valid. A duration string is a possibly signed sequence of decimal numbers, each with optional fraction and a unit suffix, such as "300m", "1.5h" or "20h45m". Valid time units are “ns”, “us” (or “µs”), “ms”, “s”, “m”, “h”.

    • renewBefore ( string | "" ) - is a specifiable time before expiration duration.

    • dnsNames ( []string | nil ) - is a list of subject alt names.

    • ipAddresses ( []string | nil ) - is a list of IP addresses.

    • uris ( []string | nil ) - is a list of URI Subject Alternative Names.

    • emailAddresses ( []string | nil ) - is a list of email Subject Alternative Names.

How TLS/SSL configures in VaultServer

The following figure shows how KubeVault is used to configure TLS/SSL in Postgres. Open the image in a new tab to see the enlarged version.

Deploying VaultServer with TLS/SSL configuration process consists of the following steps:

  1. At first, a user creates an Issuer/ClusterIssuer cr.

  2. Then the user creates a VaultServer cr.

  3. KubeVault community operator watches for the VaultServer cr.

  4. When it finds one, it creates Secret, Service, etc. for the VaultServer.

  5. KubeVault operator watches for VaultServer(5c), Issuer/ClusterIssuer(5b), Secret and Service(5a).

  6. When it finds all the resources(VaultServer, Issuer/ClusterIssuer, Secret, Service), it creates Certificates by using tls.issuerRef and tls.certificates field specification from VaultServer cr.

  7. cert-manager watches for certificates.

  8. When it finds one, it creates certificate secrets cert-secrets(server, client, exporter secrets, etc.) that hold the actual self-signed certificate.

  9. KubeVault community operator watches for the Certificate secrets tls-secrets.

  10. When it finds all the tls-secret, it creates a StatefulSet so that Postgres server is configured with TLS/SSL.

In the next doc, we are going to show a step by step guide on how to configure a VaultServer with TLS/SSL.