Install the SPIRE Server

How to install the SPIRE Server on Linux and Kubernetes

Step 1: Obtain the SPIRE Binaries

Pre-built SPIRE releases can be found on the SPIRE downloads page. The tarballs contain both server and agent binaries.

If you wish, you may also build SPIRE from source.

Step 2: Install the Server and Agent

This introductory guide describes how to install the server and agent on the same node. On a typical production deployment you will have the server installed on one node and one or more agents installed on distinct nodes.

To install the server and agent:

  1. Obtain the latest tarball from the SPIRE downloads page and then extract it into the /opt/spire directory using the following commands:

    tar zvxf spire-1.9.5-linux-amd64-musl.tar.gz
    sudo cp -r spire-1.9.5/. /opt/spire/
  2. Add spire-server and spire-agent to your $PATH for convenience:

    sudo ln -s /opt/spire/bin/spire-server /usr/bin/spire-server
    sudo ln -s /opt/spire/bin/spire-agent /usr/bin/spire-agent

Step 3: Configure the Server

To configure the server on Linux, you:

  1. Configure the trust domain
  2. Configure the server certificate authority (CA), which might include configuring an UpstreamAuthority plugin
  3. Configure the node attestation plugin
  4. Configure a default .data directory for persisting data

However, to get a simple deployment up and running for demonstration purposes, you need only go through steps 1, 2, and 3.

To configure the items in steps 1, 2, and 4, edit the server’s configuration file, located in /opt/spire/conf/server/server.conf.

See Configuring SPIRE for details about how to configure SPIRE, in particular Node Attestation and Workload Attestation.

Note that a SPIRE Server must be restarted once its configuration has been modified for changes to take effect.

See Install SPIRE Agents to learn how to install the SPIRE Agent.

How to install the SPIRE Server on Kubernetes

This section walks you step-by-step through getting a server running in your Kubernetes cluster and configuring a workload container to access SPIRE.

You must run all commands from the directory containing the .yaml files used for configuration.

Step 1: Obtain the Required Files

To obtain the required .yaml files, clone and copy the .yaml files from the spire-tutorials/k8s/quickstart subdirectory.

Step 2: Configure Kubernetes Namespace for SPIRE Components

Follow these steps to configure the spire namespace in which SPIRE Server and SPIRE Agent are deployed.

  1. Create the namespace:

    $ kubectl apply -f spire-namespace.yaml
  2. Run the following command and verify that spire is listed in the output:

    $ kubectl get namespaces

Step 3: Configure SPIRE Server

To configure the SPIRE Server on Kubernetes, you:

  1. Create server service account
  2. Create server bundle configmap
  3. Create server configmap
  4. Create server statefulset
  5. Create server service

See the following sections for details.

Create Server Service Account

  1. Configure a service account named spire-server by applying the server-account.yaml configuration file:

    $ kubectl apply -f server-account.yaml
  2. To confirm successful creation, verify that spire-server appears in the output of the following command:

    $ kubectl get serviceaccount --namespace spire

Create Server Bundle Configmap, Role & ClusterRoleBinding

For the server to function, it is necessary for it to provide agents with certificates that they can use to verify the identity of the server when establishing a connection.

In a deployment such as this, where the agent and server share the same cluster, SPIRE can be configured to automatically generate these certificates on a periodic basis and update a configmap with contents of the certificate. To do that, the server needs the ability to get and patch a configmap object in the spire namespace.

  1. Create a Configmap named spire-bundle by applying the spire-bundle-configmap.yaml configuration file:

    $ kubectl apply -f spire-bundle-configmap.yaml
  2. To confirm successful creation, verify the configmap spire-bundle is listed in the output of the following command:

    $ kubectl get configmaps --namespace spire | grep spire

To allow the server to read and write to this configmap, a ClusterRole must be created that confers the appropriate entitlements to Kubernetes RBAC, and that ClusterRoleBinding must be associated with the service account created in the previous step.

  1. Create a ClusterRole named spire-server-trust-role and a corresponding ClusterRoleBinding by applying the server-cluster-role.yaml configuration file:

    $ kubectl apply -f server-cluster-role.yaml
  2. To confirm successful creation, verify that the ClusterRole spire-server-trust-role appears in the output of the following command:

    $ kubectl get clusterroles --namespace spire | grep spire

Create Server Configmap

The server is configured in the Kubernetes configmap specified in server-configmap.yaml, which specifies a number of important directories, notably /run/spire/data and /run/spire/config. These volumes are bound in when the server container is deployed.

Follow the Configuring SPIRE section for full details on how to configure the SPIRE Server, in particular Node Attestation and Workload Attestation.

Note that a SPIRE Server must be restarted once its configuration has been modified for changes to take effect.

To applying the server configmap to your cluster, issue the following command:

$ kubectl apply -f server-configmap.yaml

Create Server StatefulSet

Deploy the server by applying the configuration server-statefulset.yaml file:

$ kubectl apply -f server-statefulset.yaml

This creates a statefulset called spire-server in the spire namespace and starts up a spire-server pod, as demonstrated in the output of the following two commands:

$ kubectl get statefulset --namespace spire

NAME           READY   AGE
spire-server   1/1     86m

$ kubectl get pods --namespace spire

NAME                           READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
spire-server-0                 1/1     Running   0          86m

When you deploy the server it automatically configures a livenessProbe on the SPIRE server’s GRPC port, which ensures availability of the container.

When the server deploys, it binds in the volumes summarized in the following table:

Volume Description Mount Location
spire-config A reference to the spire-server configmap created in the previous step /run/spire/config
spire-data The hostPath for the server’s SQLite database and keys file /run/spire/data

Create Server Service

  1. Create the server service by applying the server-service.yaml configuration file:

    $ kubectl apply -f server-service.yaml
  2. Verify that the spire namespace now has a spire-server service in the spire namespace:

    $ kubectl get services --namespace spire
    NAME           TYPE       CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)          AGE
    spire-server   NodePort   <none>        8081:30337/TCP   88m

Where next?

Once you’ve installed the SPIRE Server, consider reviewing the guide on How to install SPIRE Agents.