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Azure Key Vault CSI on Azure Red Hat OpenShift

Author: Paul Czarkowski Modified: 10/13/2022

This document is adapted from the Azure Key Vault CSI Walkthrough specifically to run with Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO).


  1. An ARO cluster
  2. The AZ CLI (logged in)
  3. Helm 3.x CLI

Environment Variables

  1. Run this command to set some environment variables to use throughout

    Note if you created the cluster from the instructions linked above these will re-use the same environment variables, or default them to openshift and eastus.

     export KEYVAULT_NAME=secret-store-$(cat /dev/urandom | tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 10 | head -n 1)
     export AZ_TENANT_ID=$(az account show -o tsv --query tenantId)

Installing the Kubernetes Secret Store CSI

  1. Create an OpenShift Project to deploy the CSI into

     oc new-project k8s-secrets-store-csi
  2. Set SecurityContextConstraints to allow the CSI driver to run (otherwise the DaemonSet will not be able to create Pods)

     oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged \
  3. Add the Secrets Store CSI Driver to your Helm Repositories

     helm repo add secrets-store-csi-driver \
  4. Update your Helm Repositories

     helm repo update
  5. Install the secrets store csi driver

     helm install -n k8s-secrets-store-csi csi-secrets-store \
       secrets-store-csi-driver/secrets-store-csi-driver \
       --version v1.0.1 \
       --set "linux.providersDir=/var/run/secrets-store-csi-providers"
  6. Check that the Daemonsets is running

     kubectl --namespace=k8s-secrets-store-csi get pods -l "app=secrets-store-csi-driver"

    You should see the following

     NAME                                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
     csi-secrets-store-secrets-store-csi-driver-cl7dv   3/3     Running   0          57s
     csi-secrets-store-secrets-store-csi-driver-gbz27   3/3     Running   0          57s

Deploy Azure Key Store CSI

  1. Add the Azure Helm Repository

     helm repo add csi-secrets-store-provider-azure \
  2. Update your local Helm Repositories

     helm repo update
  3. Install the Azure Key Vault CSI provider

     helm install -n k8s-secrets-store-csi azure-csi-provider \
       csi-secrets-store-provider-azure/csi-secrets-store-provider-azure \
       --set linux.privileged=true --set secrets-store-csi-driver.install=false \
       --set "linux.providersDir=/var/run/secrets-store-csi-providers" \
  4. Set SecurityContextConstraints to allow the CSI driver to run

     oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged \

Create Keyvault and a Secret

  1. Create a namespace for your application

     oc new-project my-application
  2. Create an Azure Keyvault in your Resource Group that contains ARO

     az keyvault create -n ${KEYVAULT_NAME} \
       --location ${KEYVAULT_LOCATION}
  3. Create a secret in the Keyvault

     az keyvault secret set \
       --vault-name ${KEYVAULT_NAME} \
       --name secret1 --value "Hello"
  4. Create a Service Principal for the keyvault

Note: If this gives you an error, you may need upgrade your Azure CLI to the latest version.

export SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_CLIENT_SECRET="$(az ad sp create-for-rbac --skip-assignment --name http://$KEYVAULT_NAME --query 'password' -otsv)"
export SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_CLIENT_ID="$(az ad sp list --display-name http://$KEYVAULT_NAME --query '[0].appId' -otsv)"
  1. Set an Access Policy for the Service Principal

     az keyvault set-policy -n ${KEYVAULT_NAME} \
       --secret-permissions get \
  2. Create and label a secret for Kubernetes to use to access the Key Vault

     kubectl create secret generic secrets-store-creds \
       -n my-application \
       --from-literal clientid=${SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_CLIENT_ID} \
       --from-literal clientsecret=${SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_CLIENT_SECRET}
     kubectl -n my-application label secret \
       secrets-store-creds secrets-store.csi.k8s.io/used=true

Deploy an Application that uses the CSI

  1. Create a Secret Provider Class to give access to this secret

     cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
     apiVersion: secrets-store.csi.x-k8s.io/v1alpha1
     kind: SecretProviderClass
       name: azure-kvname
       namespace: my-application
       provider: azure
         usePodIdentity: "false"
         useVMManagedIdentity: "false"
         userAssignedIdentityID: ""
         keyvaultName: "${KEYVAULT_NAME}"
         objects: |
             - |
               objectName: secret1
               objectType: secret
               objectVersion: ""
         tenantId: "${AZ_TENANT_ID}"
  2. Create a Pod that uses the above Secret Provider Class

     cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
     kind: Pod
     apiVersion: v1
       name: busybox-secrets-store-inline
       namespace: my-application
       - name: busybox
         image: k8s.gcr.io/e2e-test-images/busybox:1.29
           - "/bin/sleep"
           - "10000"
         - name: secrets-store-inline
           mountPath: "/mnt/secrets-store"
           readOnly: true
         - name: secrets-store-inline
             driver: secrets-store.csi.k8s.io
             readOnly: true
               secretProviderClass: "azure-kvname"
               name: secrets-store-creds
  3. Check the Secret is mounted

     kubectl exec busybox-secrets-store-inline -- ls /mnt/secrets-store/

    Output should match:

  4. Print the Secret

     kubectl exec busybox-secrets-store-inline \
       -- cat /mnt/secrets-store/secret1

    Output should match:



  1. Uninstall Helm

     helm uninstall -n k8s-secrets-store-csi azure-csi-provider
  2. Delete the app

     oc delete project my-application
  3. Delete the Azure Key Vault

     az keyvault delete -n ${KEYVAULT_NAME}
  4. Delete the Service Principal

     az ad sp delete --id ${SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_CLIENT_ID}

Uninstalling the Kubernetes Secret Store CSI

  1. Delete the secrets store csi driver

     helm delete -n k8s-secrets-store-csi csi-secrets-store
  2. Delete the SecurityContextConstraints

     oc adm policy remove-scc-from-user privileged \