Home Code Tutorials How to use the Vault command line tool to store your code secrets

How to use the Vault command line tool to store your code secrets

9 min read

Builders should cease saving secrets and techniques in code. One method to keep away from that’s to make use of HashiCorp’s Vault. Jack Wallen reveals you learn how to set up this software and take your first steps in its utilization.

Picture: iStock/deagreez

When you’re a developer, you have to take care of secrets and techniques. Secrets and techniques are any type of password, passphrase, encryption key, or API key you employ in your code to hook up with different purposes or companies. The issue is, if you go away secrets and techniques in your code, you danger being hacked. This will result in catastrophic points, particularly when these secrets and techniques would permit a hacker entrance into your organization community or by means of the assorted APIs you employ. 

Sadly, this can be a wide-spread downside. In reality, again in 2019, it was found that tons of of hundreds of secrets and techniques have been being left in code on GitHub. This can be a failure on the a part of builders that may simply be overcome.

One method to keep away from that’s utilizing a software like HashiCorp’s Vault, which is a command line software for managing secrets and techniques. Vault offers an API that provides entry to secrets and techniques based mostly on insurance policies, and encrypts information utilizing 256-bit AES with GCM.

I wish to present you learn how to set up and get began with Vault.

SEE: High 5 programming languages for methods admins to study (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you may want

Vault may be put in on Linux, macOS, and Home windows. I’ll display putting in Vault on Ubuntu 20.04. For that, you may want a person with sudo privileges.

set up Vault

With a view to set up Vault, you have to first set up the HashiCorp GPG key with the command:

curl -fsSL https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com/gpg | sudo apt-key add -

As soon as the secret’s put in, add the HashiCorp Linux repository with the command:

sudo apt-add-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com $(lsb_release -cs) fundamental"

Replace apt with the command:

sudo apt-get replace

Set up Vault by issuing the command:

sudo apt-get set up vault -y

begin the Vault server

Subsequent, we should begin the Vault server. For this tutorial, we’ll begin the Vault server in growth mode, so you may work together with it. 

Word: You shouldn’t run the Vault server in developer mode on a manufacturing machine as a result of it shops all of its information in reminiscence (albeit encrypted) and begins unsealed with a single key. Do that in your growth machine, as an alternative of a server. 

To run the server in dev mode, difficulty the command:

vault server -dev

If you run the server in growth mode, you may be offered with an Unseal key and a Root Token. Ensure to repeat each of those values. Additionally, you will be offered with a line that begins with export VAULT_ADDR. You will want to repeat that total line as properly.

Log in from a brand new window (whereas leaving the server working) and difficulty the export VAULT_ADDR command, which is able to seem like:

export VAULT_ADDR=''

In that very same window, set the VAULT_TOKEN worth with the command:

export VAULT_TOKEN="token_value"

The place token_value is the Root Token you copied earlier.

Confirm the server is working with the command:

vault standing

You must see output that signifies the Vault server is working (Determine A).

Determine A


Our Vault server is working.

retailer a secret within the Vault server

With the Vault server working, we are able to now retailer our first secret. We’ll create a secret pair password=P@$$W0RD to the key/take a look at path. You will need to begin your path with secrets and techniques/, in any other case it will not work. To create this secret, the command could be:

vault kv put secret/take a look at password=P@$$W0RD

Your secret is now saved and Vault will report again the creation time (Determine B).

Determine B


We have efficiently saved our first secret in Vault.

retrieve a secret

Now that we have saved a secret, how will we retrieve it? Simple, difficulty the command:

vault kv get secret/take a look at

Vault will show the key we simply added (Determine C).

Determine C


There’s our secret we simply saved.

To delete our secret from vault, the command could be:

vault kv delete secret/take a look at

And that is it: You have put in Vault and used it to retailer, show, and delete your first secret. Subsequent time round, we’ll work with the Vault secrets and techniques engine characteristic, which behaves equally to a digital file system and permits Vault to work together with different methods.

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