Questions on secrets and external secrets

How do I add a new Secret?

See how to add a new Secret

How do I edit a secret?

Secrets are stored in external secret storage like Vault or your cloud providers secret store.

So you can edit them in the underlying secret store directly (e.g. with your cloud providers CLI or the vault CLI).

Or you can use jx secret edit command to do this for you.

The interactive mode is a nice way to find the secret and property you want to edit, then edit…

jx secret edit -i

If you are using vault (deployed by jx) to store your secrets, remember to run:

jx secret vault portforward

in a separate terminal before running the secret edit command. Look at external vault documentation to see how to port forward before editing secrets.

How do I edit the bot token?

The git operator secret is normally updated whenever you re-install the git operator via Terraform or install the operator via the CLI.

You can delete the git operator via:

helm delete jx-git-operator -n jx-git-operator

There are a number of other places you need to change the bot token.

First check out how to edit secrets for background.

Secrets are stored in external secret storage like Vault or your cloud providers secret store.

So you can edit them in the underlying secret store directly (e.g. with your cloud providers CLI or the vault CLI).

When you first boot up Jenkins X it will auto-populate the secrets in the external secret store with the bot user and password you pass in when you run.

The bot user and password is replicated into a number of different secrets. This is so that you can use separate accounts and tokens if you wish; or even change scopes per use.

Though it does mean you’ve a few different places to change the bot token if you choose to change it.

The interactive mode is probably the simplest way to change a secret:

jx secret edit -i

Then to change a bot token you will need to change these secrets:

Secret Name Property
lighthouse-oauth-token oauth
tekton-git username password

Once you have made your changes you can verify the changes have taken place.

e.g. if you have ksd installed on your $PATH:

kubectl get secret -oyaml lighthouse-oauth-token | ksd

How do I configure secrets differently in Staging versus Production?

The simplest solution is to use multiple clusters then you can have a separate secrets manager (cloud secret store or vault instance) per cluster.

Otherwise here are a few options:

  • add an ExternalSecret into your helm charts instead of a kubernetes Secret and configure it based on the namespace (or other settings in your chart) to choose different secret store locations to populate the Secret.

    • e.g. if you are sharing a Vault between staging and production then you can use different paths in vault; or if you are using a cloud secret store you can use different projects / accounts / secret locations etc.
    • to help migrate from Secret -> ExternalSecret you could start off with the generated ExternalSecret yaml file in the config-root/namespaces/$namespace/$chart/$name-secret.yaml file and copy it into your apps charts/$appName/templates directory then parameterise it in the usual helm way with {{ .Values.something }} expressions where you need to configure things differently per namespace/environment.
  • for Vault you can specify an annotation on your Secret to use a custom prefix in the vault paths for different namespaces or environments:

e.g. in your Secret in charts/$appName/templates/something-secret.yaml you can use something like this:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: something
  annotations: "{{ .Values.secretPrefix }}"
type: Opaque

Then add to your charts/$appName/values.yaml file something like:

# default secret prefix location in vault
secretPrefix: staging

Then in the production environment you can create a values.yaml file like this:

secretPrefix: production

and passing this values.yaml file into the helmfiles/jx-production/helmfile.yaml file for your charts release: entry to customize the chart

This will then use different paths in vault for staging: secret/data/staging/$appName/something/$key to production: secret/data/production/$appName/something/$key

How do I change the secret poll period in kubernetes external secrets?

Your cloud provider could charge per read of a secret and so a frequent poll of your secrets could cost $$$. You may want to tone down the poll period.

You can do this via the POLLER_INTERVAL_MILLISECONDS setting in the kubernetes external secrets configuration

For more details see how to configure charts

How do I switch to GSM from Vault?

We recommend you use cloud secret managers over vault as its easier to manage; let your cloud provider do the undifferentiated heavy lifting for you.

If you spin up a cluster on vault and want to switch over to, say, GSM here’s how:

echo "gsm = true" >>

git add *
git commit -a -m "fix: enable gsm"

terraform plan
terraform apply
  • in your dev cluster git repository (which has a helmfile.yaml inside) modify the jx-requirement.yml switch the secretStorage line to:
secretStorage: gsm
  • download kpt and add it to your $PATH

  • run the following to replace your vault secret mapping files with gsm versions:

rm -rf .jx/secret/mapping

kpt pkg get .jx/secret/mapping
ls -al .jx/secret/mapping

# echo we should see secret-mappings.yaml
git add .jx/secret
git commit -a -m "fix: migrate to gsm secret mapping"

# now lets push and watch the git operator
git push
jx admin log -w