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Overview

From version 5.0, Artifactory offers access tokens as a new and flexible means of authentication with a range of capabilities previously unavailable:

  • Cross-instance authentication
    Access tokens can be used for authentication, not only by the Artifactory instance or cluster where they were created, but also for other instances and clusters that are all part of the same "circle of trust" (described below).
     
  • User and non-user authentication
    The case for authenticating Artifactory users is clear, however access tokens can also be assigned to non-user entities such as CI server jobs.

  • Time-based access control 
    Access tokens have an expiry period so you can control the period of time for which you grant access. However, you may also delegate that control to the receiving user by making them refreshable

  • Flexible scope 
    By assigning Groups to tokens, you can control the level of access they provide.

 

 To support these capabilities, an access token has the following properties:

Subject
The user to which this access token is associated. If the user specified does not exist, Artifactory will create a corresponding transient user. Artifactory administrators can assign a token to any subject (user); non-admin users who create tokens can only assign tokens to themselves.
Issuer
An identifier of the cluster on which the access token was created
Scope
The scope of access that the token provides. Access to the REST API is always provided by default; in addition, you may specify the group memberships that the token provides. Artifactory administrators can set any scope; non-admin users can only set the scope to a subset of the groups to which they belong.
Expiry
The period of time from creation after which the token will expire. Artifactory administrators can set any expiry period; non-admin users can not change the expiry period so tokens they create expire after the default period of 60 minutes.
Refreshable
Whether the token may be refreshed for continued use or not
Audience
The set of Artifactory instances or clusters on which the token may be used identified by their Service IDs. The Service ID is a unique, internally generated identifier of an Artifactory instance or cluster and is obtained through Get Service ID REST API endpoint.

Access tokens are fully managed through REST API as described below. 

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Access Service

From Artifactory version 5.4, access tokens are managed under a new service called Access which is implemented in a separate WAR file, access.war. This change has no impact on how access tokens are used, however, the Artifactory installation file structure now also includes the added WAR file under the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/webapps folder. Artifactory communicates with the Access service over HTTP and assumes it is running in the same Tomcat using the context path of "access"

The new implementation is backwards compatible to old tokens, so you can still use tokens generated by an older version to authenticate in the new version, however, you cannot use tokens generated by the new version to authenticate in an older version.

Breaking Change: Note that the change is not forwards backwards compatible, so tokens created from version 5.4 and above cannot be used for authentication with versions previous prior to 5.4. This may impact a circle of trust in which some instances are running versions below 5.4 while others are running version 5.4 and above.

Access Service Logs

The Artifactory Access Service uses the Logback Framework to manage logging. Activity is logged according to type in three different log files which can be found under the ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/logs folder.

The following log files are available: 

access.log
This is the main Access service log file containing data on the Access server activity
request.log
The HTTP traffic information for requests coming in. Most of these are from Artifactory
audit.log
Auditing of the actions performed by the service. Currently only successful actions are recorded (e.g. token was created, token was refreshed or revoked)

Since the Access service runs under the same Tomcat as Artifactory, its logs (catalina.out. localhost etc.) contains entries for both Artifactory and Access.

Configuring Logging

Logging for the Access service is configured in the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc/logback.xml file.


Cross-Instance Authentication

Access tokens support cross-instance authentication through a "circle of trust" established by sharing a private and public key pair among all participating instances. It is up to the Artifactory administrator to make sure that all participating instances are equipped with the same key pair. This means that any instance can generate a token to be used with any other instance within the circle of trust. When an Artifactory instance receives a REST API call authenticated by a signed token, it will use the root certificate that includes the public key to verify that its issuer is in the circle of trust. 

Note
titleLimitations

Only a token that is expirable and refreshable can be used for authentication on a different instance from the one that created it.

Only the issuing instance can refresh a token.

Cross instance authentication

Setting the Private Key and Root Certificate

As mentioned above, it is up to the Artifactory administrator to make sure that all participating instances are equipped with the same key pair. The process to ensure this varies depending on whether you are bootstrapping new instances or setting up cross-instance authentication for existing instances.

New Instances

Artifactory Pro or OSS
  1. Start up the first Artifactory instance (or cluster node for an HA installation) that will be in your circle of trust. A private key and root certificate are generated and stored under $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc/keys.
  2. Copy the private key and root certificate files to a location on your file system that is accessible by all other instances/nodes that are in your circle of trust.

