Scaling Privileged Access for Modern Infrastructure: Real-World Insights
Apr 25
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MariaDB Automatic User Provisioning

Teleport can automatically create users in your database, removing the need for creating individual user accounts in advance or using the same set of shared database accounts for all users.

Prerequisites

  • Teleport cluster v14.1.3 or higher with a configured self-hosted MariaDB or RDS MariaDB database.
  • Ability to connect to and create user accounts in the target database.
Supported versions

Automatic user provisioning is not compatible with MariaDB versions lower than 10.3.3 or 10.2.11.

Step 1/3. Configure database admin

Teleport should be able to connect to the database as a user that can create other users and assign them roles. We recommend creating a separate user designated specifically for Teleport automatic user provisioning. Let's call it teleport-admin.

Teleport uses the same authentication mechanism when connecting as an admin user as for regular user connections: X.509 for self-hosted databases and AWS IAM for RDS.

The admin user must have privileges within the database to create users and grant them privileges. The admin user must also have privileges to monitor user processes and role assignments.

In addition, a schema is required for the admin user to log into by default. This schema is also used to store custom user attributes and stored procedures.

The RDS MariaDB admin user must use AWSAuthenticationPlugin to allow IAM authentication:

CREATE USER 'teleport-admin' IDENTIFIED WITH AWSAuthenticationPlugin AS 'RDS';
GRANT PROCESS, CREATE USER ON *.* TO 'teleport-admin';
GRANT SELECT ON mysql.roles_mapping TO 'teleport-admin';
GRANT UPDATE ON mysql.* TO 'teleport-admin'; -- For SET DEFAULT ROLE FOR
GRANT SELECT ON *.* TO 'teleport-admin'; -- Required when using best_effort_drop mode for checking if users own resources before dropping them.

CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS `teleport`;
GRANT ALL ON `teleport`.* TO 'teleport-admin' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Note that Teleport uses teleport as the name of the default schema but the name is configurable in the Teleport database definition. Replace the database name in the last two lines if you wish to use another database name.

Role Admin

In order for the admin user to grant a role to a database user, they must be the "Admin" of the role.

One way to achieve this is to create roles as the admin user, which automatically designates the admin user as "Admin" of those roles.

Alternatively, you can assign the admin user as the "Admin" of existing roles:

UPDATE mysql.roles_mapping SET User ='teleport-admin' WHERE Admin_option='Y' AND Role='role1';

Replace role1 with the name of the role that will be granted to auto-provisioned users.

The self-hosted MariaDB admin user must have X.509 authentication configured:

CREATE USER 'teleport-admin' REQUIRE SUBJECT '/CN=teleport-admin';
GRANT PROCESS, CREATE USER ON *.* TO 'teleport-admin';
GRANT SELECT ON mysql.roles_mapping TO 'teleport-admin';
GRANT UPDATE ON mysql.* TO 'teleport-admin'; -- For SET DEFAULT ROLE FOR
GRANT SELECT ON *.* TO 'teleport-admin'; -- Required when using best_effort_drop mode for checking if users own resources before dropping them.

CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS `teleport`;
GRANT ALL ON `teleport`.* TO 'teleport-admin' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Note that Teleport uses teleport as the name of the default schema but the name is configurable in the Teleport database definition. Replace the database name in the last two lines if you wish to use another database name.

Role Admin

In order for the admin user to grant a role to a database user, they must be the "Admin" of the role.

One way to achieve this is to use the WITH ADMIN option when creating roles:

CREATE ROLE role1 WITH ADMIN 'teleport-admin';

Alternatively, you can assign the admin user as the "Admin" of existing roles:

UPDATE mysql.roles_mapping SET User ='teleport-admin' WHERE Admin_option='Y' AND Role='role1';

Replace role1 with the name of the role that will be granted to auto-provisioned users.

Users created by Teleport will be assigned the teleport-auto-user role in the database, which will be created automatically if it doesn't exist.

During a MariaDB session, only one role is allowed to be active at a time. Teleport creates an all-in-one role tp-role-<user> and assigns it to the created user. The true roles are then assigned to this all-in-one role and the all-in-one role is set as the default role.

