Disaster Recovery and Configuration Management for Consul and Vault
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hashi-helper is a tool meant to enable Disaster Recovery and Configuration Management for Consul and Vault clusters, by exposing configuration via a simple to use and share hcl format.


  • Go 1.8


To build a binary, run the following

# get this repo
go get github.com/seatgeek/hashi-helper

# go to the repo directory
cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/seatgeek/hashi-helper

# build the `hashi-helper` binary
make build

This will create a hashi-helper binary in your $GOPATH/bin directory.


The following environment variables are required for setting configuration and keys in Consul and Vault.

  • VAULT_TOKEN environment variable (preferable a root/admin token)
  • VAULT_ADDR environment variable (example:
  • CONSUL_ADDR_HTTP environment variable (example:


hashi-helper [--global-flags] command [--command-flags]

Global Flags

  • --concurrency / CONCURRENCY: How many parallel requests to run in parallel against remote servers (optional, default: 2 * CPU Cores)
  • --log-level / LOG_LEVEL: Debug level of debug, info, warn/warning, error, fatal, panic (optional, default: info)
  • --config-dir / CONFIG_DIR: A directory to recursively scan for hcl configuration files (optional; default: ./conf.d)
  • --config-file / CONFIG_FILE: A single hcl configuration file to parse instead of a directory (optional; default: <empty>)
  • --environment / ENVIRONMENT: The environment to process for (optional; default: all)
  • --application / APPLICATION: The application to process for (optional; default: all)

Global Commands


Push all Consul and Vault data to remote servers (same as running vault-push-all and consul-push-all)



Push all local consul state to remote consul cluster.


Push all service{} stanza to remote Consul cluster


Push all kv{} stanza to remote Consul cluster

vault commands


Create a Vault token, optionally encrypt it using keybase

  • --keybase optional - can be repeated for multiple recipients, token will be encrypted for all recipients to decrypt. If omitted, token is shown in cleartext in the shell
  • --id optional - The ID of the client token. Can only be specified by a root token. Otherwise, the token ID is a randomly generated UUID.
  • --display-name optional The display name of the token. Defaults to "token".
  • --ttl optional - The TTL period of the token, provided as "1h", where hour is the largest suffix. If not provided, the token is valid for the default lease TTL, or indefinitely if the root policy is used.
  • --period optional - If specified, the token will be periodic; it will have no maximum TTL (unless an "explicit-max-ttl" is also set) but every renewal will use the given period. Requires a root/sudo token to use.
  • --orphan Will create the token as orphan
  • --policy optional - Can be repeated for each policy needed. A list of policies for the token. This must be a subset of the policies belonging to the token making the request, unless root. If not specified, defaults to all the policies of the calling token.


Scan all tokens in the Vault server, optionally tokens matching certain conditions

Filter flags:

--filter-name jose will only match tokens where display name contains jose

--filter-policy root will only match tokens that have the policy root

--filter-path auth/github/login will only match tokens that have the path auth/github/login

--filter-meta-username jippi will only match tokens that have the meta[username] value jippi (GitHub auth backend injects this, as an example)

--filter-orphan will only match tokens that are orphaned

Action flags:

--delete-matches will match all tokens matching the filter flags. You will be asked to verify each token before deleting it.


Print a list of local from conf.d/ (default) or remote secrets from Vault (--remote).

Add --detailed / DETAILED to show secret data rather than just the key names.


Decrypt (or create), open and encrypt the secure VAULT_PROFILE_FILE (~/.vault_profiles.pgp) file containing your vault clusters

File format is as described below, a simple yaml file

  server: http://<ip>:8200
  token: <your token>
  server: http://<ip>:8200
  token: <your token>


Decrypt the VAULT_PROFILE_FILE and output bash/zsh compatible commands to set VAULT_ADDR, VAULT_TOKEN, ENVIRONMENT based on the profile you selected.

Example: $(hashi-helper vault-profile-use name_1)



Write remote Vault secrets to local disk in conf.d/


Pushes all mounts, policies and secrets to a remote vault server


Write Vault auth {} stanza found in conf.d/ to remote vault server


Mount and configure mount {} stanza found in conf.d/ to remote vault server


Write Vault policy {} stanza found in conf.d/ to remote vault server


Write local secrets to remote Vault instance


Unseal Vault using the raw unseal key from keybase / gpg init/rekey .

