Kibana troubleshooting

Kibana optimization is very slow, stalls or exit unexpectedly

The Kibana optimization process is shaky and problems are typically not related to Search Guard. Most issues can be resolved by giving the process more memory:

NODE_OPTIONS="--max-old-space-size=8192" /usr/share/kibana/bin/kibana-plugin install <Plugin URL>

If you are on ES 6.5.x or higher you can also try with --no-optimize (especially if you install the plugin in a Dockerfile).

Kibana fails to start and display

Plugin hapi-auth-cookie already registered 

in the log files. This means you have X-Pack installed and X-Pack Security is enabled. Disable it by setting: false

Note: If you are using Elasticsearch 8, properties like are now configured only in elasticsearch.yml and should not be present in kibana.yml config file. Please, refer to ES8 migration guide.

No living connections

Check connection settings

If Kibana cannot connect to Elasticsearch, check the elasticsearch.hosts in kibana.yml:

elasticsearch.hosts: ""

Make sure that the hostname and the port are correct.

Check HTTPS settings

Check if you configured Search Guard to use HTTPS instead of HTTP in elasticsearch.yaml:

searchguard.ssl.http.enabled: true

If this is the case, you need to use https:// instead of http:// in the elasticsearch.hosts:

elasticsearch.hosts: ""

Unable to get local issuer certificate

If you use self signed certificate you may see the following error in the Kibana log file:

HEAD => unable to get local issuer certificate

This means that Kibana does not trust the self-signed root CA certificate. You can either disable the certificate certification or install the root CA in Kibana.

Disabling certificate verification

In kibana.yml, disable the certificate verification like:

elasticsearch.ssl.verificationMode: none

In kibana.yml, configure the path to your root CA in PEM format like:

elasticsearch.ssl.certificateAuthorities: [ "/path/to/your/CA.pem" ]

Constant redirection to login page

When you try to log in using the Search Guard login dialogue, after pressing the login button you are redirected to the login page again even though you provided the correct credentials. No error message is displayed.

Check HTTP/HTTPS settings for cookies

Search Guard stores the credentials of authenticated users in an encrypted cookie. If you are accessing Kibana with HTTP instead of HTTPS, check the following setting in kibana.yml: <true|false>

If this is set to true, Search Guard will only accept cookies if they are transmitted via HTTPS. If it receives a cookie via unsecure HTTP, the cookie is discarded. This means the authenticated credentials are not stored and you are redirected to the login page again.

Either access Kibana with HTTPS instead of HTTP, or set: false

Debugging the authentication flow with extra logging

In order to debug the authentication flow, you can enable authentication logging in kibana.yml.

Caution: the logged information may contain sensitive authentication information.

searchguard.auth.debug: true

Cookies not readable

In case the Search Guard cookies are not readable anymore, e.g. if you changed the encryption key, simply delete them. The plugin uses these cookies:

  • searchguard_authentication: Stores the users login credentials.
  • searchguard_tenant: Stores the currently selected tenant.
  • searchguard_preferences: Stores the user’s preferred tenants.

Login fails even if credentials are correct

Kibana HTTP header whitelisting

Kibana only sends HTTP headers that are explicitly whitelisted in kibana.yml to Elasticsearch. If a header is not whitelisted, it is silently discarded, just as if was not present in the HTTP request. This is a Kibana feature independent from Search Guard. You can whitelist headers in kibana.yml like:

elasticsearch.requestHeadersWhitelist: [ "...", "..." ]

A common source of error is that a HTTP header required by the configured authentication module(s) is not whitelisted, and thus authentication fails. Since the header is just discarded by Kibana, you won’t see any error message.

By default, the whitelist includes the standardized Authorization header, but only if no other headers are configured. If you add any other header, for example sgtenant, make sure to add Authorization explicitly as well:

elasticsearch.requestHeadersWhitelist: [ "Authorization", "sgtenant" ]

Single-Sign-On header whitelisting

If you are using an SSO authentication mechanism like Kerberos or JWT, or if you use proxy authentication, make sure you list all required authentication headers in kibana.yml.

JWT: Token in HTTP header

For JWT, add the HTTP header you configured in the JWT section of sg_authc.yml to the header whitelist. For example, if you configured the header like:

      jwt_header: "jwtheader"

You also need to set this header explicitly in kibana.yml like:

elasticsearch.requestHeadersWhitelist: [ "Authorization", "jwtheader", "sgtenant" ]

JWT: Token as request parameter

If you want to transmit the JSON web token as request parameter to Kibana, Search Guard needs to grab the token from the request, and add it to all calls to Elasticsearch as HTTP request parameter. The reason is that Kibana does not allow to add arbitrary request parameters to HTTP call.

First, configure the name of the request parameter you use and the HTTP header Search Guard should copy the JSON web token to:

searchguard.jwt.enabled: true
searchguard.jwt.url_param: jwtparam
searchguard.jwt.header: jwtheader

Search Guard looks for the token in the request parameter jwtparam and will copy it to the HTTP header jwtheader.

Next, make sure the HTTP header is whitelisted:

elasticsearch.requestHeadersWhitelist: [ "Authorization", "jwtheader", "sgtenant" ]

Last, configure the HTTP header in the JWT section of sg_authc.yml:

      jwt_header: "jwtheader"

Proxy authentication

For proxy authentication you need to configure all headers that your proxy uses, for example:

elasticsearch.requestHeadersWhitelist: [ "Authorization", "x-forwarded-for", "x-forwarded-by", "x-proxy-user", "x-proxy-roles", "sgtenant" ]

Timelion displays Security Exceptions

If you do not specify any index in the timelion query, it will simply use a wildcard (‘*’) for the index name. If the currently logged in user does not have READ permission on all indices, a security exception is displayed.

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