X.509 Client Certificates

X.509 client certificates utilize the public-key infrastructure (PKI) in order to authenticate clients. X.509 can be used simultaneously with one of the other authentication methods, or by itself. Users commonly generate a certificate for their non-UI or script based clients, as this is generally easier than dynamically obtaining an OAuth Bearer token or SAML assertion.


If you followed the SSL guide, you may already have generated a certificate authority (CA). Using this CA, we can generate a client certificate using openssl.

  1. Create the client key. Keep this file safe!
     openssl genrsa -des3 -out client.key 4096
  2. Generate a certificate signing request for the server.
     openssl req -new -key client.key -out client.csr
  3. Use the CA to sign the server’s request. If using an external CA, they will do this for you.
     openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in client.csr -CA ca.crt -CAkey ca.key -CAcreateserial -out client.crt
  4. (Optional) Format the client certificate into browser importable form.
     openssl pkcs12 -export -clcerts -in client.crt -inkey client.key -out client.p12


TODO(ttomsu): Convert to hal commands when halyard supports X.509

The gist:

  enabled: true
  subjectPrincipalRegex: EMAILADDRESS=(.*?)(?:,|$) # optional
    enabled: true
    keyStore: /opt/spinnaker/config/keystore.jks
    keyStorePassword: hunter2
    keyAlias: server
    trustStore: /opt/spinnaker/config/keystore.jks
    trustStorePassword: hunter2
  apiPort: 8083

API Port

browser's client certificate request

By enabling X.509 on the main 8084 port, it causes the browser to ask the user to present their client certificate. Many end-users can get confused or annoyed by this message, so it is preferable by many to move this off of the main port.

You can move the client certificate-enabled port by setting default.apiPort value to something other than 8084. This enables an additional port configuration that is hardcoded to need a valid X.509 certificate before allowing the request to proceed.


Unlike the other authentication methods, X.509 does not have any redirects or fancy control passing between Deck, Gate, and a third-party identity provider. Connections are either established with a valid certificate or they’re not.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve authenticated the user, proceed to setting up their authorization.