  3. Before bootstrapping, for each of the other instances/nodes, create the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc folder and create a properties file in it called access.bootstrap.config with the following contents:

    Code Block
    key=/path/to/private.key
    crt=/path/to/root.crt
  4. When each instance/node starts up, if the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc/access.bootstrap.config file exists, then the private key and root certificate are copied from the specified location into the server's home directory under $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc/keys.
Artifactory HA

In the case of an Artifactory HA installation, the private key and root certificate are included in the bootstrap bundle

Existing Instances

Warning
titleKey rotation will invalidate any issued access tokens

The procedure below will create new key pairs which in turn will invalidate any existing Access Tokens issued by the current instance.

  1. Copy the private key and root certificate files from the Artifactory instance whose circle of trust you want the current instance to join, to a location on your file system that is accessible by the current instance.
  2. Before bootstrapping the instance:
    1. Delete the existing private key and root certificate files (private.key and root.crt) from the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc folder.
    2. Create the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/etc/access.bootstrap.config with the following contents:

      Code Block
      key=/path/to/private.key
      crt=/path/to/root.crt
    3. Add the following JVM property (under the JAVA_OPTIONS enviroment variable) to $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/bin/artifactory.default:

      Code Block
      -Djfrog.access.force.replace.existing.root.keys=true
    4. Start up the instance ready to be added to your circle of trust and verify that the artifactory.log file shows the following entry: 

      Code Block
      *******************************************************************
      *** Forcing replacement of the root private key and certificate ***
      *******************************************************************
    5. Delete the JVM property you added to $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/bin/artifactory.default in step c.

Using Tokens

There are several ways you can use access tokens for authentication.

Basic Authentication

An access token can be used instead of a password for basic authentication. This may be useful when you need a client (such as certain dependency managers) that only supports basic authentication to access Artifactory. In this case, it is important to access Artifactory using the same user name provided when creating the token (with -d "username=<USERNAME>").

For example, to use an access token as a password to ping Artifactory you could use:

Code Block
curl -u<USERNAME>:<TOKEN> http://ARTIFACTORY_URL/api/system/ping

Authorization Headers

An access token can be used as a bearer token in authorization headers. This is especially useful for authenticating CI servers with Artifactory instead of using credentials, since you don't need to have a user defined in Artifactory if the group provided in -d "member-of-groups:<GROUP>" is configured in that Artifactory instance. As a result, there is no need to manage fictitious users for your different automation tools that need access to Artifactory. 

For example, to use an access token as a bearer token to ping Artifactory you could use:

Code Block
curl -H"Authorization: Bearer <TOKEN>" http://ARTIFACTORY_URL/api/system/ping

Support Authentication for Non-Existing Users

One of the big advantages of access tokens is the fact that you don't have to create a user in Artifactory to use them. When creating a token, you can specify a user name that does not exist, and Artifactory will create a transient user that will only exist as long as the token is valid. This can be useful to in giving access to different tools such as a CI server coordinating a build without having to manage fake user accounts. This method is also more secure since you can assign a new token for each "job" that the external tool runs.

Tip
titleArtifactory Administrator Only

Note that this  feature is only available for Artifactory administrator since non-admin users can only create tokens with themselves as the Subject.


Generating Expirable Tokens

You can limit the validity period of a token by setting the expiry time when generating a token. If set, the token will be valid until the expiration time will pass. 
You can all set a token to be non-expirable by setting the expiry to zero, in which case it will valid indefinitely until actively revoked. 

This value is set by using the "&expires_in=<VALUE_IN_SECONDS>" param when generating the token (see example in REST API section below). If not used the default value will be 3600 meaning your token will be valid for one hour.

Tip
titleArtifactory Administrator Only

 Note that only an Artifactory administrator can change the validity period of a token to any value. Non-admin users, can only set the token validity period to a value that is equal or less than the default 3600 seconds.

Generating Refreshable Tokens

As mentioned above, you can limit the validity period of an token by setting its expiry time. To allow extending access privileges of a token once it has expired, you can provide a refresh token which will generate a new token with the same privileges as the original one. This takes token management out of the hands of its issuer and delegates it to the user who received the token.

Note
titleWho can refresh?

Only the instance (or HA cluster) that issued a refreshable token can actually refresh it.

Info
titleLimitation

 An external user who has created a token will still be able to refresh it even if he has been removed from the external authentication server.


Generating Admin Tokens

In general, the scope for a token is defined by specifying the groups into which the token is included, however, an Artifactory administrator can also create a token with admin privileges. This can be useful for JFrog Mission Control and JFrog Xray since both of these complementary applications require admin permissions to work seamlessly with Artifactory. With this capability, when Mission Control or Xray connect to an instance of Artifactory, they can create an admin tokens and use that for authentication instead of using basic authentication with a username and password.


