Installing the Search Guard Kibana plugin
Search Guard is compatible with Kibana and you can use nearly all features of Search Guard with Kibana, including SSO with Kerberos and JWT and DLS/FLS.
In the following description, we assume that you have already set up a Search Guard secured Elasticsearch cluster. We will walk through all additional steps needed for integrating Kibana with your setup.
We also assume that you have enabled TLS support on the REST layer via Search Guard SSL. While this is optional, we strongly recommend using this feature. Otherwise, traffic between Kibana and Elasticsearch is made via insecure HTTP calls and thus can be sniffed.
Please check the
elasticsearch.yml file and see whether TLS on the REST layer is enabled:
Elasticsearch and Kibana ship in two flavors: Bundled with X-Pack and a pure OSS flavor. If you are running the bundled version, make sure to disable X-Pack security by setting:
Installing the Search Guard Plugin
- Download the Search Guard Kibana plugin zip matching your exact Kibana version from Maven
- Stop Kibana
- cd into your Kibana installation directory
bin/kibana-plugin install file:///path/to/kibana-plugin.zip
After the plugin has been installed, Kibana will run the optimization process. Depending on your system, this might take a couple of minutes. This is a Kibana internal process required for each installed plugin and cannot be skipped.
Configuring the Kibana server user
For management calls to Elasticsearch, such as setting the index pattern, saving and retrieving visualizations and dashboards, etc., Kibana uses a service user, called the Kibana server user.
This user needs certain privileges for the Kibana index. When using the sample users and roles that ship with Search Guard, you can use the pre-configured
kibanaserver user. If you want to set up your own user, please see chapter “Configuring Elasticsearch” below.
The username and password for the Kibana server user can be configured in
kibana.yml by setting:
elasticsearch.username: "kibanaserver" elasticsearch.password: "kibanaserver"
Setting up SSL/TLS
If you use TLS on the Elasticsearch REST layer, you need to configure Kibana accordingly. Set the protocol on the entry
All requests that Kibana makes to Elasticsearch will now use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Configuring the Root CA
If you use your own root CA on Elasticsearch, you need to either disable certificate validation or provide the root CA and all intermediate certificates (if any) to Kibana. Otherwise, you will see the following error message in the Kibana logfile:
Request error, retrying -- self-signed certificate in certificate chain
You can disable certificate validation in
kibana.yml by setting:
Or you can provide the root CA in PEM format by setting (recommended):
In this case, you can leave the
elasticsearch.ssl.verify set to
certificate or to
full performs hostname verification, while
certificate does not.
After you restart Kibana, it will start optimizing and caching browser bundles. This process may take a few minutes and cannot be skipped. After the plugin is installed and optimized, Kibana will continue to start.
Upgrading the Search Guard Plugin
In order to upgrade the Search Guard Kibana Plugin:
- Stop Kibana
- Delete the Search Guard Kibana plugin from the
- Restart Kibana, which will clear all cached files
- Stop Kibana, and install the new version of the plugin
Adding the Kibana server user
Kibana uses a special user internally to talk to Elasticsearch when performing management calls. The username and password for this user are configured in
On the Elasticsearch side, make sure that this user has the required permissions. If you use the Search Guard demo configuration, you can either use the
kibanaserver user account, or you can map a different user to the built-in role
Kibana uses HTTP Basic Authentication for this server user. Make sure you have set up an authentication domain that supports HTTP Basic Authentication.
Example: Internal authentication
Typically you set up the Kibana server user in the Search Guard Internal User Database backend and configure any other authentication methods you have in place second in the chain. See the following
--- auth_domains: - type: basic/internal_users_db - type: basic/ldap ldap.idp.hosts: ldap.example.com ldap.idp.bind_dn: "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" ldap.idp.password: secret
Adding Kibana users
All Kibana users must be mapped one of the built-in roles
SGS_KIBANA_USER_NO_DEFAULT_TENANT. These roles have the minimum permissions to access Kibana.
If you do not multi-tenancy, or if the user is supposed to have access to the default tenant, use the role
SGS_KIBANA_USER. If the user is not supposed to access the default tenant, you should use the role
In addition, the users need to have READ permissions to all indices they should be allowed to use with Kibana. For this purpose, you should assign the users to additional roles.
Client certificates: elasticsearch.ssl.certificate
In kibana.yml, you can configure Kibana to use a TLS certificate by setting the following options:
# Optional settings that provide the paths to the PEM-format SSL certificate and key files. # These files validate that your Elasticsearch backend uses the same key files. elasticsearch.ssl.certificate: /path/to/your/client.crt elasticsearch.ssl.key: /path/to/your/client.key
When these options are defined, Kibana will include the configured certificate in every request to Elasticsearch. This happens in the backend and is not related to the configuration of your browser.
If the certificate is an admin certificate, this means that all actions from all users will be allowed, regardless of other authorization settings. While this may be useful in cases where you need complete admin access, it isn’t always clear what these configuration settings actually do and their implications.
Hence, to avoid elevating the user permissions by mistake, Search Guard will check if a certificate has been defined and, by default, switch its status to red.
You can override this behavior explicitly by using the following option in your kibana.yml:
# Allow using a client certificate defined in elasticsearch.ssl.certificate searchguard.allow_client_certificates: true # If you are on Kibana >= 6.5.0 you might want to also set #elasticsearch.ssl.alwaysPresentCertificate: true # see https://github.com/elastic/kibana/pull/24304
Where to go next
- Set up Kibana authentication
- Use the config GUI for administering Search Guard
- Set up Kibana Multitenancy