Fork me on GitHub


Using JWT authentication with Elasticsearch


This guide will help you configure Elasticsearch JWT authentication with Teleport Application Access.

Elasticsearch supports JWT authentication starting from version 8.2.0.


  • Teleport cluster version >= 9.3 with running Auth/Proxy Services or Teleport Cloud account.
  • Running Application Service.
  • Elasticsearch cluster version >= 8.2.0.

Step 1/3. Enable a JWT realm in Elasticsearch

Update your Elasticsearch configuration file, elasticsearch.yaml, to enable a JWT realm:
  order: 1
  client_authentication.type: none
  claims.principal: sub
  claims.groups: roles
  allowed_issuer: example-cluster
  allowed_audiences: [""]

Let's take a closer look at the parameters and their values:

  • Set client_authentication.type to none, otherwise Elasticsearch requires clients to send a shared secret value with each request.
  • Set pkc_jwkset_path to the JWT key set file URL of your Teleport Proxy. It is available at https://<proxy>/.well-known/jwks.json endpoint. You can also download the JSON file from the same URL and point the path directly to it instead of using a URL.
  • Set claims.principal and claims.groups to sub and roles respectively. These are the claims Teleport uses to pass user and role information in JWT tokens. Keep in mind that users and roles must exist in Elasticsearch.
  • Set allowed_issuer to the name of your Teleport cluster.
  • Set allowed_audiences to the URL which Teleport Application Service will use to connect to Elasticsearch.
Elasticsearch role mapping

Note that when using JWT authentication, you cannot map user roles using the standard Elasticsearch role_mapping.yml file. Instead, you need to set the role mapping using the API. See JWT realm authorization for details.

Step 2/3. Register an Elasticsearch application in Teleport

In your Teleport App Service configuration file, teleport.yaml, register an entry for Elasticsearch:

  enabled: "yes"
  - name: "elastic"
      - "Authorization: Bearer {{internal.jwt}}"

You can also use dynamic registration.

Elasticsearch requires a JWT token to be passed inside the Authorization header. The header rewrite configuration above will replace the {{internal.jwt}} template variable with a Teleport-signed JWT token in each request.

Step 3/3. Connect to the ElasticSearch API

Log into your Teleport cluster with tsh login and make sure your Elasticsearch application is available:

tsh apps ls

Application Description Public Address Labels

----------- ------------- ---------------------------- -------------------------------


Fetch a short-lived X.509 certificate for Elasticsearch:

tsh apps login elastic

Then you can use the curl command to communicate with the Elasticsearch API, which will authenticate you as your Teleport user:

curl \ --cacert ~/.tsh/keys/ \ --cert ~/.tsh/keys/ \ --key ~/.tsh/keys/ \ | jq

Next steps