CircleCI Plugin

The Akeyless plugin for CircleCI enables a secure, easy, and integrative way to fetch Secrets into CircleCI pipelines, either integrating the native CircleCI short-lived OIDC authentication tokens, or using any other Authentication Methods with Akeyless native RBAC.


  • A GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket project set up in CircleCI

  • Permissions to create CircleCI context that will be used to secure and share environment variables across projects


OpenID Connect tokens

In CircleCI jobs that use at least one context, the OpenID Connect ID token is available in the environment variable $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN. The OpenID Provider is unique to your organization. The URL is, where ORGANIZATION_ID is the organization ID (a universally unique identifier) representing your organization.

You can find your CircleCI organization ID by navigating to Organization Settings > Overview on the CircleCI web app.

The OpenID Connect ID tokens issued by CircleCI have a fixed audience which is also the organization ID. A full list of available claims can be found here, and can be later used for the Access Roles setup.

In Akeyless Platform, create a new OAuth2.0/JWT Authentication Method with the following settings:

akeyless create-auth-method-oauth2 --name /Dev/CI/CircleCIAuth \ 
--jwks-uri<ORGANIZATION ID>/.well-known/jwks-pub.json \
--unique-identifier iss \


  • --jwks-uri - The CirclCI OIDC JWKS URL contains the public keys that should be used for JWT verification. Make sure to replace the ORGANIZATION ID with your organization id.

  • --unique-identifier - A unique claim name that contains details uniquely identifying the request. In the following example, we will use the CircleCI OIDC iss claim.

  • --force-sub-claims - Enforce Sub-Claims on role association.

Create a dedicated Access Role. Please note that you will assign it the necessary permissions in a later stage of this guide:

akeyless create-role --name /Dev/CI/CircleCIRole

Associate your new Role with the created Authentication Method, and assign it Sub Claims:

akeyless assoc-role-am --role-name /Dev/CI/CircleCIRole \
--am-name \Dev\CI\CircleCIAuth \
--sub-claims iss=<ORGANIZATION_ID>



Sub Claims - It is mandatory to add an appropriate Sub Claim based on the claims available in the CircleCI documentation to prevent access of unauthorized users. This can also be used to limit access to specific workflows as described on the same CircleCI page under Additional Claims.

Grant Read and List permissions for Items:

akeyless set-role-rule --role-name /Dev/CI/CircleCIRole \
--path /Path/To/your/secret/'*' \
--capability read --capability list

CircleCI Global Configuration

Instead of checking your Auth Method access Id, or your Gateway URL into version control, we can store them securely in CircleCI environment variables.

Go to Project Settings > Environment variables > Add Environment Variable

Create an environment variable in CircleCI called ACCESS_ID and store your Auth Method's access-id in it.

While working with Zero Knowledge encryption based on your fragment, store your Akeyless Gateway Restful API URL (i.e. port 8080) in an environment variable named AKEYLESS_GATEWAY_URL.



Zero Knowledge - The Akeyless Gateway should be reachable within your network. Working with your Gateway can be used when running CircleCI with self-hosted runners.

In jobs using a context, CircleCI provides OpenID Connect ID (OIDC) tokens in environment variables. A job can use these tokens to access Akeyless without storing long-lived credentials in CircleCI.

Go to Organization Settings > Contexts > Add a context
Name it akeyless, we will later add this context to a job by adding the context key to the workflows section of your circleci/config.yml file.


Open your CircleCI project and create/update your .circleci/config.yml file for CircleCI.

# Use the latest 2.1 version of CircleCI pipeline process engine.
# See:
version: 2.1

# Define a job to be invoked later in a workflow.
# See:
      - image: 'akeyless/ci_base:latest-alpine'
    # Add steps to the job
    # See:
      - checkout
      - run:
          name: "Authenticate To Akeyless"
          command: export TOKEN=$(akeyless auth --access-id $ACCESS_ID --access-type jwt --jwt $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN) >> $BASH_ENV
      - run:
          name: "Fetch Akeyless secrets"
          command: akeyless get-secret-value -n /CI/CircleCI-secret
# Invoke jobs via workflows
# See:
      - say-hello:
            - akeyless



It is best practice to use environment variables instead of writing the actual variable values inside the pipeline

Success! - the secrets are accessible to use within the job logic (in this example, they are just being printed).


Check out our tutorial video on Managing Secrets in CircleCI Pipelines.