Creating test-requests from Vault

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been using Hashicorp’s Vault more and more also for local development. Among other things I’ve added credentials to most systems I’m interacting with to the secret store. This way, I don’t have those usernames and passwords flying around as global environment variables or plain-text config files.

For tools that support reading their configuration from stdin I’ve written a little wrapper function (for Fish) around consul-template:

function vault-template --wraps=consul-template
    consul-template -vault-renew-token=false -once -dry -template $argv | tail -n +2

Now, let’s say that we have a simple JSON request containing a login and a password field that we would like to send to an authentication service. All we need is to create a template for that JSON payload with a few placeholders:

{{"{"}}{{ with secret "secret/credentials/me" }}
    "login": "{{ .Data.login }}",
    "password": "{{ .Data.password }}"

Those {{ "{" }} and {{ "}" }} are sadly necessary in order to get JSON to work within Go’s template package. All that’s left to do after that is to execute it :)

$ vault-template login-request.json.tmpl | http post https://localhost:8443/v1/login

I’m not yet sure, if this will be my final approach for handling secrets in local configurations. Maybe I will ditch consul-template for a custom Vault-client in order to gain a bit more flexibility with default values and prefixes. That being said, for a 1.0 the current consul-template + Fish solution has been immensely useful so far 😊