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Database Access with Self-Hosted MongoDB

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Setting up Teleport Database Access for MongoDB

Setting up Teleport Database Access for MongoDB

Length: 12:54

In this guide you will:

  1. Install and configure Teleport for Database Access.
  2. Configure mutual TLS authentication between Teleport and your MongoDB cluster.
  3. Connect to your MongoDB instance via Teleport.

Teleport Database Access MongoDB Self-Hosted

Prerequisites

  • MongoDB cluster (standalone or replica set) version 3.6 or newer.
Note

Teleport Database Access supports MongoDB 3.6 and newer. Older versions have not been tested and are not guaranteed to work. MongoDB 3.6 was released in November 2017 and reached EOL in April 2021 so if you're still using an older version, consider upgrading.

  • The tctl and tsh client tools version >= 9.3.7.

    tctl version

    Teleport v9.3.7 go1.17

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.3.7 go1.17

    See Installation for details.

  • A host where you will install the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service.

  • A registered domain name.

  • The tctl and tsh client tools version >= 9.3.7, which you can download by visiting the customer portal.

    tctl version

    Teleport v9.3.7 go1.17

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.3.7 go1.17

  • A host where you will install the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service.

  • A registered domain name.

  • The tctl and tsh client tools version >= 9.3.8.

    You can download these from Teleport Cloud Downloads.

    tctl version

    Teleport v9.3.8 go1.17

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.3.8 go1.17

To connect to Teleport, log in to your cluster using tsh, then use tctl remotely:

tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com [email protected]
tctl status

Cluster teleport.example.com

Version 9.3.7

CA pin sha256:abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678

You can run subsequent tctl commands in this guide on your local machine.

For full privileges, you can also run tctl commands on your Auth Service host.

To connect to Teleport, log in to your cluster using tsh, then use tctl remotely:

tsh login --proxy=myinstance.teleport.sh [email protected]
tctl status

Cluster myinstance.teleport.sh

Version 9.3.8

CA pin sha256:sha-hash-here

You must run subsequent tctl commands in this guide on your local machine.

Step 1/3. Install and configure Teleport

Set up the Teleport Auth and Proxy services

You will need to install Teleport version 7.0 or newer to access self-hosted MongoDB instances.

On the host where you will run the Auth Service and Proxy Service, download the latest version of Teleport for your platform from our downloads page and follow the installation instructions.

Teleport requires a valid TLS certificate to operate and can fetch one automatically using Let's Encrypt's ACME protocol. Before Let's Encrypt can issue a TLS certificate for the Teleport Proxy host's domain, the ACME protocol must verify that an HTTPS server is reachable on port 443 of the host.

You can configure the Teleport Proxy service to complete the Let's Encrypt verification process when it starts up.

Run the following teleport configure command, where tele.example.com is the domain name of your Teleport cluster and [email protected] is an email address used for notifications (you can use any domain):

teleport configure --acme [email protected] --cluster-name=tele.example.com > /etc/teleport.yaml

The --acme, --acme-email, and --cluster-name flags will add the following settings to your Teleport configuration file:

proxy_service:
  enabled: "yes"
  web_listen_addr: :443
  public_addr: tele.example.com:443
  acme:
    enabled: "yes"
    email: [email protected]

Port 443 on your Teleport Proxy Service host must allow traffic from all sources.

Next, start the Teleport Auth and Proxy Services:

sudo teleport start

You will run subsequent tctl commands on the host where you started the Auth and Proxy Services.

If you do not have a Teleport Cloud account, use our signup form to get started. Teleport Cloud manages instances of the Proxy Service and Auth Service, and automatically issues and renews the required TLS certificate.

You must log in to your cluster before you can run tctl commands.

tsh login --proxy=mytenant.teleport.sh
tctl status

Set up the Teleport Database service

The Database Service requires a valid auth token to connect to the cluster. Generate one by running the following command against your Teleport Auth Service and save it in /tmp/token on the node that will run the Database Service:

tctl tokens add --type=db

Install Teleport on the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service:

Download Teleport's PGP public key

sudo curl https://deb.releases.teleport.dev/teleport-pubkey.asc \ -o /usr/share/keyrings/teleport-archive-keyring.asc

Add the Teleport APT repository

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/teleport-archive-keyring.asc] https://deb.releases.teleport.dev/ stable main" \| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/teleport.list > /dev/null
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install teleport
sudo yum-config-manager --add-repo https://rpm.releases.teleport.dev/teleport.repo
sudo yum install teleport

Optional: Using DNF on newer distributions

$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://rpm.releases.teleport.dev/teleport.repo

$ sudo dnf install teleport

curl https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz.sha256

<checksum> <filename>

curl -O https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.3.7-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.3.7-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install
curl https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz.sha256

<checksum> <filename>

curl -O https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install
curl https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz.sha256

<checksum> <filename>

curl -O https://get.gravitational.com/teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.3.7-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install

Start the Teleport Database Service, pointing the --auth-server flag to the address of your Teleport Proxy Service:

teleport db start \ --token=/tmp/token \ --auth-server=teleport.example.com:3080 \ --name=example-mongo \ --protocol=mongodb \ --uri=mongo.example.com:27017 \ --labels=env=dev
Note

The --auth-server flag must point to the Teleport cluster's Proxy Service endpoint because the Database Service always connects back to the cluster over a reverse tunnel.

