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Configuring OpenID Connect for Vault

    This document outlines the steps required to use Pulumi with OpenID Connect to authenticate with Vault. This is accomplished using Vault’s JWT authentication method to assume a role. Access to the role is authorized using a Vault policy that validates the contents of the OIDC token issued by Pulumi Cloud.

    Please note that this guide provides step-by-step instructions based on the official provider documentation which is subject to change. For the most current and precise information, always refer to the official Vault documentation.


    • You must be an admin of your Pulumi organization.
    • You must have admin access to Vault.
    • Pulumi Cloud must be able to access Vault.

    Login Flow

    The following diagram demonstrates the high level overview of how Pulumi Cloud authenticates to Vault using the JWT OIDC login flow:

    Vault OIDC JWT login flow

    The contents of the JWT token from Pulumi is shown below:

      "aud": "<org-name>",
      "env": "<environment-name>",
      "exp": 1699300519,
      "iat": 1699296919,
      "iss": "https://api.pulumi.com/oidc",
      "nbf": 1699296919,
      "org": "<org-name>",
      "sub": "<subject-identifier>"


    • <org-name> is your Pulumi Cloud organization name (or your username if not part of an organization)
    • <environment-name> is the Pulumi Cloud environment name
    • <subject-identifier> is the subject identifier of the Pulumi service requesting access

    Configure Vault JWT OIDC Auth

    Enable JWT Auth Method in Vault

    To enable the JWT auth method in Vault:

    $ vault auth enable -path=jwt jwt
    Success! Enabled jwt auth method at: jwt/
    $ vault write auth/jwt/config \
        oidc_discovery_url="https://api.pulumi.com/oidc" \
    Success! Data written to: auth/jwt/config
    Vault and Pulumi Cloud use the jwt path by default.

    Create Vault Policy

    For our example we will create a simple readonly policy (called reader) that allows read/list permissions to the secret path in Vault.

    vault policy write reader -<<EOF
    # read secrets only
    path "/secret/*" {
     capabilities = ["read","list"]

    For more advanced use cases see Vault documentation.

    Create Vault JWT Role

    To create a role using the CLI:

    vault write auth/jwt/role/<role-name> \
      user_claim="sub" \
      token_policies="<policy-name>" \
      allowed_redirect_uris="<vault-url>/jwt/callback" \
    You must ensure that role_type is set to jwt and not oidc.


    • <role-name> with your own role name
    • <policy-name> with your policy (for example the reader policy above)
    • <org-name> with your Pulumi Cloud organization name (or your username if you are not part of an organization)
    • <vault-url> with your Vault URL (Pulumi Cloud must be able to access this URL)

    If you want to use bound_claims you’ll need to specify the role configuration as JSON:

    $ vault write auth/jwt/role/<role-name> -<<EOF
      "user_claim": "sub",
      "bound_audiences": "<org-name>",
      "role_type": "jwt",
      "policies": "<policy-name>",
      "bound_claims": { "env": ["<environment-name>","<another-environment-name>"] },
      "allowed_redirect_uris": ["<vault-url>/jwt/callback"]

    Configure OIDC via the Pulumi Cloud console

    Pulumi Deployments

    You can pull vault secrets from Pulumi ESC in Deployments. To set this up:

    1. Follow the steps under Pulumi ESC below to create an environment with vault secrets.
    2. Follow the Getting Started guide and replace environment names to reference the environment created in Step 1.

    Pulumi ESC

    To configure OIDC for Pulumi ESC, create a new environment in the Pulumi Cloud console. Make sure that you have the correct organization selected in the left-hand navigation menu. Then:

    1. Click the Environments link.

    2. Click the Create environment button.

    3. Provide a name for your environment.

    4. Click the Create environment button.

    5. You will be presented with a split-pane editor view. Delete the default placeholder content in the editor and replace it with the following code:

              address: <your-vault-url>
                role: <your-role-name>
              namespace: <your-namespace> # namespace is only supported for Vault Enterprise
              login: ${vault.login}
                  path: <path-to-secret>
    6. Replace <your-vault-url>, <your-role-name>, <your-namespace>, and <path-to-secret> with the values from the previous steps.

    7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.

      Vault environment config

    If you configured the Vault JWT auth method to use a different mount path than jwt, you will need to specify that path using the mount option of the vault-login provider.

    You can validate that your configuration is working by running either of the following:

    • esc open <your-org>/<your-environment> command of the ESC CLI
    • pulumi env open <your-org>/<your-environment> command of the Pulumi CLI

    Make sure to replace the values of <your-org> and <your-environment> with the values of your Pulumi organization and environment file respectively. You should see output similar to the following:

    # example output
    $ esc open <my-org>/<my-environment>
      "vault": {
        "login": {
          "address": "***",
          "token": "***"
        "secrets": {
          "test1": {
            "data": {
              "keyA": "valA",
              "keyB": "valB"
            "metadata": {
              "created_time": "2023-11-06T18:24:05.784222Z",
              "custom_metadata": null,
              "deletion_time": "",
              "destroyed": false,
              "version": 1

    To learn more about how to set up and use the various providers in Pulumi ESC, please refer to the Pulumi ESC providers documentation.

    Subject customization

    It is possible to customize the OIDC token subject claim by setting configuring the subjectAttributes setting. It expects an array of keys to include in it:

    • rootEnvironment.name: the name of the root evironment being evaluated
    • currentEnvironment.name: the name of the current environment being evaluated
    • pulumi.user.login: the login identifier of the user opening the environment
    • pulumi.organization.login: the login identifier of the organization

    The subject always contains the following prefix pulumi:environments:pulumi.organization.login:{ORGANIZATION_NAME} and every key configured will be appended to this prefix. For example, consider the following environment:

                - currentEnvironment.name
                - pulumi.user.login

    The subject will be pulumi:environments:pulumi.organization.login:contoso:currentEnvironment.name:development:pulumi.user.login:userLogin. Note how the keys and values are appended along with the prefix.

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