Version: Search Guard 5 / This is an older version of Search Guard. Switch to Latest version

Configuring internal users and roles

Search Guard ships with an internal user database. You can use this user database if you do not have any external authentication system like LDAP or Active Directory in place. Users, their hashed passwords and roles are stored in the internal Search Guard configuration index on your cluster.

Internal users are configured in sg_internal_users.yml. You can find a template in <ES installation directory>/plugins/search-guard-5/sgconfig/sg_internal_users.yml


  hash: <hashed password>
    - <rolename>
    - <rolename>


  hash: $2a$12$xZOcnwYPYQ3zIadnlQIJ0eNhX1ngwMkTN.oMwkKxoGvDVPn4/6XtO
    - readall
    - writeall

  hash: $2a$12$ae4ycwzwvLtZxwZ82RmiEunBbIPiAmGZduBAjKN0TXdwQFtCwARz2
    - readall

Note that the username cannot contain dots. If you need usernames with dots, use the username attribute:

  username: username.with.dots
  hash: ...

Generating hashed passwords

The password hash is a salted BCrypt hash of the cleartext password. You can use the script that is shipped with Search Guard to generate them:

plugins/search-guard-5/tools/ -p mycleartextpassword


In order to use the internal user database, set the authentication_backend to internal. For example, if you want to use HTTP Basic Authentication and the internal user database, the configuration looks like:

  enabled: true
  order: 1
    type: basic
    challenge: true
    type: internal

Pre-defined users

Search Guard ships with the following pre-defined users:

Username Password Description
admin admin Full access to the cluster and all indices, but no access to the Search Guard configuration. Use an admin certificate for that.
kibanaserver kibanaserver Internal Kibana server user, for configuring elasticsearch.username and elasticsearch.password in kibana.yml. Has all permissions on the .kibana index.
kibanaro kibanaro Regular Kibana user, has READ access to all indices and all permissions on the .kibana index.
logstash logstash Logstash and Beats user, has CRUD and CREATE_INDEX permissions on all logstash and beats indices
readall readall Has read access to all indices