The command expect the raw base64encoded unseal key as env VAULT_UNSEAL_KEY or --unseal-key CLI argument

It basically automates echo "$VAULT_UNSEAL_KEY" | base64 -D | keybase pgp decrypt | xargs vault unseal -address http://<IP>:8200

  • --unseal-key/ VAULT_UNSEAL_KEY (default: <empty>) The raw base64encoded unseal key as env or CLI argument
  • --consul-service-name / CONSUL_SERVICE_NAME (default: <empty>) If specified, the tool will try to lookup all vault servers in the configured Consul catalog and unseal all of them. This is the service name, e.g. vault
  • --consul-service-tag / CONSUL_SERVICE_TAG (default: standby) The Consul catalog tag to filter vault instances from if CONSUL_SERVICE_NAME is used.
  • --vault-protocol / VAULT_PROTOCOL (default: http) The protocol to use when constructing the VAULT_ADDR value when using CONSUL_SERVICE_NAME unseal strategy.

All VAULT_* env keys are preserved when using CONSUL_SERVICE_TAG, address is the only field being overwritten per vault instance found in the catalog. So you can still configure TLS and other Vault changes as usual with the environment.

  • VAULT_UNSEAL_KEY=$token hashi-helper vault-unseal-keybase
  • hashi-helper vault-unseal-keybase --unseal-key=$key
  • VAULT_CONSUL_SERVICE=vault VAULT_UNSEAL_KEY=$token hashi-helper vault-unseal-keybase
  • hashi-helper vault-unseal-keybase --unseal-key=$key --consul-service-name vault


The following is a sample workflow that may be used for organizations with Consul and Vault clusters in different environments. If your setup deviates from said description, feel free to modify your workflow.

Directory Structure

The directory structure is laid out like described below:

  • /${env}/apps/${app}.hcl (encrypted) Vault secrets or (cleartext) Consul KeyValue for an application in a specific environment.
  • /${env}/auth/${name}.hcl (encrypted) Vault auth backends for an specific environment ${env}.
  • /${env}/consul_services/${type}.hcl (cleartext) List of static Consul services that should be made available in an specific environment ${env}.
  • /${env}/databases/${name}/_mount.hcl (encrypted) Vault secret backend configuration for an specific mount ${name} in ${env}.
  • /${env}/databases/${name}/*.hcl (cleartext) Vault secret backend configuration for an specific Vault role belonging to mount ${name} in ${env}.

Configuration Examples

The following example assumes:

  • A service called api-admin in a production environment
  • IAM-based authentication to vault
  • An elasticache instance called shared
  • A mysql instance called db-api that should provide read-only access

Some string will need replacement

Vault app secret

The following can be stored in an encrypted file at production/apps/api-admin.hcl.

environment "production" {

  # application name must match the file name
  application "api-admin" {

    # Vault policy granting any user with policy api-admin-read-only read+list access to all secrets
    policy "api-admin-read-only" {
      path "secret/api-admin/*" {
        capabilities = ["read", "list"]

    # an sample secret, will be written to secrets/api-admin/API_URL in Vault
    secret "API_URL" {
      value = "http://localhost:8181"

Consul app KV

environment "production" {
  kv "name" "production" {}

  # application name must match the file name
  application "api-admin" {

    # cleartext shorthand configuration for the application, will be written to /api-admin/threads
    kv "threads" "10" {}

    # cleartext configuration for the application, will be written to /api-admin/config
    kv "config" {
      value = <<EOF

Vault auth

environment "production" {

  # The auth "name" can be anything, will be the "path" in auth configuration, e.g. the mount below will
  # make the "aws-ec2" secret backend available at "aws-ec2/" in the Vault API and CLI.
  # The auth stanza maps to the Mount API ( https://www.vaultproject.io/api/system/auth.html#mount-auth-backend )
  # API endpoint: /sys/auth/:path (/sys/auth/aws-ec2)
  auth "aws-ec2" { # :path

