Security features of DC/OS Elastic service

DC/OS Elastic Security

The DC/OS Elastic service supports Elastic’s X-Pack transport encryption mechanisms. The service provides automation and orchestration to simplify the use of these important features.

A good overview of X-Pack can be found here.

NOTE: These security features are only available on DC/OS Enterprise 1.10 and later.

Transport Encryption

With transport encryption enabled, DC/OS Elastic will automatically deploy all nodes with the correct configuration to encrypt communication via SSL. The nodes will communicate securely between themselves using SSL.

The service uses the DC/OS CA to generate the SSL artifacts that it uses to secure the service. Any client that trusts the DC/OS CA will consider the service’s certificates valid.


Configure Transport Encryption

Set up the service account

Grant the service account the correct permissions.

  • In DC/OS 1.10, the required permission is dcos:superuser full.
  • In DC/OS 1.11 and later, the required permissions are:
dcos:secrets:default:/<service name>/* full
dcos:secrets:list:default:/<service name> read
dcos:adminrouter:ops:ca:rw full
dcos:adminrouter:ops:ca:ro full

where <service name> is the name of the service to be installed.

Run the following DC/OS Enterprise CLI commands to set permissions for the service account on a strict cluster:

dcos security org users grant ${SERVICE_ACCOUNT} dcos:mesos:master:task:app_id:<service/name> create
dcos security org users grant ${SERVICE_ACCOUNT} dcos:mesos:master:reservation:principal:dev_hdfs create
dcos security org users grant ${SERVICE_ACCOUNT} dcos:mesos:master:volume:principal:dev_hdfs create

Install the service

Install the DC/OS Elastic service including the following options in addition to your own:

    "service": {
        "service_account": "<your service account name>",
        "service_account_secret": "<full path of service secret>",
        "security": {
            "transport_encryption": {
                "enabled": true
    }, "elasticsearch": { "xpack_enabled": true }

NOTE: It is possible to enable Transport Encryption after initial installation, but it requires setting service.update_strategy to parallel. After the update is complete, service.update_strategy should be set back to serial.

WARNING: Because the update must occur in parallel, the service will be unavailable during the transition. Additionally, clients will need to be reconfigured after the transition.

Transport Encryption for Clients

With Transport Encryption enabled, service clients will need to be configured to use the DC/OS CA bundle to verify the connections they make to the service. Consult your client’s documentation for trusting a CA and configure your client appropriately.

Forwarding DNS and Custom Domain

Every DC/OS cluster has a unique cryptographic ID which can be used to forward DNS queries to that cluster. To securely expose the service outside the cluster, external clients must have an upstream resolver configured to forward DNS queries to the DC/OS cluster of the service as described here.

With only forwarding configured, DNS entries within the DC/OS cluster will be resolvable at <task-domain>.autoip.dcos.<cryptographic-id> However, if you configure a DNS alias, you can use a custom domain. For example, <task-domain> In either case, the DC/OS Elastic service will need to be installed with an additional security option:

    "service": {
        "security": {
            "custom_domain": "<custom-domain>"

where <custom-domain> is one of autoip.dcos.<cryptographic-id> or your organization’s specific domain (e.g.,

As a concrete example, using the custom domain of the node 0 task would have a host of node-0-server.<service-name>


To use the DC/OS Kibana service in tandem with DC/OS Elastic when the latter has Transport Encryption enabled, install (or update) Kibana with the following options in addition to your own:

    "kibana": {
        "elasticsearch_tls": true,
        "elasticsearch_url": "https://<elastic-coordinator-vip>"

This configures the Kibana service to connect securely to the DC/OS Elastic Service.

NOTE: Currently, the Kibana service does not support Transport Encryption for its own clients.