You can specify either a single connection address or a MongoDB connection string as a URI. For example, when connecting to a replica set:

--uri="mongodb://mongo1.example.com:27017,mongo2.example.com:27017/?replicaSet=rs0"

By default, Teleport will connect to the primary replica set member. If you'd like to connect to a secondary instead, Teleport will respect readPreference connection string setting:

--uri="mongodb://mongo1.example.com:27017,mongo2.example.com:27017/?replicaSet=rs0&readPreference=secondary"
Tip

You can start the Database Service using a configuration file instead of CLI flags. See the YAML reference for details.

Create a Teleport user

Create a local Teleport user with the built-in access role:

tctl users add \ --roles=access \ --db-users=\* \ --db-names=\* \ alice
FlagDescription
--rolesList of roles to assign to the user. The builtin access role allows them to connect to any database server registered with Teleport.
--db-usersList of database usernames the user will be allowed to use when connecting to the databases. A wildcard allows any user.
--db-namesList of logical databases (aka schemas) the user will be allowed to connect to within a database server. A wildcard allows any database.
Warning

Database names are only enforced for PostgreSQL and MongoDB databases.

For more detailed information about database access controls and how to restrict access see RBAC documentation.

Step 2/3. Configure MongoDB

Create a MongoDB user

Teleport will use X.509 authentication when connecting to a MongoDB instance. Users authenticating with client certificates must be created in the $external MongoDB authentication database.

MongoDB treats the entire Subject line of the client certificate as a username. When connecting to a MongoDB server, say as a user alice, Teleport will sign an ephemeral certificate with the CN=alice subject.

To create this user in the database, connect to it using the mongosh or mongo shell and run the following command:

db.getSiblingDB("$external").runCommand(
  {
    createUser: "CN=alice",
    roles: [
      { role: "readWriteAnyDatabase", db: "admin" }
    ]
  }
)

Update the roles accordingly to grant the user appropriate database permissions.

Set up mutual TLS

Teleport uses mutual TLS authentication with self-hosted databases. These databases must be configured with Teleport's certificate authority to be able to verify client certificates. They also need a certificate/key pair that Teleport can verify.

Create the secrets:

When connecting to standalone MongoDB, sign the certificate for the hostname over which Teleport will be connecting to it.

For example, if your MongoDB server is accessible at mongo.example.com hostname, run:

tctl auth sign --format=mongodb --host=mongo.example.com --out=mongo --ttl=2190h
TTL

We recommend using a shorter TTL, but keep mind that you'll need to update the database server certificate before it expires to not lose the ability to connect. Pick the TTL value that best fits your use-case.

The command will create two files: mongo.cas with Teleport's certificate authority and mongo.crt with the generated certificate and key pair. You will need these files to enable mutual TLS on your MongoDB server.

When connecting to a MongoDB replica set, sign certificates for each member using the hostnames they're accessible at.

For example, if the first member is accessible at mongo1.example.com and the second at mongo2.example.com, run:

tctl auth sign --format=mongodb --host=mongo1.example.com --out=mongo1 --ttl=2190h
tctl auth sign --format=mongodb --host=mongo2.example.com --out=mongo2 --ttl=2190h
TTL

We recommend using a shorter TTL, but keep mind that you'll need to update the database server certificate before it expires to not lose the ability to connect. Pick the TTL value that best fits your use-case.

Each command will create two files: mongo1.cas/mongo2.cas with Teleport's certificate authority and mongo1.crt/mongo2.crt with the generated certificate and key pair. You will need these files to enable mutual TLS on your MongoDB servers.

Certificate Rotation

Teleport signs database certificates with the host authority. As such, when performing host certificates rotation, the database certificates must be updated as well.

Use the generated secrets to enable mutual TLS in your mongod.conf configuration file and restart the database:

net:
  ssl:
    mode: requireSSL
    PEMKeyFile: /etc/certs/mongo.crt
    CAFile: /etc/certs/mongo.cas
net:
  tls:
    mode: requireTLS
    certificateKeyFile: /etc/certs/mongo.crt
    CAFile: /etc/certs/mongo.cas

When configuring a replica set, make sure to do it for each member and use secrets generated for the particular server.

Once mutual TLS has been enabled, you will no longer be able to connect to the cluster without providing a valid client certificate. You can use the net.tls.allowConnectionsWithoutCertificates setting to allow connections from clients that do not present a certificate.

See Configure TLS/SSL in the MongoDB documentation for more details.

Step 3/3. Connect

Log in to your Teleport cluster and see available databases:

tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=alice
tsh db ls

Name Description Labels

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

example-mongo Example MongoDB env=dev

To connect to a particular database instance, first retrieve its certificate using the tsh db login command:

tsh db login example-mongo
Tip

You can be logged in to multiple databases simultaneously.

You can optionally specify the database name and the user to use by default when connecting to the database instance:

tsh db login --db-user=alice example-mongo

Once logged in, connect to the database:

tsh db connect example-mongo
Supported MongoDB clients

Either the mongosh or mongo command-line clients should be available in PATH in order to be able to connect. The Database Service attempts to run mongosh first and, if mongosh is not in PATH, runs mongo.

Teleport 9.0 added support for mongosh and made it the default Mongo DB client.

To log out of the database and remove credentials:

Remove credentials for a particular database instance.

tsh db logout example-mongo

Remove credentials for all database instances.

tsh db logout

Next steps