Siren Platform User Guide


Search Guard add-on

Kerberos authentication support requires the installation of the commercial Search Guard Kerberos HTTP Authentication add-on; to install it, download the correct jar for your Search Guard version from and copy it to the plugins/search-guard-<version> folder on each node.

Kerberos configuration file

Create a file named krb5.conf in the config folder of each node with the following contents; replace AD.LOCAL with your domain name and DC.AD.LOCAL with the name or IP address of your KDC/domain controller, keeping the case of domains as in the example:

default_realm = AD.LOCAL
default_tkt_enctypes = rc4-hmac,aes256-cts-hmac-sha1-96,aes128-cts-hmac-sha1-96
default_tgs_enctypes = rc4-hmac,aes256-cts-hmac-sha1-96,aes128-cts-hmac-sha1-96

kdc =
default_domain = ad.local

.ad.local = AD.LOCAL
ad.local = AD.LOCAL


Copy the keytab file for the service principal to the configuration folder of each Elasticsearch node.

Elasticsearch configuration

Add the following options to the elasticsearch.yml file of each node:

  • searchguard.kerberos.krb5_filepath: the path to the Kerberos configuration file, usually krb5.conf.
  • searchguard.kerberos.acceptor_keytab_filepath: the path to the keytab file relative to the configuration folder of the Elasticsearch node. It is mandatory to store the keytab in this folder.
  • searchguard.kerberos.acceptor_principal: the name of the principal stored in the keytab (for example HTTP/

Example configuration:

searchguard.kerberos.krb5_filepath: 'krb5.conf'
searchguard.kerberos.acceptor_keytab_filepath: 'es.keytab'
searchguard.kerberos.acceptor_principal: 'HTTP/'

To switch off the Kerberos replay cache in Search Guard, you must set the JVM property to none; this can be done by setting the following line in config/jvm.options:

For information on where to set/modify this variable, refer to Running as a service on Linux or Running as a service on Windows.

Cluster restart

After the previous steps have been completed on all nodes, perform a rolling restart of the cluster.

Search Guard authenticator configuration

To complete the Kerberos configuration you need to modify your sg_config.yml file and upload it to the cluster using sgadmin; if you are using the Search Guard management API make sure you include only the sg_config.yml in the sgadmin configuration folder or you will overwrite internal users, actiongroups, roles and mappings defined through the API.

To enable Kerberos authentication over HTTP, you must:

  • Add a Kerberos authenticator stanza to searchguard.authc.
  • Switch off challenge in the existing HTTP Basic authenticator if enabled.

Example sg_config.yml:

      anonymous_auth_enabled: false
        enabled: false
        enabled: true
        order: 2
          type: kerberos
          challenge: true
            krb_debug: false
            strip_realm_from_principal: true
          type: noop
        enabled: true
        order: 1
          type: basic
          challenge: false
          type: intern

With this configuration, if the user is not authenticated Search Guard will reply with a 401 challenge; SPNEGO compatible browsers will then repeat the request automatically with Kerberos credentials if the cluster is in a trusted network or display an authentication popup where the user can enter its domain credentials.

If an HTTP request to the cluster contains an HTTP Basic authorization header, it will still be authenticated by the HTTP authenticator defined in basic_internal_auth_domain; it is necessary to leave this enabled as the Siren Investigate backend uses this method to authenticate with the cluster.

It is possible to enable only a single HTTP challenge; if your browser is configured to automatically send Kerberos credentials in a trusted zone it is possible to switch off the challenge attribute by setting kerberos_auth_domain.http_authenticator.challenge to false.

For more details about configuring Search Guard authenticator, refer to the Search Guard documentation.

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