    # Type must match the Vault auth types
    # based on this type, all config and role config below will map to settings found at https://www.vaultproject.io/docs/auth/aws.html
    type = "aws-ec2"

    # Client Configuration for the autb backend
    # maps to the secret backend specific configuration
    # in this example it will be https://www.vaultproject.io/docs/auth/aws.html#auth-aws-config-client
    # key/value here is arbitrary and backend dependent, matches the Vaults docs 1:1 in keys and values
    # API endpoint: /auth/:path/config/:config_name (/auth/aws-ec2/config/client)
    config "client" { # :config_name
      access_key = "XXXX"
      secret_key = "YYYY"
      max_ttl    = "1d"

    # Auth backend type specific roles
    # in this case it maps to https://www.vaultproject.io/docs/auth/aws.html#auth-aws-role-role-
    # key/value here is arbritary and backend dependent, matches the Vault docs 1:1 in keys and values
    # API endpoint: /auth/:path/role/:role: (/auth/aws-ec2/role/api-admin-prod)
    role "api-admin-prod" { # :role
      policies                       = "global,sample-policy"
      max_ttl                        = "1h"
      allow_instance_migration       = false
      bound_vpc_id                   = "vpc-XXXXXX"
      bound_iam_instance_profile_arn = "arn:aws:iam::XXXXXXX:instance-profile/XXXX"

  auth "sg-github" {
    type = "github"

    # https://www.vaultproject.io/docs/auth/github.html#generate-a-github-personal-access-token
    # API endpoint: auth/:name/config (auth/sg-github/config)
    config "" {
      organization = "seatgeek"

Consul services

The following can be stored in a cleartext file at production/consul_services/cache.hcl

environment "production" {

  # service name
  service "cache-shared" {
    # ID must be unique
    id      = "cache-shared"

    # Pseudo node name to attach the service to (we use "cache" or "rds" depending on service type)
    node    = "cache"

    # The IP or domain the service should resolve to
    address = "cache-shared.ang13m.YYYY.use1.cache.amazonaws.com"

    # The port the service exposes, used for SRV records and Consul API / Fabio
    port    = 6379

    # Optional list of tags
    tags    = ["master", "replica"]

Vault mount

environment "production" {

  # the name / path the mount will be mounted at, must be unique for the environment
  mount "db-api" {

    # the mount backend type to use (see Vault docs)
    type = "database"

    # optional string
    max_lease_ttl     = "1h"

    # optional string
    default_lease_ttl = "1h"

    # optional boolean
    force_no_cache    = true

    # mount configuration, see Vault docs for details
    config "default" {
      plugin_name    = "mysql-rds-database-plugin"
      connection_url = "xxx:yyy@tcp(zzzz:3306)/"
      allowed_roles  = "*"

Vault mount role

# environment name must match the directory name
environment "production" {

  # the name *must* match the name from _mount.hcl !
  mount "db-api" {

    # the role name and configuration
    role "read-only" {
      # by convention, db_name matches the config{} stanza from the _mount example
      db_name     = "default"

      # How long time a token may be alive without being renwed
      default_ttl = "24h"

      # How long time a token can life, disregarding renewal timeout
      max_ttl     = "24h"

      # The SQL to execute when creating a user
      # '{{name}}', '{{password}}' and '{{expiry}}' (used in postgres)
      creation_statements = <<-SQL
      CREATE USER '{{name}}'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY '{{password}}';
      GRANT SELECT ON api.* TO '{{name}}'@'%';

  # policy name, granting users with policy "db-api-read-only" access to create credentials from the Vault mount
  # by convention the name is always ${mount_name}-${role_name}
  policy "db-api-read-only" {

    # the path to allow Vault read from, always ${mount_name}/creds/${role_name}
    path "db-api/creds/read-only" {
      capabilities = ["read"]

  # This will configure the GitHub team "rds-production-api-read-only" to have the policy "db-api-read-only"
  # when they "vault auth"
  secret "/auth/github/map/teams/rds-production-api-read-only" {
    value = "db-api-read-only"