Simplifying FedRAMP Compliance with Teleport
Jun 27
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Teleport Role Access Requests

Teleport's Just-in-time Access Requests allow users to request access to additional roles in order to elevate their privileges. Requests can be escalated via ChatOps or anywhere else via our flexible Authorization Workflow API.


  • A running Teleport cluster. If you want to get started with Teleport, sign up for a free trial.

  • The tctl admin tool and tsh client tool version >= 16.0.1.

    Visit Installation for instructions on downloading tctl and tsh.

  • To check that you can connect to your Teleport cluster, sign in with tsh login, then verify that you can run tctl commands using your current credentials. tctl is supported on macOS and Linux machines. For example:
    tsh login --user=[email protected]
    tctl status


    Version 16.0.1

    CA pin sha256:abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678

    If you can connect to the cluster and run the tctl status command, you can use your current credentials to run subsequent tctl commands from your workstation. If you host your own Teleport cluster, you can also run tctl commands on the computer that hosts the Teleport Auth Service for full permissions.

RBAC Setup

In this example, we will define three roles:

  • contractor: users with this role can request elevated access to the dba role
  • dba: this role grants access to databases
  • approver: users with this role can approve requests for access to the dba role

Contractor Role

Users with this role can request access to the dba role.

kind: role
version: v5
  name: contractor
      roles: ['dba']

DBA Role

This role grants access to databases.

kind: role
version: v5
  name: dba
      '*': '*'
    # Only allows the contractor to use this role for 1 hour from time of request.
    max_session_ttl: 1h

Approver Role

This role allows users to approve requests for the dba role.

kind: role
version: v5
  name: approver
    # `review_requests` permits the listed roles to be approved
      - 'dba'
Requires Teleport Enterprise

Roles containing a review_requests rule can only be used in Teleport Enterprise. In Teleport Community Edition, Access Requests must be approved by an admin running tctl on the Auth Server.

Requesting Access

While Teleport Enterprise supports the same CLI-based workflows for requesting access to roles, most users will prefer to request access via the web UI.

To request access to one or more roles, navigate to the access requests page. You can find this page by selecting Resources on the side bar, expanding the Access Requests menu, and selecting New Request.

From here, the dropdown will allow you to request access to roles or to specific resources. Select roles in this dropdown and you will be presented with a list of roles you are permitted to request access to.

Click ADD TO REQUEST to include a role in the pending request.

Note: Access Requests must either contain roles or a set of specific resources. You can not mix the two. For more information on how to request access to specific resources, see the Resource Access Requests Guide.

When all desired roles have been added, click PROCEED TO REQUEST, where you can review and submit the request.

Reviewing Access Requests via the Web UI

Reviewers can see a list of open requests by navigating to Management > Access Requests > Review Requests in the web UI.


Granting access to a role with the ability to edit other roles could allow a user to permanently upgrade their privileges. When reviewing requests, it's important to carefully consider the role(s) being requested and what permissions will be applied to the user if the request is approved.

Reviewing Access Requests via tsh

Teleport Enterprise users with appropriate permissions can also approve requests with the tsh command line:

tsh request review --approve <request-id>

Using an approved access request

Once a request has been approved, the requestor can elevate their access for both command-line workflows and web UI workflows.

For command-line use, the requestor should log in using the approved request ID:

log in with an approved access request

tsh login --request-id=bc8ca931-fec9-4b15-9a6f-20c13c5641a9

In the web UI, the requestor can open their request on the Review Requests page and click ASSUME ROLES to gain access to additional roles. Note: role-based access requests are additive. The user will have access to their standard role set in addition to the roles granted by the request.

A banner will appear at the top of the page while the approved access request is active. When elevated access is no longer necessary, click Switch Back to revert to the original set of roles.

Next Steps

Automatically request access for SSH

Once you have configured Role Access Requests, tsh ssh is able to automatically create a Role Access Request for you when access is denied, allowing you to skip the tsh request search and tsh request create steps. If more than one role would grant access to the target node, you will be prompted to select a role to request.

tsh ssh --request-mode role alice@iot
ERROR: access denied to alice connecting to iot on cluster
You do not currently have access to alice@iot, attempting to request access.
Choose role to request [node-access, node-access-alt]: node-accessEnter request reason: pleaseCreating request...
Waiting for request approval...
Approval received, reason="okay"Getting updated certificates...
iot:~ alice$

Note that in order to make a Role Access Request this way, the role you request access with must have search_as_role set so you can read the node you want to ssh into.

# requester.yaml
kind: role
version: v5
  name: requester
        - node-access
        # does not need to match roles, just needs to be able to access nodes
        # that you want to ssh into
        - access

Integrate with an external tool

With Teleport's Access Request plugins, users can manage Access Requests from within your organization's existing messaging and project management solutions.

IntegrationTypeSetup Instructions
SlackMessagingSet up Slack
MattermostMessagingSet up Mattermost
Microsoft TeamsMessagingSet up Microsoft Teams
JiraProject BoardSet up Jira
PagerDutyScheduleSet up PagerDuty
EmailMessagingSet up email
DiscordMessagingSet up Discord
OpsGenieIncident ManagementSet up OpsGenie
ServiceNowWorkflowSet up ServiceNow

Learn how to configure Access Requests

See the Access Request Configuration guide for a detailed description of all the options you can configure to set up a just-in-time Access Request workflow for your organization.

Set up Access Lists

Access Lists enable you to assign privileges to groups of users for a fixed period of time. Learn more about Access Lists in the documentation.