»KV Secrets Engine - Version 1

The kv secrets engine is used to store arbitrary secrets within the configured physical storage for Vault.

Writing to a key in the kv backend will replace the old value; sub-fields are not merged together.

Key names must always be strings. If you write non-string values directly via the CLI, they will be converted into strings. However, you can preserve non-string values by writing the key/value pairs to Vault from a JSON file or using the HTTP API.

This secrets engine honors the distinction between the create and update capabilities inside ACL policies.


To enable a version 1 kv store:

vault secrets enable -version=1 kv


After the secrets engine is configured and a user/machine has a Vault token with the proper permission, it can generate credentials. The kv secrets engine allows for writing keys with arbitrary values.

  1. Write arbitrary data:

    $ vault kv put kv/my-secret my-value=s3cr3t
    Success! Data written to: kv/my-secret
  2. Read arbitrary data:

    $ vault kv get kv/my-secret
    Key                 Value
    ---                 -----
    my-value            s3cr3t
  3. List the keys:

    $ vault kv list kv/
  4. Delete a key:

    $ vault kv delete kv/my-secret
    Success! Data deleted (if it existed) at: kv/my-secret


Unlike other secrets engines, the KV secrets engine does not enforce TTLs for expiration. Instead, the lease_duration is a hint for how often consumers should check back for a new value.

If provided a key of ttl, the KV secrets engine will utilize this value as the lease duration:

$ vault kv put kv/my-secret ttl=30m my-value=s3cr3t
Success! Data written to: kv/my-secret

Even with a ttl set, the secrets engine never removes data on its own. The ttl key is merely advisory.

When reading a value with a ttl, both the ttl key and the refresh interval will reflect the value:

$ vault kv get kv/my-secret
Key                 Value
---                 -----
my-value            s3cr3t
ttl                 30m


Refer to the Static Secrets: Key/Value Secrets Engine guide for a step-by-step tutorial.


The KV secrets engine has a full HTTP API. Please see the KV secrets engine API for more details.