Using Kontena Vault
Kontena Vault is a secure key-value storage system that can be used to manage secrets for Kontena Stacks and Services in your Kontena Platform. Kontena Vault has built-in integration for managing LetsEncrypt certificates.
In this chapter, we'll discover how to manage secrets with Kontena Vault:
- List Secrets
- Write a Secret
- Read a Secret
- Update Secret
- Remove a Secret
- Using LetsEncrypt Certificates
$ kontena vault ls
Write a Secret to Vault
$ kontena vault write <name> <value>
Read a Secret
$ kontena vault read <name>
Note: Every read command will be added to the Kontena Master audit log
$ kontena vault update <name> <value>
Remove a Secret
$ kontena vault rm <name>
Using LetsEncrypt Certificates
Kontena Vault integrates natively with Let's Encrypt to provide easy-to-use certificate management for your Kontena Services.
The following chapters describe the flow of getting certificates from Let's Encrypt: register --> authorize domain --> request certificate
Register for LE
To use Let's Encrypt, you must first register as a user.
$ kontena certificate register <email@example.com>
By default this creates a new private key to be used with LE to identify the client.
Note: If you have already registered with other means and have an existing private key you wish to use you can import it into vault using the specific name
$ kontena vault write LE_PRIVATE_KEY "$(cat priv_key.pem)"
The email is needed for Let's Encrypt to notify when certificates are about to expire.
Note: This registration is needed only once per Kontena Platform.
Create domain authorization
To be able to request certificates for a domain you must first prove that you are in charge of that domain. For this, Kontena certificate management supports both DNS and TLS-SNI verifications.
TLS-SNI based verification
$ kontena certificate authorize --type tls-sni-01 --linked-service infra/lb api.example.com [done] Waiting for tls-sni-01 certificate to be deployed into my-grid/infra/lb TLS-SNI challenge certificate is deployed, you can now request the actual certificate
Kontena automatically links the special certificate LE gives us and deploys the linked service. Naturally the linked service is usually Kontena LB. Only thing user needs to configure is a public DNS record for the domain(s) to point to the linked service.
When later on requesting the certificate, LE will make special SSL connection to the server(s) for which it expects the server to present the certificate.
DNS based verification
$ kontena certificate authorize api.example.com Record name:_acme-challenge Record type:TXT Record content:5m1FCaNvneLduTN4AcPqAbyuQhBQA4ESisAQfEYvXIE
To verify that you really control the requested domain, create a DNS TXT record for the domain
_acme-challenge.api.example.com with content specified in the response.
Get actual certificate
Once you have created the necessary DNS proof of domain control you can request the actual certificate.
$ kontena certificate request api.example.com
Kontena automatically stores the certificate in a secure vault in a format where it can be used for SSL termination with Kontena Load Balancer.
Let's Encrypt does not (yet) support wildcard certificates. In many cases it is necessary to serve multiple sites behind one certificate. For this, Let's Encrypt supports a concept called subject alternative names (SAN). To obtain a certificate for multiple DNS names, simply specify them in the request:
$ kontena certificate request example.com www.example.com
Note: For each of the domains in the certificate request, it is necessary to complete the domain authorization first! The first domain in the list becomes the common name and others are used as alternative names:
Certificate: Data: Version: 3 (0x2) Serial Number: fa:2c:99:7a:4e:76:10:97:fe:b9:7b:28:4a:c3:44:7a:fe:b1 Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption Issuer: CN=Fake LE Intermediate X1 Validity Not Before: Jul 1 06:31:00 2016 GMT Not After : Sep 29 06:31:00 2016 GMT Subject: CN=example.com Subject Public Key Info: ... X509v3 extensions: X509v3 Subject Alternative Name: DNS:www.example.com, DNS:example.com
By default Kontena stores the full chain version of the certificate. This is because Let's Encrypt intermediaries are not trusted by all client libraries (such as some libraries associated with Ruby, Docker, and wget, for example).
Starting from Kontena 1.4 version, the Kontena Stack YAML services can include Kontena managed Let's Encrypt
services: my_loadbalancer: image: kontena/lb:latest ports: - 443:443 certificates: - subject: www.example.com type: env name: SSL_CERT_www.example.com
Kontena will inject the certificate from the vault into the
SSL_CERT_* environment variable for the service instance container.
Renewing Let's Encrypt certificates
If you have made the authorizations of all the domain in the certificate using
tls-sni-01 authorization model Kontena will automatically renew the certificate 7 days prior to it's expiration. In practice this means that you must do the first request for the certificate manually and after that the management is fully automated.
dns-01 authorized certificate the renewal process is fully manual as Kontena cannot automate the DNS challenge fullfilment part.
Inspecting certificate details
To get a list of managed certificates, use:
$ kontena certificate list SUBJECT EXPIRATION AUTO_RENEWABLE? ⊛ tls-sni-test.example.io 11 days ago false ⊛ web.220.127.116.11.xip.io 36 days true ⊛ demo.kontena.works 69 days true
To see single certificate details, use:
$ kontena certificate show web.18.104.22.168.xip.io --- id: e2e/web.22.214.171.124.xip.io subject: web.126.96.36.199.xip.io valid_until: '2017-11-22T09:55:00.000+00:00' alt_names:  auto_renewable: true
Exporting a certificate
To export a managed certificate, use:
$ kontena certificate export example.com -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- ... -----END CERTIFICATE----- -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- ... -----END CERTIFICATE----- -----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY----- ... -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
This outputs the entire certificate bundle by default. Use the
--key options to export the different parts of the certificate separately.