Simplifying FedRAMP Compliance with Teleport
Jun 27
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MongoDB 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.

  • Teleport cluster v14.3 or above.
  • A self-hosted MongoDB database enrolled with your Teleport cluster. Follow the Teleport documentation to learn how to enroll your database.
  • Ability to connect to and create user accounts in the target database.
Supported services

Automatic user provisioning is not compatible with MongoDB Atlas.

Step 1/3. Configure database admin

Teleport uses the same authentication mechanism (X.509) when connecting as an admin user as for regular user connections.

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 connections.

First create a role on admin database with the following privileges:

    createRole: "teleport-admin-role",
    privileges: [
        { resource: { cluster: true }, actions: [ "inprog" ] },
        { resource: { db: "", collection: "" }, actions: [ "grantRole", "revokeRole" ] },
        { resource: { db: "$external", "collection": "" }, actions: [ "createUser", "updateUser", "dropUser", "viewUser", "setAuthenticationRestriction", "changeCustomData"] },
    roles: [],

In the above example, the grantRole privilege is granted to the admin user for all databases in order for the admin user to assign roles from all databases, including the admin database.

To enforce the principle of least privilege, you can limit the grantRole to only the databases that own the roles to be assigned to the auto-provisioned users:

    createRole: "teleport-admin-role",
    privileges: [
        { resource: { cluster: true }, actions: [ "inprog" ] },
        { resource: { db: "", collection: "" }, actions: [ "revokeRole" ] },
        { resource: { db: "$external", "collection": "" }, actions: [ "createUser", "updateUser", "dropUser", "viewUser", "setAuthenticationRestriction", "changeCustomData"] },
        { resource: { db: "<db1>", collection: "" }, actions: [ "grantRole" ] },
        { resource: { db: "<db2>", collection: "" }, actions: [ "grantRole" ] },
    roles: [],

Now create the admin user with this role:

  createUser: "CN=teleport-admin",
  roles: [ { role: 'teleport-admin-role', db: 'admin' } ],

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

  enabled: "yes"
  - name: "example"
    protocol: "mongodb"
    uri: "localhost:27017"
      name: "teleport-admin"
kind: db
version: v3
  name: example
  protocol: "mongodb"
  uri: "localhost:27017"
    name: "teleport-admin"

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
  name: auto-db-users
    # create_db_user_mode enables automatic user provisioning for matching databases
    create_db_user_mode: keep
      "*": "*"
    - "*"
    # db_roles is a list of roles the database user will be assigned
    - "readAnyDatabase@admin"
    - "readWrite@db1"
    - "myCustomRole@db2"
    - "{{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:

  • Have the same username as the authenticated Teleport user.
  • Have teleport-auto-user set to true in the user's customData.
  • 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.

Step 3/3. Connect to the database

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

tsh login
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 MongoDB Compass, 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 myCustomRole@db2 example


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