Revoking Tokens

Any refreshable or non-expirable token can be revoked but only by the instance (or cluster) that issued it. A token with an expiry specified will lapse automatically upon reaching its expiry period (but can also be actively revoked earlier). A token that is not expirable (expires_in parameter is set to 0) must be actively revoked to terminate its usage. As described above, to support cross-site authentication, a token must be both expirable and refreshable. Note that this kind of token cannot be revoked. The only way to terminate its usage is to revoke its refresh token, so its usage will be terminated next time its expiry period lapses.

Tip
title"Revoking" a cross-instance authentication token

To terminate usage of a token used for cross-instance authentication, you need to revoke its refresh token.

 


REST API

All management of access tokens is done via REST API through the endpoints described below.

Create Token

Creates an access token. 

For details, refer to the REST API documentation for Create Token.

Refresh Token

Refresh an access token to extend its validity. If only the access token and the refresh token are provided (and no other parameters), this pair is used for authentication. If username or any other parameter is provided, then the request must be authenticated by a token that grants admin permissions.

For details, refer to the REST API documentation for Refresh Token.  

Revoke Token

Revoke an access token 

For details, refer to the REST API documentation for Revoke Token.  

Get Service ID

Provides the service ID of an Artifactory instance or cluster

For details, refer to the REST API documentation for Get Service ID.  


UI

Admin users can view details on all created Access Tokens in the Admin module under Security | Access Tokens.

The Access Tokens page allows you to view, revoke, search by subject and filter to view only expirable tokens.

Additional functionalities, such as creating new tokens, is done via REST API.

Access Tokens UI


Troubleshooting

Expand
titleAn exception is thrown for "java.lang.IllegalStateException: Provided private key and latest private key fingerprints mismatch"
Symptoms

During startup, Artifactory fails to start and an error is thrown:

java.lang.IllegalStateException: Provided private key and latest private key fingerprints mismatch.

Cause

Artifactory tries to validate and compare access keys' fingerprint that reside on Artifactory's database and the local file system. If the keys do not match, the exception above will be thrown along with the mismatching fingerprint IDs.

 

This could occur during an attempted upgrade/installation of Artifactory.
Resolution

Follow the steps below to make sure that all instances in your circle of trust have the same private key and root certificate:

Warning
titleKey rotation will invalidate any issued access tokens

The procedure below will create new key pairs which in turn will invalidate any existing Access Tokens.

    1. Add the following JVM property (under the JAVA_OPTIONS enviroment variable) to $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/bin/artifactory.default:

      Code Block
      -Djfrog.access.force.replace.existing.root.keys=true
    2. Start up the new instance and verify that the $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/logs/artifactory.log or $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/access/logs/access.log file shows the following entry: 

      Code Block
      *******************************************************************
      *** Forcing replacement of the root private key and certificate ***
      *******************************************************************
    3. Delete the JVM property you added to $ARTIFACTORY_HOME/bin/artifactory.default in step a.

Expand
titleFollowing an upgrade of an Artifactory HA cluster node, the node fails to start up.
SymptomsAfter correctly following the upgrade procedure, an Artifactory HA cluster node fails to start up
CauseIn Artifactory 5.4, the implementation of access tokens was taken out of the Artifactory WAR file and moved to a separate WAR file. As a result, your Tomcat's server.xml file needs to be modified.
Resolution

Make sure that your $ARTIFACTORY_HOMEtomcat/conf/server.xml file is configured with 2 start/stop threads as shown in the example below (see <Host name="localhost" appBase="webapps" startStopThreads="2"/>:

Code Block
<Server port="8015" shutdown="SHUTDOWN">
    <Service name="Catalina">


        <Connector port="8081"/>


        <!-- This is the optional AJP connector -->
        <Connector port="8019" protocol="AJP/1.3"/>


        <Engine name="Catalina" defaultHost="localhost">
            <Host name="localhost" appBase="webapps" startStopThreads="2"/>
        </Engine>
    </Service>
</Server>
Expand
titleThe access token I generated is not working
SymptomsAuthentication with an access token doesn't work with an error that says "Token validation failed".
CauseThe implementation of access tokens was changed in Artifactory 5.4. The change is backwards compatible, so tokens created with earlier versions of Artifactory can be authenticated in the new version, however the reverse is not true. Tokens created in versions 5.4 or later cannot be authenticated by versions earlier than 5.4.
ResolutionEither upgrade your older Artifactory instances, or make sure you only create access tokens with the older instances.