Credential Management

An overview of credentials in Bonsai: credential management, regenerating master credentials, creating new credentials, credential types and credentials supported by your subscription.
Last updated
June 16, 2023

Credential management is imperative to tracking who and what has access to your cluster. At Bonsai, regardless of plan level, every request made to your cluster requires a username and password. Security is a default, not an upgrade.

With the Credential Management section of the cluster dashboard, you can add and remove access credentials. In this guide, we will cover:

  1. Introduction to Credentials Management
  2. Regenerating your master credentials
  3. Creating new credentials
  4. Deciding which credential type to use
  5. Which credential types does your subscription support?

1. Introduction to Credentials Management

You can see your current credentials and generate new ones by logging into your cluster dashboard and navigating to the Credentials section.

Every cluster has a Master credential that is created when the cluster is provisioned. The Master credential can never be revoked, only rotated.

There are three types of credentials you can generate:

  1. Full-access
  2. Read-only
  3. Custom

With custom auth controls you can specify things like:

  • Which indices (or index patterns) are accessible.
  • What Elasticsearch actions may be performed.
  • Where requests are allowed to originate.

2. Regenerating your master credentials

You would want to regenerate your default credentials if your fully-qualified URL has been linked (say, if somehow was copy-pasted into an email, GitHub issue, or, perish the thought, StackOverflow). To do that, simply click the yellow  Regenerate button. This will instantly regenerate a new, randomized authentication pair.

The old credentials will remain active for two minutes or so. After that time the old keys are revoked. The purpose of the two minute warning is to give administrators the opportunity to update their application with the new credentials before the old ones expire.

3. Creating new credentials

To create a new credential, click on the Create Credential button.

Choose one of the three types (full-access, read-only, or custom), give it a name, and then click Generate.


We advise giving your credential a human-friendly name, like ACME_frontend, python_indexer, or docs_search_component. It’s an easy way to help you and your teammates remember how each credential is used. When you generate a new credential, Bonsai shows your credential details.

Credential Details

You can view who created the credential (in this example, Leo), the access key and secret (username and password), the allowed settings, and some quick links.


This displays what indices are accessible, which Elasticsearch actions are allowed, and if there are whitelisted IP’s or CIDR blocks. If your cluster is on the Business tier and above, these fields are customizable.

URL Quick Links

The Elasticsearch access url is excellent for pasting into a terminal and executing curl commands. Use Kibana access to launch your Bonsai-hosted instance Kibana, included with every Bonsai cluster. Read more about Bonsai hosted Kibana here.

4. Deciding which credential type to use

Full Access

Full-access tokens are best used for back-end applications that handle indexing or act as a proxy for user’s input for querying.

Read Only

When choosing this type, the form will pre-populate with the allowed action (or ‘privilege’) `indices:data/read/*`. This allowed read-only specific actions: count, explain, get, exists, mget, get indexed scripts, more like this, multi percolate/search/termvector), percolate, scroll, clear_scroll, search, suggest, tv.


If you have specific security needs, generate a custom credential. Increase your team’s security tolerance by using custom credentials for things like limiting index actions to only certain IP addresses, or making certain indices search-only. There are three fields for custom credentials: Indices, Actions, and IP/CIDRs.


This sections allowed you to list a set of indices that are permitted, or create a pattern such as "logs_2019-12-*":

Leaving this blank will allow all indices present on the cluster accessible.

Allowed Actions

Specify access privileges from the searchable dropdown:

If you ever need help figuring out exactly which actions map to your needs, please email support and we’ll point you in the right direction. Leaving this blank will allow all access privileges.

IP Address or CIDR block

Use this section to control where you allow requests to be made from. Whitelist individual IP addresses for monitoring privileges, or write a CIDR block that only allows your company to access an internal-only index or cluster. Leaving this blank will allow any IP address by default.

Further reading:

5. Which credential types does your subscription support?

If you receive a notice to upgrade for access to read-only or custom credential management, you’ll need to navigate to Manage tab and upgrade your cluster to Standard, Business, or Enterprise:

Clicking on the Upgrade this cluster link will take you to your management dashboard, where you can upgrade to a Business or Enterprise subscription.

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