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Automate the initialization and unsealing of @hashicorp Vault on @GoogleCloudPlatform
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The vault-init service automates the process of initializing and unsealing HashiCorp Vault instances running on Google Cloud Platform.

After vault-init initializes a Vault server it stores master keys and root tokens, encrypted using Google Cloud KMS, to a user defined Google Cloud Storage bucket.


The vault-init service is designed to be run alongside a Vault server and communicate over local host.

You can download the code and compile the binary with Go. Alternatively, a Docker container is available via the Docker Hub:

$ docker pull sethvargo/vault-init

To use this as part of a Kubernetes Vault Deployment:

- name: vault-init
  imagePullPolicy: Always
    value: my-gcs-bucket
  - name: KMS_KEY_ID
    value: projects/my-project/locations/my-location/cryptoKeys/my-key


The vault-init service supports the following environment variables for configuration:

  • CHECK_INTERVAL - The time duration between Vault health checks. ("10s")

  • GCS_BUCKET_NAME - The Google Cloud Storage Bucket where the vault master key and root token is stored.

  • KMS_KEY_ID - The Google Cloud KMS key ID used to encrypt and decrypt the vault master key and root token.

  • VAULT_SECRET_SHARES - The number of human shares to create (5).

  • VAULT_SECRET_THRESHOLD - The number of human shares required to unseal (3).

  • VAULT_AUTO_UNSEAL - Use Vault 1.0 native auto-unsealing directly. You must set the seal configuration in Vault's configuration.

  • VAULT_STORED_SHARES - Number of shares to store on KMS. Only applies to Vault 1.0 native auto-unseal. (1)

  • VAULT_RECOVERY_SHARES - Number of recovery shares to generate. Only applies to Vault 1.0 native auto-unseal. (1)

  • VAULT_RECOVERY_THRESHOLD - Number of recovery shares needed to unseal. Only applies to Vault 1.0 native auto-unseal. (1)

Example Values


IAM & Permissions

The vault-init service uses the official Google Cloud Golang SDK. This means it supports the common ways of providing credentials to GCP.

To use this service, the service account must have the following minimum scope(s):

Additionally, the service account must have the following minimum role(s):

roles/storage.objectAdmin OR roles/storage.legacyBucketWriter

For more information on service accounts, please see the Google Cloud Service Accounts documentation.

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