Reference

Design docs, concept definitions, and references for APIs and CLIs.

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Using Node Authorization

Node authorization is a special-purpose authorization mode that specifically authorizes API requests made by kubelets.

Overview

The Node authorizer allows a kubelet to perform API operations. This includes:

Read operations:

Write operations:

Auth-related operations:

In future releases, the node authorizer may add or remove permissions to ensure kubelets have the minimal set of permissions required to operate correctly.

In order to be authorized by the Node authorizer, kubelets must use a credential that identifies them as being in the system:nodes group, with a username of system:node:<nodeName>. This group and user name format match the identity created for each kubelet as part of kubelet TLS bootstrapping.

To enable the Node authorizer, start the apiserver with --authorization-mode=Node.

To limit the API objects kubelets are able to write, enable the NodeRestriction admission plugin by starting the apiserver with --enable-admission-plugins=...,NodeRestriction,...

Migration considerations

Kubelets outside the system:nodes group

Kubelets outside the system:nodes group would not be authorized by the Node authorization mode, and would need to continue to be authorized via whatever mechanism currently authorizes them. The node admission plugin would not restrict requests from these kubelets.

Kubelets with undifferentiated usernames

In some deployments, kubelets have credentials that place them in the system:nodes group, but do not identify the particular node they are associated with, because they do not have a username in the system:node:... format. These kubelets would not be authorized by the Node authorization mode, and would need to continue to be authorized via whatever mechanism currently authorizes them.

The NodeRestriction admission plugin would ignore requests from these kubelets, since the default node identifier implementation would not consider that a node identity.

Upgrades from previous versions using RBAC

Upgraded pre-1.7 clusters using RBAC will continue functioning as-is because the system:nodes group binding will already exist.

If a cluster admin wishes to start using the Node authorizer and NodeRestriction admission plugin to limit node access to the API, that can be done non-disruptively:

  1. Enable the Node authorization mode (--authorization-mode=Node,RBAC) and the NodeRestriction admission plugin
  2. Ensure all kubelets’ credentials conform to the group/username requirements
  3. Audit apiserver logs to ensure the Node authorizer is not rejecting requests from kubelets (no persistent NODE DENY messages logged)
  4. Delete the system:node cluster role binding

RBAC Node Permissions

In 1.6, the system:node cluster role was automatically bound to the system:nodes group when using the RBAC Authorization mode.

In 1.7, the automatic binding of the system:nodes group to the system:node role is deprecated because the node authorizer accomplishes the same purpose with the benefit of additional restrictions on secret and configmap access. If the Node and RBAC authorization modes are both enabled, the automatic binding of the system:nodes group to the system:node role is not created in 1.7.

In 1.8, the binding will not be created at all.

When using RBAC, the system:node cluster role will continue to be created, for compatibility with deployment methods that bind other users or groups to that role.

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