Elasticsearch Creating and Managing Users in Elasticsearch

By Opster Team

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

| 2 min read


Elasticsearch, as a robust and flexible search and analytics engine, provides a comprehensive security model that includes support for managing users. This article will delve into the process of creating and managing users in Elasticsearch, focusing on the built-in functionality provided by the Elasticsearch security features. If you want to learn about Elasticsearch role mapping and user management, check out this guide.

Understanding Elasticsearch User Management

Elasticsearch’s security features allow you to easily manage users and their roles. Users in Elasticsearch are entities that can authenticate (prove who they are) and are authorized (have permissions to perform certain actions). The process of creating a user involves defining the user’s credentials and assigning appropriate roles.

Creating a User in Elasticsearch

Creating a user in Elasticsearch involves using the Elasticsearch create user API. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a user:

  1. Access the Elasticsearch API: You can access the Elasticsearch API through the command line using a tool like curl or through Kibana Dev Tools.
  1. Use the Create User API: The Create User API is a POST request to the `_security/user/<username>` endpoint. Replace `<username>` with the desired username.
  1. Define User Credentials: In the body of the POST request, define the user’s credentials. This includes the `password` field and optionally the `roles` field. The `roles` field defines what actions the user can perform in Elasticsearch.

Here is an example of a Create User API request:

POST _security/user/jdoe
  "password" : "jdoe_password",
  "roles" : [ "admin", "other_role1" ],
  "full_name" : "John Doe",
  "email" : "john.doe@example.com",
  "metadata" : {
    "intelligence" : 7
  "enabled": true

In this example, a user named `jdoe` is created with the password `jdoe_password`. The user is assigned two roles, `admin` and `other_role1` (the assigned roles must exist before creating the user), and additional information is provided in the `full_name`, `email`, and `metadata` fields.

Managing Users in Elasticsearch

Once a user is created, you can manage the user through the Elasticsearch API. This includes changing a user’s password, updating a user’s roles, and disabling a user.

To change a user’s password, use the Change Password API. This is a PUT request to the `_security/user/<username>/_password` endpoint. In the body of the request, provide the new password as shown below:

​​POST /_security/user/jdoe/_password
  "password" : "new_jdoe_password"

To update a user’s roles, use the Update User API. This is a PUT request to the `_security/user/<username>` endpoint. In the body of the request, provide the updated roles as shown below:

​​PUT /_security/user/jdoe
  "roles" : [ "admin", "other_role1", "other_role2" ]

To disable a user, use the Disable User API as shown below:

PUT /_security/user/jdoe/_disable

Finally, the re-enable a disabled user, use the Enable User API:

PUT /_security/user/jdoe/_enable


In conclusion, Elasticsearch provides a comprehensive and flexible user management system. By understanding how to create and manage users, you can effectively control who has access to your Elasticsearch data and what actions they can perform.

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