Difficulty: beginner
Estimated Time: 10 minutes




Vault operates on a secure by default standard, and as such, an empty policy grants no permissions in the system. Therefore, policies must be created to govern the behavior of clients and instrument Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) by specifying access privileges (authorization).

Since everything in Vault is path based, policy authors must be aware of all existing paths as well as paths to be created.

You can specify non-static paths in ACL policies was to use globs (*) at the end of paths.

For example:

path "transit/keys/*" {
    capabilities = [ "read" ]
  path "secret/webapp_*" {
    capabilities = [ "create", "read", "update", "delete", "list" ]

However, this makes the management and delegation tasks challenging.

This guide highlights the use of templating to set non-static paths in the ACL policies. This feature was introduced in Vault 0.11.

This scenario highlights the use of ACL templating which was introduced in Vault 0.11.


Vault ACL Policy Path Templating

Step 1 of 4

Getting Started

Enter the following command to start the Vault server in development mode.

Click on the command () will automatically copy it into the terminal and execute it.

vault server -dev -dev-root-token-id="root"

Scroll up the Terminal to locate the following output:

==> Vault server configuration:

             Api Address:
                     Cgo: disabled
         Cluster Address:
              Listener 1: tcp (addr: "", cluster address: "", tls: "disabled")
               Log Level: info
                   Mlock: supported: true, enabled: false
                 Storage: inmem
                 Version: Vault v1.0.0
             Version Sha: c19cef14891751a23eaa9b41fd456d1f99e7e856

WARNING! dev mode is enabled! In this mode, Vault runs entirely in-memory
and starts unsealed with a single unseal key. The root token is already
authenticated to the CLI, so you can immediately begin using Vault.

When Vault is running in development mode, it runs entirely in-memory that the data does not get persisted. This build-in, pre-configured server is useful for local development, testing and exploration.

Login with root token

Click the + next to the opened Terminal, and select Open New Terminal.

New Terminal

In the Terminal 2, set the VAULT_ADDR environment variable:

export VAULT_ADDR=''

Login with the generated root token.

vault login root

Now, you are logged in as a root and ready to play!