Spinnaker Secrets and S3

Managing Spinnaker secrets separately from its configuration is a necessary step to enabling Spinnaker through an SCM like git. This document describes how to store secrets in s3 and these secrets are used in Spinnaker and Halyard.


We can now store secrets (tokens, passwords, sensitive files) separately from the Spinnaker and Halyard configurations as of halyard-armory:1.4.1. We’ll provide references to these secrets to services that need them.

  • Spinnaker services that support decryption will decrypt these secrets upon startup.
  • Halyard can decrypt these secrets when it needs to use them (e.g. when validating resources).
  • Halyard can send secret references to the services that support decryption or send decrypted secrets if the service does not support it.

Secrets in S3

In this example, we’ll be using a mybucket bucket in the us-west-2 region to store Github credentials and a kubeconfig file. We’ll be referencing the bucket by its URL mybucket.us-west-2.amazonaws.com.


Since we’re storing sensitive information, we’ll protect the bucket by restricting access and enabling encryption.

The important thing to remember is to run Halyard’s daemon and Spinnaker services that support decryption with IAM roles that allows them to read that content.

Storing credentials

Let’s store our github credentials in mybucket/spinnaker-secrets.yml:

  password: <PASSWORD>
  token: <TOKEN>

Note: We could have chosen to store the password under a different key than github.password. We’d just need to change how to reference the secret further down.

Storing sensitive files

Some of Spinnaker configuration also uses information stored in files. Let’s upload the kubeconfig file of our Kubernetes account to mybucket/mykubeconfig:

apiVersion: v1
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <ca authority>
    server: https://<clusterurl>

Note: we could also have base 64 encoded the file content and stored in the yaml file above.

How to reference secrets

Now that secrets are safely stored in our bucket, we’ll reference them from Spinnaker with the following format:

encrypted:s3!r:<region>!b:<bucket>!f:<path to file>!k:<optional key>

Note: The S3 specific parameters, e.g. r:, b:, etc, can be in any order

For example to reference github.password, we’ll use:


And to reference the content of our kubeconfig file:


Using Secrets

In Halyard

Halyard can understand the secrets we provided. If the service we’re deploying is able to decrypt secrets, Halyard will pass the reference directly, otherwise it will decrypt the configuration before sending it.

For instance, after deploying the following change:

hal config artifact github account edit github \

We’d find the following in clouddriver.yml:

    enabled: true
    - name: github
      token: encrypted:s3!r:us-west-2!b:mybucket!f:spinnaker-secrets.yml!k:github.token

And for an older release of Clouddriver that does not support decryption:

    enabled: true
    - name: github
      token: <TOKEN>

Non Halyard configuration

We can also provide secret references directly in *-local.yml profile files or directly to Spinnaker services.