SPIRE Upstream Authority



The following Authentication Methods can be used:



In this guide, we will use an API Key Authentication Method for simplicity and we are only using Linux machines. For MacOS, please see the guide here.

Create a new API Key Authentication Method using the CLI:

akeyless create-auth-method --name /Dev/Spire-Auth

Create an Access Role:

akeyless create-role --name /Dev/Spire-Role

Associate your API Key Authentication Method to the Access Role that was created:

akeyless assoc-role-am --role-name /Dev/Spire-Role \
--am-name /Dev/Spire-Auth

Set Create, list permissions for Secret & Keys for the Access Role:

akeyless set-role-rule --role-name /Dev/Spire-Role \
--path /SPIRE/SVID/'*' \
--capability create --capability list

Grant Access Permissions on the Gateway

Log into the console using a Gateway admin account, navigate to the Gateways tab, and choose the relevant Gateway.

Click on Access Permissions and click on New:

Give it a meaningful Name, choose the Auth Method, and click next.

Set the relevant permissions for this Auth Method:

Admin - grant full permissions on the Gateway or

Custom - grant specific permissions for at least Classic Keys.


Run the following command to download and unpack pre-built spire-server and spire-agent executables and example configuration files in a spire-1.7.0 directory.

curl -s -N -L https://github.com/spiffe/spire/releases/download/v1.7.0/spire-1.7.0-linux-amd64-glibc.tar.gz | tar xz

Next, create a Classic Key that will generate a self-signed certificate:

akeyless create-classic-key \
--name <Key Name> \
--alg <RSA2048 / RSA4096 / EC256 / EC384> \
--generate-self-signed-certificate <True> \
--gateway-url <http://<Your-Akeyless-GW-URL:8000> \
--certificate-ttl <TTL>


  • name - Name of the Classic Key.

  • alg - Type of Classic Key: Upstream Authority Plugin supports - RSA2048, RSA4096, EC256, or EC384

  • generate-self-signed-certificate - Whether to generate a self-signed certificate with the key

  • gateway-url - API Gateway URL

  • --certificate-ttl - TTL in days for the generated certificate

Then, create a PKI Certificate Issuer:

akeyless create-pki-cert-issuer \
--name <Issuer name> \
--signer-key-name <Key Name> \
--ttl <TTL> \
--is-ca <Default=True> \
--allowed-uri-sans <URIs> \
--key-usage <certsign,crlsign> #can be one of them


  • name - Name of the PKI Certificate Issuer.

  • signer-key-name - A key to sign the certificate with (in our example, the key that was created in the previous step).

  • ttl - The maximum requested Time To Live for issued certificates, in seconds.

  • is-ca - Adds the basic constraints extension to the certificate.

  • allowed-uri-sans - A list of the allowed URIs that clients can request to be included in the certificate as part of the URI Subject Alternative Names.

  • key-usage - A comma-separated string or list of key usages. Needs to be either certsign, crlsign or both

Once the Classic Key and the PKI Issuer are created, a certificate needs to be generated:



CSR is required

In order to generate a certificate using the PKI Cert Issuer, a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) is required.

The following command will generate a certificate using the PKI Cert Issuer that was created earlier:

akeyless get-pki-certificate --cert-issuer-name <Cert Issuer> --csr-file-path <CSR File> 


  • cert-issuer-name - Name of the PKI Certificate Issuer that was created in the previous step.

  • csr-file-path - Path to the CSR file.

Note: The output of the command above will print a chain of certificates. Save the last certificate as a file as it will be used in the next steps.

Next, download the AkeylessUpstreamAuthority plugin, by running the following command:

curl -o AkeylessUpstreamAuthority https://download.akeyless.io/Akeyless_Artifacts/Linux/spire/plugin/server/spire-upstream-amd64-linux-v0.0.4
curl -o AkeylessUpstreamAuthority https://download.akeyless.io/Akeyless_Artifacts/Linux/spire/plugin/server/spire-upstream-arm64-linux-v0.0.4

Validate the SHA256 CHECKSUM:

sha256sum AkeylessUpstreamAuthority

The sha256sum command generates a unique, fixed-size hash value (256 bits) for the binary file, ensuring that data remains unchanged.

Open your SPIRE Server Conf file which you will find in the spire- directory at conf/server/server.conf, and edit the UpstreamAuthority Plugin section as follows:

UpstreamAuthority  "akeyless_upstream" {
     plugin_cmd = "/path/to/plugin_cmd"
     plugin_checksum = "sha256 of the plugin binary"
     plugin_data {
       access_id = "<Your_Access_ID>"
       access_key = "<Your_Access_KEY>"
       pki_cert_issuer_name	= "<PKI_ISSUER_NAME>"


  • plugin_cmd - The location of the binary file that was created.

  • plugin_checksum - sha256 of the binary.

  • access_id - The Auth Method Access-ID

  • access_key - Optional, The AccessKey. Relevant only for API Key.

  • pki_cert_issuer_name - Name of the PKI Certificate Issuer.

For K8s, GCP or AzureAD Auth methods set the following settings as well:

  • k8s_auth_config_name - K8s Auth Config name as created under your Gateway

  • gcp_audience - The audience to verify the JWT received by the client. By default, akeyless.io

  • azure_object_id - Optional for Azure, objectID



TTL Configuration

The requested TTL in conf/server/server.conf file should be lower than the TTL that is configured in the PKI Certificate Issuer.

SPIRE Server Initialization

In order to initialize the server, run the following command:

bin/spire-server run -config conf/server/server.conf &

Once the server is running, the Agent needs to be configured as well, in the conf/agent/agent.conf file. Open the Agent conf file and add the following line in the agent section in order set the path to the SPIRE server CA bundle:

trust_bundle_path = "/Path/To/certificate/file" #The file that holds the certificate from the previous step

Once the conf/agent/agent.conf file is configured, we will start the agent:

bin/spire-server token generate -spiffeID spiffe://example.org/myagent

The output of this command will print a token that will be used to start the Agent.

SPIRE Agent Initialization

bin/spire-agent run -config conf/agent/agent.conf -joinToken <token_string> &




For the full configuration steps, visit the official Quickstart for Linux and MacOS X guide