Hashicorp Vault

HashiCorp Vault is designed to help organizations manage access to secrets and transmit them safely.

Secrets are any form of sensitive credentials that need to be tightly controlled and monitored and can be used to unlock sensitive information. Secrets can be in the form of passwords, API keys, SSH keys, RSA tokens, or OTP. For more details, refer to Dynamic secrets.

YSQL plugin for Hashicorp Vault

YSQL plugin for Hashicorp Vault provides APIs for using HashiCorp Vault dynamic secrets with YugabyteDB. The plugin includes APIs for adding YugabyteDB to manage secrets, creating new users, and managing leases.

For more details, refer to YSQL plugin for Hashicorp Vault.


Your YugabyteDB cluster should be up and running. Refer to YugabyteDB Prerequisites.

Install Hashicorp Vault. See Installing Vault.

Before using Vault, do the following:

  • Add Go to the path as follows:

    export GOPATH=$HOME/go
    export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin:$GOPATH/bin
  • To run Vault in development mode, add the default vault address and vault token as follows:

    export VAULT_ADDR="http://localhost:8200"
    export VAULT_TOKEN="root"
  • For production mode, register the plugin as follows:

    export SHA256=$(sha256sum <build dir>/ysql-plugin  | cut -d' ' -f1)
    vault write sys/plugins/catalog/database/ysql-plugin \
        sha256=$SHA256 \

Install the YSQL plugin for Hashicorp Vault as follows:

  • Clone the hashicorp-vault-ysql-plugin repository:

    git clone https://github.com/yugabyte/hashicorp-vault-ysql-plugin && cd hashicorp-vault-ysql-plugin
  • Build the plugin as follows:

    go build -o <build dir>/ysql-plugin cmd/ysql-plugin/main.go

Alternatively, you can download the binary directly from GitHub:

  • Pre-built binary can be found at the releases page. Download, unzip the file and place the binary in build directory.

Run and configure the vault server

Start the Vault server using the server command with the following flags:

  • To have Vault automatically register the plugin, provide the path to the directory containing the plugin binary using the -dev-plugin-dir flag.
  • Set the -dev-root-token flag to inform the vault to use the default vault token of root to log in (this token is required in production mode).
  • To run the server in development mode, use the -dev flag; development mode makes it easier to experiment with Vault or start a Vault instance for development.

Don't run Development mode in production

Never run development mode in production. It is insecure and will lose data on every restart (as it stores data in memory). Development mode is only suitable for development or experimentation.

For example, you can start the server as follows:

vault server -dev -dev-root-token-id=root -dev-plugin-dir=<build directory>

Enable the database's secrets as follows:

vault secrets enable database

You can add the database using one of the following options:

  • Enter the credentials:

    vault write database/config/yugabytedb plugin_name=ysql-plugin  \
    host="" \
    port=5433 \
    username="yugabyte" \
    password="yugabyte" \
    db="yugabyte" \
    load_balance=true \
    yb_servers_refresh_interval=0 \
  • Use a connection string:

    vault write database/config/yugabytedb \
    plugin_name=ysql-plugin \
    connection_url="postgres://{{username}}:{{password}}@localhost:5433/yugabyte?sslmode=disable&load_balance=true&yb_servers_refresh_interval=0" \
    allowed_roles="*" \
    username="yugabyte" \

For more information on running Vault, refer to the Vault documentation.

Use the plugin

Create a role as follows:

vault write database/roles/my-first-role \
db_name=yugabytedb \
creation_statements="CREATE ROLE \"{{username}}\" WITH PASSWORD '{{password}}' VALID UNTIL '{{expiration}}' NOINHERIT LOGIN; \
    GRANT ALL ON DATABASE \"yugabyte\" TO \"{{username}}\";" \
default_ttl="1h" \

Create a user as follows:

vault read database/creds/my-first-role

To manage leases for YugabyteDB, including lookup, renewal, and revocation, provide the lease ID along with the following commands:

# Lease lookup
vault lease lookup <lease-ID>
# Renew the lease
vault lease renew <lease-ID>
#Revoke the lease
vault lease revoke <lease-ID>

Learn more