»Vault Agent Auto-Auth AWS Method

The aws method performs authentication against the AWS Auth method. Both ec2 and iam authentication types are supported. If ec2 is used, the agent will store the reauthentication value in memory and use it for reauthenticating, but will not persist it to disk.

Due to the complexity of the Trust On First Use (TOFU) model used in the ec2 method, we recommend the iam method when possible.


Vault will use the AWS SDK's normal credential chain behavior, which means it will use the first valid credentials it finds in the following order:

  1. A static credential configuration
  2. Environment variables
  3. A file containing credentials
  4. From any identity services available in its physical environment like container environment variables or role-based instance metadata

Wherever possible, we recommend using identity services (method 4) for credentials. These rotate regularly and require no effort on your part to provision, making identity services the most secure of the four methods. If using identity services and a custom credential_poll_interval, be sure the frequency is set low enough to pick up new credentials from the physical environment as they become available.

To use identity services, choose the iam type and leave the access_key, secret_key, and session_token parameters unset in your configuration.


  • type (string: required) - The type of authentication; must be ec2 or iam.

  • role (string: required) - The role to authenticate against on Vault.

  • credential_poll_interval (integer: optional) - In seconds, how frequently the Vault agent should check for new credentials if using the iam type.

  • access_key (string: optional) - When using static credentials, the access key to use.

  • secret_key (string: optional) - When using static credentials, the secret key to use.

  • region (string: "us-east-1") - The region to use for signing the authentication request. The region Agent uses should match that corresponding to sts_endpoint, if a custom endpoint has been configured on the Vault server.

  • session_token (string: optional) - The session token to use for authentication, if needed.

  • header_value (string: optional) - If configured in Vault, the value to use for iam_server_id_header_value.


Refer to the Vault Agent with AWS guide for a step-by-step tutorial.