»gcpckms Seal

The GCP Cloud KMS seal configures Vault to use GCP Cloud KMS as the seal wrapping mechanism. The GCP Cloud KMS seal is activated by one of the following:

  • The presence of a seal "gcpckms" block in Vault's configuration file.
  • The presence of the environment variable VAULT_SEAL_TYPE set to gcpckms. If enabling via environment variable, all other required values specific to Cloud KMS (i.e. VAULT_GCPCKMS_SEAL_KEY_RING, etc.) must be also supplied, as well as all other GCP-related environment variables that lends to successful authentication (i.e. GOOGLE_PROJECT, etc.).

»gcpckms Example

This example shows configuring GCP Cloud KMS seal through the Vault configuration file by providing all the required values:

seal "gcpckms" {
  credentials = "/usr/vault/vault-project-user-creds.json"
  project     = "vault-project"
  region      = "global"
  key_ring    = "vault-keyring"
  crypto_key  = "vault-key"
seal "gcpckms" {  credentials = "/usr/vault/vault-project-user-creds.json"  project     = "vault-project"  region      = "global"  key_ring    = "vault-keyring"  crypto_key  = "vault-key"}

»gcpckms Parameters

These parameters apply to the seal stanza in the Vault configuration file:

  • credentials (string: <required>): The path to the credentials JSON file to use. May be also specified by the GOOGLE_CREDENTIALS or GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable or set automatically if running under Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine or Google Kubernetes Engine.

  • project (string: <required>): The GCP project ID to use. May also be specified by the GOOGLE_PROJECT environment variable.

  • region (string: "us-east-1"): The GCP region/location where the key ring lives. May also be specified by the GOOGLE_REGION environment variable.

  • key_ring (string: <required>): The GCP CKMS key ring to use. May also be specified by the VAULT_GCPCKMS_SEAL_KEY_RING environment variable.

  • crypto_key (string: <required>): The GCP CKMS crypto key to use for encryption and decryption. May also be specified by the VAULT_GCPCKMS_SEAL_CRYPTO_KEY environment variable.

»Authentication & Permissions

Authentication-related values must be provided, either as environment variables or as configuration parameters.

GCP authentication values:

Note: The client uses the official Google SDK and will use the specified credentials, environment credentials, or application default credentials in that order, if the above GCP specific values are not provided.

The service account needs the following minimum permissions on the crypto key:


These permissions can be described with the following role:


cloudkms.cryptoKeys.get permission is used for retrieving metadata information of keys from CloudKMS within this engine initialization process.

»gcpckms Environment Variables

Alternatively, the GCP Cloud KMS seal can be activated by providing the following environment variables:

»Key Rotation

This seal supports rotating keys defined in Google Cloud KMS doc. Both scheduled rotation and manual rotation is supported for CKMS since the key information. Old keys version must not be disabled or deleted and are used to decrypt older data. Any new or updated data will be encrypted with the primary key version.


Refer to the Auto-unseal using GCP Cloud KMS guide for a step-by-step tutorial.