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Open Distro for Elasticsearch development has moved to OpenSearch. The ODFE plugins will continue to work with legacy versions of Elasticsearch OSS, but we recommend upgrading to OpenSearch to take advantage of the latest features and improvements.

Users and roles

The security plugin includes an internal user database. Use this database in place of or in addition to an external authentication system such as LDAP or Active Directory.

Roles are the core way of controlling access to your cluster. Roles contain any combination of cluster-wide permissions, index-specific permissions, document- and field-level security, and tenants. Then you map users to these roles so that users gain those permissions.

Unless you need to create new read-only or hidden users, we highly recommend using Kibana or the REST API to create new users, roles, and role mappings. The .yml files are for initial setup, not ongoing use.


Table of contents

  1. Create users
    1. Kibana
    2. internal_users.yml
    3. REST API
  2. Create roles
    1. Kibana
    2. roles.yml
    3. REST API
  3. Map users to roles
    1. Kibana
    2. roles_mapping.yml
    3. REST API
  4. Predefined roles
  5. Sample roles
    1. Set up a read-only user in Kibana
    2. Set up a bulk access role in Kibana

Create users

You can create users using Kibana, internal_users.yml, or the REST API. When creating a user, you can map users to roles using internal_users.yml or the REST API, but that feature is not currently available in Kibana.

Kibana

  1. Choose Security, Internal Users, and Create internal user.
  2. Provide a username and password. The security plugin automatically hashes the password and stores it in the .opendistro_security index.
  3. If desired, specify user attributes.

    Attributes are optional user properties that you can use for variable substitution in index permissions or document-level security.

  4. Choose Submit.

internal_users.yml

See YAML files.

REST API

See Create user.

Create roles

Just like users, you can create roles using Kibana, roles.yml, or the REST API.

Kibana

  1. Choose Security, Roles, and Create role.
  2. Provide a name for the role.
  3. Add permissions as desired.

    For example, you might give a role no cluster permissions, read permissions to two indices, unlimited permissions to a third index, and read permissions to the analysts tenant.

  4. Choose Submit.

roles.yml

See YAML files.

REST API

See Create role.

Map users to roles

If you didn’t specify roles when you created your user, you can map roles to it afterwards.

Just like users and roles, you create role mappings using Kibana, roles_mapping.yml, or the REST API.

Kibana

  1. Choose Security, Roles, and a role.
  2. Choose the Mapped users tab and Manage mapping.
  3. Specify users or external identities (also known as backend roles).
  4. Choose Map.

roles_mapping.yml

See YAML files.

REST API

See Create role mapping.

Predefined roles

The security plugin includes several predefined roles that serve as useful defaults.

Role Description
alerting_ack_alerts Grants permissions to view and acknowledge alerts, but not modify destinations or monitors.
alerting_full_access Grants full permissions to all alerting actions.
alerting_read_access Grants permissions to view alerts, destinations, and monitors, but not acknowledge alerts or modify destinations or monitors.
anomaly_full_access Grants full permissions to all anomaly detection actions.
anomaly_read_access Grants permissions to view detectors, but not create, modify, or delete detectors.
all_access Grants full access to the cluster: all cluster-wide operations, write to all indices, write to all tenants.
kibana_read_only A special role that prevents users from making changes to visualizations, dashboards, and other Kibana objects. See opendistro_security.readonly_mode.roles in kibana.yml. Pair with the kibana_user role.
kibana_user Grants permissions to use Kibana: cluster-wide searches, index monitoring, and write to various Kibana indices.
logstash Grants permissions for Logstash to interact with the cluster: cluster-wide searches, cluster monitoring, and write to the various Logstash indices.
manage_snapshots Grants permissions to manage snapshot repositories, take snapshots, and restore snapshots.
readall Grants permissions for cluster-wide searches like msearch and search permissions for all indices.
readall_and_monitor Same as readall, but with added cluster monitoring permissions.
security_rest_api_access A special role that allows access to the REST API. See opendistro_security.restapi.roles_enabled in elasticsearch.yml and Access control for the API.
reports_read_access Grants permissions to generate on-demand reports, download existing reports, and view report definitions, but not to create report definitions.
reports_instances_read_access Grants permissions to generate on-demand reports and download existing reports, but not to view or create report definitions.
reports_full_access Grants full permissions to reports.
asynchronous_search_full_access Grants full permissions to all asynchronous search actions.
asynchronous_search_read_access Grants permissions to view asynchronous searches, but not to submit, modify, or delete async searches.

For more detailed summaries of the permissions for each role, reference their action groups against the descriptions in Default action groups.

Sample roles

The following examples show how you might set up a read-only and a bulk access role.

Set up a read-only user in Kibana

Create a new read_only_index role:

  1. Open Kibana.
  2. Choose Security, Roles.
  3. Create a new role named read_only_index.
  4. For Cluster permissions, add the cluster_composite_ops_ro action group.
  5. For Index Permissions, add an index pattern. For example, you might specify my-index-*.
  6. For index permissions, add the read action group.
  7. Choose Create.

Map three roles to the read-only user:

  1. Choose the Mapped users tab and Manage mapping.
  2. For Internal users, add your read-only user.
  3. Choose Map.
  4. Repeat these steps for the kibana_user and kibana_read_only roles.

Set up a bulk access role in Kibana

Create a new bulk_access role:

  1. Open Kibana.
  2. Choose Security, Roles.
  3. Create a new role named bulk_access.
  4. For Cluster permissions, add the cluster_composite_ops action group.
  5. For Index Permissions, add an index pattern. For example, you might specify my-index-*.
  6. For index permissions, add the write action group.
  7. Choose Create.

Map the role to your user:

  1. Choose the Mapped users tab and Manage mapping.
  2. For Internal users, add your bulk access user.
  3. Choose Map.