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External to local groups mapping

The groups ACL rule accepts a list of group names. This rule will match on a requests in which the resolved username belongs at least to one of the listed groups. The association between usernames and groups is explicitly declared in the users section of the ACL. This is a list of usernames, and today, full wildcard patterns are also supported.
In the users section, each entry requires:
  • an authentication rule: (I.e. one of the auth_key_* rules for local credentials, or ldap_authentication, external_authentication, etc)
  • a list of groups within the ones precendently inserted in the groups rules of the ACL blocks
  • optionally, an authorization rule (ldap_authorization, groups_provider_authorization, etc.)
When the users section's groups rule and the authorization rule are used together, we obtain "group mapping". That is: we are effectively mapping remote groups to local groups. There are two types of mapping available: common and detailed group mappings.
Note: the rule ldap_auth is the composition of ldap_authentication and ldap_authorization. So it can be used as a shortcut for both.


- name: "Viewer block"
indices: ["logstash-viewers*"]
groups: ["viewers"]
- name: "DevOps block"
indices: ["logstash-devops*"]
groups: ["devops"]
# Local user "joe" is associated to local group "editors"
- username: "joe"
groups: ["editors"]
auth_key: joe:password
# Externally authenticated user + authorization via external groups provider + groups common mapping
# Users belonging to "external_group1" OR "external_group2" are authorized as "viewers" AND "editors" in the ACL.
- username: "*"
groups: ["viewers", "editors"]
external_authentication: "ext1"
user_groups_provider: "ext2"
groups: ["external_group1", "external_group2"]
# LDAP authenticated user + authorization via LDAP + groups detailed mapping (any LDAP user is valid; groups from `ldap1` are mapped to local groups)
# Users belonging to LDAP role `ldap_role_ops`, or any other LDAP role that matched `ldap_*_devops` pattern, will be mapped to "devops" local group
# Users belonging to LDAP `ldap_role_dev` are mapped to "developers" local group
- username: "*"
- devops: ["ldap_role_ops", "ldap_*_devops"]
- developers: ["ldap_role_dev"]
name: "ldap1"
groups: ["ldap_*_devops", "ldap_role_ops", "ldap_role_dev"]
- name: "ext1"
- name: ext2
- name: ldap1
As we can see, there are two blocks in our ACL:
  1. 1.
    Viewer block allows all users, which belong to viewers group, to access indices matching pattern logstash-viewers*
  2. 2.
    DevOps block allows all users, which belong to devops group, to access indices matching pattern logstash-devops*

Common mapping example

- username: "*"
groups: ["viewers", "editors"]
external_authentication: "ext1"
user_groups_provider: "ext2"
groups: ["external_group1", "external_group2"]
viewers, devops, (unused in the ACL example), editors and developers are local groups. That is, they exist only at ROR's configuration level. But ROR can also integrate with external authorization systems like an LDAP or some REST service, where we can find similar concepts to ROR groups (eg. users in LDAP can have roles assigned).
And sometimes we'd like to fulfil a requirement such as:
Users having usernames defined by a given pattern, and having a given set of roles, should have certain given ROR internal groups assigned.
You can think about it as a mapping external groups to local ones.
Let's go back to our example. In the second element of the users array, we declare that:
  • any user can be taken into consideration by this user definition
  • a user should be authenticated by an external_authentication rule which uses the ext1 service
  • a user should be authorized by a groups_provider_authorization rule which uses the ext2 service and such user belongs to at least one of external_group1, external_group2 external groups.
  • if all the above conditions are true, we can assign viewers, editors groups to the user
We have just "mapped" the external groups external_group1, external_group2 returned by service ext2 to the local ROR groups viewers, editors.

Detailed mapping example

- username: "*"
- devops: ["ldap_*_devops", "ldap_role_ops"]
- developers: ["ldap_role_dev"]
name: "ldap1"
groups: ["ldap_role_devops", "ldap_role_ops", "ldap_role_dev"]
The third element of users array (in the example above) is similar, but we use one rule which is authentication and authorization rule at the same time (it can authenticate a user and then authorize him). And that's how we defined the following mappings:
  • ldap_role_ops LDAP role, and any other LDAP role matching ldap_*_devops pattern, are mapped to devops ROR's local group
  • LDAP role ldap_role_dev is mapped to developers ROR's local group
The "detailed" mapping offers a bit more structured approach to group mapping, and although less intuitive at first sight, it's more powerful and concise.