Next, configure the database admin user in the Teleport database configuration:

db_service:
  enabled: "yes"
  databases:
  - name: "example"
    protocol: "mysql"
    uri: "localhost:3306"
    admin_user:
      name: "teleport-admin"
      # Optional default database the admin user logs into. Default is
      # 'teleport', if not specified.
      # default_database: teleport
kind: db
version: v3
metadata:
  name: example
spec:
  protocol: "mysql"
  uri: "localhost:3306"
  admin_user:
    name: "teleport-admin"
    # Optional default database the admin user logs into. Default is
    # 'teleport', if not specified.
    # default_database: teleport
Auto-discovered databases

For auto-discovered cloud databases, the name of the admin user is taken from the teleport.dev/db-admin label, and the default database is taken from the teleport.dev/db-admin-default-database label.

Step 2/3. Configure a Teleport role

To specify the database roles a user should be assigned within the database, use the db_roles role option:

kind: role
version: v7
metadata:
  name: auto-db-users
spec:
  options:
    # create_db_user_mode enables automatic user provisioning for matching databases
    create_db_user_mode: keep
  allow:
    db_labels:
      "*": "*"
    db_names:
    - "*"
    # db_roles is a list of roles the database user will be assigned
    db_roles:
    - reader
    - "{{internal.db_roles}}"
    - "{{external.db_roles}}"

With automatic user provisioning, users always connect to the database with their Teleport username so the db_users role field is ignored for roles that have database user provisioning enabled.

The available provisioning modes are:

  • off: Disables user provisioning.

  • keep: Enables user provisioning and disables users at session end. The user will be stripped of all roles and the user account will be locked.

  • best_effort_drop: Enables user provisioning and, when the session ends, drops the user if no resources depend on it. In cases where any resource depends on the user, it falls back to disabling the user, mirroring the behavior of keep mode.

Users created within the database will:

  • Be assigned the teleport-auto-user role.
  • Be assigned all roles from the Teleport user's role set that match the database. The role names must be valid and exist in the database. The admin user must be the "Admin" of these roles. See "Role Admin" section above for more details.

MariaDB limits usernames to 80 characters. When the Teleport username is within this limit, the user created within the database will have the same name as the Teleport username. When the Teleport username is over the 80 character limit, the user created within the database will have the name in the format of tp-<base64-sha1-teleport-username>.

The original Teleport username will be saved as user attributes in the user_attributes table in the default database.

Database admins can search a particular Teleport username by:

SELECT * FROM teleport.user_attributes WHERE JSON_VALUE(Attributes,"$.user") = "teleport-user-name";

In addition, the "hashed" in-database name will be set as db_user for database queries in the Teleport Audit Logs, when the Teleport username is over 80 characters.

Note that in case of a name conflict where a user with the same name already exists in the database and is not managed by Teleport (i.e. not assigned the teleport-auto-user role), the connection will be aborted.

Step 3/3. Connect to the database

Now, log into your Teleport cluster and connect to the database:

tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com
tsh db connect --db-name <database> example
Database Username

When connecting to a database with user provisioning enabled, the Database Service expects your Teleport username will be used as the database username .

If using a GUI database client like MySQL Workbench, make sure to use your Teleport username as the database username. tsh db connect will default to your Teleport username automatically when connecting to a database with user provisioning enabled.

When connecting to a leaf cluster database with user provisioning enabled, the Database Service expects the database username to be remote-<your-teleport-username>-<root-cluster-name>.

To view the list of database roles that are allowed for each database, you can use the command tsh db ls -v. By default, all database roles will be assigned to your auto-provisioned database user. You can optionally select a subset of the database roles with --db-roles:

tsh db connect --db-name <database> --db-roles reader example

Troubleshooting

Use your mapped remote username error

You may encounter the following error when connecting to a database in a remote cluster:

> tsh db connect --db-name <database> example
ERROR: please use your mapped remote username ("remote-<your-teleport-username>-<root-cluster-name>") to connect instead of "<database-user>"

When you access resources in a remote cluster, the remote cluster will receive the name remote-<your-teleport-username>-<root-cluster-name> from the local cluster. This is to prevent any naming collisions with users in the remote cluster. Please use the username from the error message as the database username for when connecting through tsh or GUI clients.

Next steps