Background 🔗︎

When configuring a Vault object via the externalConfig property, sometimes it’s convenient (or necessary) to inject settings that are only known at runtime, for example:

  • secrets that you don’t want to store in source control
  • dynamic resources managed elsewhere
  • computations based on multiple values (string or arithmetic operations).

For these cases, the operator supports parameterized templating. The vault-configurer component evaluates the templates and injects the rendered configuration into Vault.

This templating is based on Go templates, extended by Sprig, with some custom functions available specifically for bank-vaults (for example, to decrypt strings using the AWS Key Management Service or the Cloud Key Management Service of the Google Cloud Platform).

Using templates 🔗︎

To avoid confusion and potential parsing errors (and interference with other templating tools like Helm), the templates don’t use the default delimiters that Go templates use ({{ and }}). Instead, use the following characters:

  • ${ for the left delimiter
  • } for the right one.
  • To quote parameters being passed to functions, surround them with backticks (`) instead.

For example, to call the env function, you can use this in your manifest:

password: "${ env `MY_ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLE` }"

In this case, vault-configurer evaluates the value of MY_ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLE at runtime (assuming it was properly injected), and sets the result as the value of the password field.

Note that you can also use Sprig functions and custom Kubernetes-related functions in your templates.

For a detailed example, see the Using templates for injecting dynamic configuration in Vault blog post.

Sprig functions 🔗︎

In addition to the default functions in Go templates, you can also use Sprig functions in your configuration.

CAUTION:

Use only functions that return a string, otherwise the generated configuration is invalid.

Custom functions 🔗︎

To provide functionality that’s more Kubernetes-friendly and cloud-native, bank-vaults provides a few additional functions not available in Sprig or Go. The functions and their parameters (in the order they should go in the function) are documented below.

awskms 🔗︎

Takes a base64-encoded, KMS-encrypted string and returns the decrypted string. Additionally, the function takes an optional second parameter for any encryption context that might be required for decrypting. If any encryption context is required, the function will take any number of additional parameters, each of which should be a key-value pair (separated by a = character), corresponding to the full context.

Note: This function assumes that the vault-configurer pod has the appropriate AWS IAM credentials and permissions to decrypt the given string. You can inject the AWS IAM credentials by using Kubernetes secrets as environment variables, an EC2 instance role, kube2iam, or EKS IAM roles, and so on.

Parameter Type Required
encodedString Base64-encoded string Yes
encryptionContext Variadic list of strings No

For example:

password: '${ awskms (env `ENCRYPTED_DB_CREDS`) }'

You can also nest functions in the template, for example:

password: '${ awskms (blob `s3://bank-vaults/encrypted/db-creds?region=eu-west-1`) }'

gcpkms 🔗︎

Takes a base64-encoded string, encrypted with a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) symmetric key and returns the decrypted string.

Note: This function assumes that the vault-configurer pod has the appropriate GCP IAM credentials and permissions to decrypt the given string. You can inject the GCP IAM credentials by using Kubernetes secrets as environment variables, or they can be acquired via a service account authentication, and so on.

Parameter Type Required
encodedString Base64-encoded string Yes
projectId String Yes
location String Yes
keyRing String Yes
key String Yes

blob 🔗︎

Reads the content of a blob from disk (file) or from cloud blob storage services (object storage) at the given URL and returns it. This assumes that the path exists, and is readable by vault-configurer.

Valid values for the URL parameters are listed below, for more fine grained options check the documentation of the underlying library:

  • file:///path/to/dir/file
  • s3://my-bucket/object?region=us-west-1
  • gs://my-bucket/object
  • azblob://my-container/blob

Note: This function assumes that the vault-configurer pod has the appropriate rights to access the given cloud service. For details, see the awskms and gcpkms functions.

Parameter Type Required
url String Yes

For example:

password: '${ blob `s3://bank-vaults/encrypted/db-creds?region=eu-west-1` }'

You can also nest functions in the template, for example:

password: '${ awskms (blob `s3://bank-vaults/encrypted/db-creds?region=eu-west-1`) }'

file 🔗︎

Reads the content of a file from disk at the given path and returns it. This assumes that the file exists, it’s mounted, and readable by vault-configurer.

Parameter Type Required
path String Yes