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User Authentication

lakeFS authenticates users from a built-in authentication database, or, optionally, from a configured LDAP server.

Built-in database

The built-in authentication database is always present and active. You can use the Web UI at Administration / Users to create users. Users have an access key AKIA... and an associated secret access key. These credentials are valid for logging into the Web UI or authenticating programmatic requests to the API Server or the S3 Gateway.

LDAP server

Configure lakeFS to authenticate users on an LDAP server. Once configured, users can additionally log into lakeFS using their credentials LDAP. These users may then generate an access key and a secret access key on the Web UI at Administration / My Credentials. lakeFS generates an internal user once logged in via the LDAP server. Adding this internal user to a group allows assigning them a different policy.

Configure the LDAP server using these fields in auth.ldap:

  • server_endpoint: the ldaps: (or ldap:) URL of the LDAP server.
  • bind_dn, bind_password: Credentials for lakeFS to use to query the LDAP server for users. They must identify a user with Basic Authentication, and are used to convert a user ID attribute to a full user DN.
  • default_user_group: A group to add users the first time they log in using LDAP. Typically “Viewers” or “Developers”.

    Once logged in, LDAP users may be added as normal to any other group.

  • username_attribute: Attribute on LDAP user to identify user when logging in. Typically “uid” or “cn”.
  • user_base_dn: DN of root of DAP tree containing users, e.g. ou=Users,dc=treeverse,dc=io.
  • user_filter: An additional filter for users allowed to login, e.g. (objectClass=person).

LDAP users log in using the following flow:

  1. Bind the lakeFS control connection to server_endpoint using bind_dn, bind_password.
  2. Receive an LDAP user-ID (e.g. “joebloggs”) and a password entered on the Web UI login page.
  3. Attempt to log in as internally-defined users; fail.
  4. Search the LDAP server using the control connection for the user: out of all users under user_base_dn that satisfy user_filter, there must be a single user whose username_attribute was specified by the user. Get their DN.

    In our example, this may be uid=joebloggs,ou=Users,dc=treeverse,dc=io (this entry must have objectClass: person because of user_filter).

  5. Attempt to bind the received DN on the LDAP server using the password.
  6. On success, the user is authenticated.
  7. Create a new internal user with that DN if needed. When creating a user, add them to the internal group named default_user_group.

API Server Authentication

Authenticating against the API server is done using a key-pair, passed via Basic Access Authentication.

All HTTP requests must carry an Authorization header with the following structure:

Authorization: Basic <base64 encoded access_key_id:secret_access_key>

For example, assuming my access_key_id is my_access_key_id and my secret_access_key is my_secret_access_key, we’d send the following header with every request:

Authorization: Basic bXlfYWNjZXNzX2tleV9pZDpteV9hY2Nlc3Nfc2VjcmV0X2tleQ==

S3 Gateway Authentication

To provide API compatibility with Amazon S3, authentication with the S3 Gateway supports both SIGv2 and SIGv4. Clients such as the AWS SDK that implement these authentication methods should work without modification.

See this example for authenticating with the AWS CLI.

OIDC support

OpenID Connect (OIDC) is a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. You can configure lakeFS to enable OIDC to manage your lakeFS users externally. Essentially, once configured, this enables you the benefit of OpenID connect, such as a single sign-on (SSO), etc.

Configuring lakeFS server for OIDC

To support OIDC, add the following to your lakeFS configuration:

    enabled: true
    client_id: example-client-id
    client_secret: exampleSecretValue
    callback_base_url:       # The scheme, domain (and port) of your lakeFS installation
    default_initial_groups: ["Developers"]
    friendly_name_claim_name: name                      #  Optional: use the value from this claim as the user's display name 

Your login page will now include a link to sign in using the OIDC provider. When a user first logs in through the provider, a corresponding user is created in lakeFS.


  1. As always, you may choose to provide these configurations using environment variables.
  2. You may already have other configuration values under the auth key, so make sure you combine them correctly.

User permissions

Authorization is still managed via lakeFS groups and policies.

By default, an externally managed user is assigned to the lakeFS groups configured in the default_initial_groups property above. For a user to be assigned to other groups, add the initial_groups claim to their ID token claims. The claim should contain a comma-separated list of group names.

Once the user has been created, you can manage their permissions from the Administration pages in the lakeFS UI or using lakectl.

Using a different claim name

To supply the initial groups using another claim from your ID token, you can use the auth.oidc.initial_groups_claim_name lakeFS configuration. For example, to take the initial groups from the roles claim, add:

    # ... Other OIDC configurations
    initial_groups_claim_name: roles