vault with a consul back end

Here are my notes on how I got vault working with a consul backend, building with Habitat. Being we are going to edit the plans from some defaults, please make sure you use your origin as the origin.

Lets start with some useful links first:

This link is the offical blog post about using Chef and Vault in tandem:

This link is from Sean Walberg leveraging the same thing and his notes.


Be sure to have your core-plans checked out. You’ll be leveraging those.


Setting up a consul cluster

First thing you need to do: spin up three consul nodes.

Convert the default.toml in consul from, to located under the [server] options, also the [client] bind address to

Build the package:

$ hab studio enter
[1][default:/src:0]# build
[2][default:/src:0]# hab pkg export docker <YOURORIGIN>/consul

Run the package(s):

$ docker run -p 8501:8500 -it <YOURORIGIN>/consul:latest
$ docker run -p 8502:8500 -it <YOURORIGIN>/consul:latest
$ docker run -p 8503:8500 -it <YOURORIGIN>/consul:latest

Spin up another container to do some administrative commands:

$ docker run --privileged -i -t ubuntu /bin/bash
root@402825380ff6#:/# apt-get update && apt-get install curl -y && curl -s -L | bash

Now have the consul cluster be created:

root@402825380ff6#:/# cd ~/consul
root@402825380ff6#:~/consul# ./consul join -rpc-addr=

The above IPs should be the ones that came up from the hab-sup you should be able to see them in the back scroll.

Go to http://localhost:8501/ui/ to verify everything is there

Setting up some health checks

Stay on your administrative container:

root@402825380ff6#:/# apt-get install -y inetutils-ping nginx
root@402825380ff6#:/# mkdir /etc/consul.d
root@402825380ff6#:/# echo '{"check": {"name": "ping",
  "script": "ping -c1 >/dev/null", "interval": "30s"}}'   >/etc/consul.d/ping.json
root@402825380ff6#:/#  echo '{"service": {"name": "web", "tags": ["nginx"], "port": 80,
  "check": {"script": "curl localhost >/dev/null 2>&1", "interval": "10s"}}}'   >/etc/consul.d/web.json
root@402825380ff6#:/# cd ~/consul
root@402825380ff6#:~/consul# ./consul agent -data-dir=/tmp/consul -node=playground -bind= -config-dir=/etc/consul.d -join=

Go to http://localhost:8501/ui/#/dc1/services/consul to verify your new health check(s).


Creating the vault container

First thing you need to do is edit the default.toml. Change the [backend] to the first address for the consul back end, I use the one I set as the -rpc-addr to. Change the [dev] mode from true to false, and finally [listener] change the location to

Enter the hab studio and build the .hart.

$ hab studio enter
[1][default:/src:0]# build
[2][default:/src:0]# hab pkg export docker <YOURORIGIN>/vault

Start a vault instance pointing to the consul cluster.

$ docker run -p 8200:8200 -it <YOURORIGIN>/vault:latest

Spin up another container if you want to bootstrap vault connections, or use the above administrative container.

$ docker run --privileged -i -t ubuntu /bin/bash
root@402825380ff6:/# apt-get update && apt-get install curl -y && curl -s -L | bash
root@402825380ff6:/# export VAULT_ADDR='http://172.17.0.X:8200' # what ever is the vault IP.
root@402825380ff6:/# cd ~/vault
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault init

You should seem something like the following:

Unseal Key 1: Nz3hSxDa2Sw5x/kHyIFKn2p+BrfQePri+B3/TJ+g9OYB
Unseal Key 2: 5QXGmgqfGnRboh+xBXDJXf3dgAb7xgTjAiczZk9+YzUC
Unseal Key 3: PfIlI9NYVRF1fGubS2rHHYE6q5AZtZnTCavXLgVsR5ID
Unseal Key 4: Saf1Jude3cLPBEED5wc3yJdjrS/jJrLvuwSKJcK8bC0E
Unseal Key 5: kVAWnz6Zkqfh2jUpqR05iOuEhrkBVS/fsIhubYiuSIoF
Initial Root Token: 6d725951-b18d-caeb-5c51-4ad45eb54af0

Next unseal the vault:

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault unseal

vault gem

Here are some useful notes on using the vault gem.

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# curl -L | bash -s -- -P chefdk
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# eval "$(chef shell-init bash)"
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# gem install vault

When you get the gem installed, open up pry

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# pry

The following will connect to your vault instance and create secret/bacon.

require 'vault'
Vault.address = ''
# test a failing token first
Vault.token   = "6d725951-b18d-caeb-5c51-bad"
# now put in the correct token.
Vault.token   = "6d725951-b18d-caeb-5c51-4ad45eb54af0"
Vault.logical.write("secret/bacon", delicious: true, cooktime: "11")"secret/bacon")

The following will use the vault client to list and read secret/bacon.

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault status
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault auth
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault list secret/
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# ./vault read secret/bacon


The following is the way to use the vault API via curl to get things from vault.

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# export VAULT_TOKEN=6d725951-b18d-caeb-5c51-4ad45eb54af0

The following will overwrite secret/bacon with with "bar":"baz", then query against it and pipe it into jq. I should mention that jq isn’t required here.

root@402825380ff6:~/vault# apt-get install -y curl jq
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# curl -X POST -H "X-Vault-Token:$VAULT_TOKEN" -d '{"bar":"baz"}'
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# curl -X GET -H "X-Vault-Token:$VAULT_TOKEN" | jq .
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# curl -X POST -H "X-Vault-Token:$VAULT_TOKEN" -d '{"tasty":"very", "cooktime":"11"}'
root@402825380ff6:~/vault# curl -X GET -H "X-Vault-Token:$VAULT_TOKEN" | jq .