Skip to main content

Configuring SSL-TLS

This guide provides simple and minimal settings to configure ClickHouse to use OpenSSL certificates to validate connections. For this demonstration, a self-signed Certificate Authority (CA) certificate and key are created with node certificates to make the connections with appropriate settings.

note

TLS implementation is complex and there are many options to consider to ensure a fully secure and robust deployment. This is a basic tutorial with basic SSL/TLS configuration examples. Consult with your PKI/security team to generate the correct certificates for your organization.

Review this basic tutorial on certificate usage for an introductory overview.

1. Create a ClickHouse Deployment

This guide was written using Ubuntu 20.04 and ClickHouse installed on the following hosts using the DEB package (using apt). The domain is marsnet.local:

HostIP Address
chnode1192.168.1.221
chnode2192.168.1.222
chnode3192.168.1.223
note

View the Quick Start for more details on how to install ClickHouse.

2. Create SSL certicates

note

Using self-signed certificates are for demonstration purposes only and should not used in production. Certificate requests should be created to be signed by the organization and validated using the CA chain that will be configured in the settings. However, these steps can be used to configure and test settings, then can be replaced by the actual certificates that will be used.

  1. Generate a key that will be used for the new CA:

    openssl genrsa -out marsnet_ca.key 2048
  2. Generate a new self-signed CA certificate. The following will create a new certificate that will be used to sign other certificates using the CA key:

    openssl req -x509 -subj "/CN=marsnet.local CA" -nodes -key marsnet_ca.key -days 1095 -out marsnet_ca.crt
    note

    Backup the key and CA certificate in a secure location not in the cluster. After generating the node certificates, the key should be deleted from the cluster nodes.

  3. Verify the contents of the new CA certificate:

    openssl x509 -in marsnet_ca.crt -text
  4. Create a certificate request (CSR) and generate a key for each node:

    openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -subj "/CN=chnode1" -addext "subjectAltName = DNS:chnode1.marsnet.local,IP:192.168.1.221" -keyout chnode1.key -out chnode1.csr
    openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -subj "/CN=chnode2" -addext "subjectAltName = DNS:chnode2.marsnet.local,IP:192.168.1.222" -keyout chnode2.key -out chnode2.csr
    openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -subj "/CN=chnode3" -addext "subjectAltName = DNS:chnode3.marsnet.local,IP:192.168.1.223" -keyout chnode3.key -out chnode3.csr
  5. Using the CSR and CA, create new certificate and key pairs:

    openssl x509 -req -in chnode1.csr -out chnode1.crt -CAcreateserial -CA marsnet_ca.crt -CAkey marsnet_ca.key -days 365
    openssl x509 -req -in chnode2.csr -out chnode2.crt -CAcreateserial -CA marsnet_ca.crt -CAkey marsnet_ca.key -days 365
    openssl x509 -req -in chnode3.csr -out chnode3.crt -CAcreateserial -CA marsnet_ca.crt -CAkey marsnet_ca.key -days 365
  6. Verify the certs for subject and issuer:

    openssl x509 -in chnode1.crt -text -noout
  7. Check that the new certificates verify against the CA cert:

    openssl verify -CAfile marsnet_ca.crt chnode1.crt
    chnode1.crt: OK

3. Create and Configure a directory to store certificates and keys.

note

This must be done on each node. Use appropriate certificates and keys on each host.

  1. Create a folder in a directory accessible by ClickHouse in each node. We recommend the default configuration directory (e.g. /etc/clickhouse-server):

    mkdir /etc/clickhouse-server/certs
  2. Copy the CA certificate, node certifiate and key corresponding to each node to the new certs directory.

  3. Update owner and permissions to allow ClickHouse to read the certificates:

    chown clickhouse:clickhouse -R /etc/clickhouse-server/certs
    chmod 600 /etc/clickhouse-server/certs/*
    chmod 755 /etc/clickhouse-server/certs
    ll /etc/clickhouse-server/certs
    total 20
    drw-r--r-- 2 clickhouse clickhouse 4096 Apr 12 20:23 ./
    drwx------ 5 clickhouse clickhouse 4096 Apr 12 20:23 ../
    -rw------- 1 clickhouse clickhouse 997 Apr 12 20:22 chnode1.crt
    -rw------- 1 clickhouse clickhouse 1708 Apr 12 20:22 chnode1.key
    -rw------- 1 clickhouse clickhouse 1131 Apr 12 20:23 marsnet_ca.crt

4. Configure the environment with basic clusters using ClickHouse Keeper

For this deployment environment, the following ClickHouse Keeper settings are used in each node. Each server will have its own <server_id>. (For example, <server_id>1</server_id> for node chnode1, and so on.)

note

Recommended port is 9281 for ClickHouse Keeper. However, the port is configurable and can be set if this port is in use already by another application in the environment.

For a full explanation of all options, visit https://clickhouse.com/docs/en/operations/clickhouse-keeper/

  1. Add the following inside the <clickhouse> tag in ClickHouse server config.xml

    note

    For production environments, it is recommended to use a separate .xml config file in the config.d directory. For more information, visit https://clickhouse.com/docs/en/operations/configuration-files/

    <keeper_server>
    <tcp_port_secure>9281</tcp_port_secure>
    <server_id>1</server_id>
    <log_storage_path>/var/lib/clickhouse/coordination/log</log_storage_path>
    <snapshot_storage_path>/var/lib/clickhouse/coordination/snapshots</snapshot_storage_path>

    <coordination_settings>
    <operation_timeout_ms>10000</operation_timeout_ms>
    <session_timeout_ms>30000</session_timeout_ms>
    <raft_logs_level>trace</raft_logs_level>
    </coordination_settings>

    <raft_configuration>
    <server>
    <id>1</id>
    <hostname>chnode1.marsnet.local</hostname>
    <port>9444</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </server>
    <server>
    <id>2</id>
    <hostname>chnode2.marsnet.local</hostname>
    <port>9444</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </server>
    <server>
    <id>3</id>
    <hostname>chnode3.marsnet.local</hostname>
    <port>9444</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </server>
    </raft_configuration>
    </keeper_server>
  2. Uncomment and update the keeper settings on all nodes and set the <secure> flag to 1:

    <zookeeper>
    <node>
    <host>chnode1.marsnet.local</host>
    <port>9281</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </node>
    <node>
    <host>chnode2.marsnet.local</host>
    <port>9281</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </node>
    <node>
    <host>chnode3.marsnet.local</host>
    <port>9281</port>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </node>
    </zookeeper>
  3. Update and add the following cluster settings to chnode1 and chnode2. chnode3 will be used for the ClickHouse Keeper quorum.

    note

    For this configuration, only one example cluster is configured. The test sample clusters must be either removed, commented out or if an existing cluster exists that is being tested, then the port must be updated and the <secure> option must be added. The <user and <password> must be set if the default user was initially configured to have a password in the installation or in the users.xml file.

    The following creates a cluster with one shard replica on two servers (one on each node).

    <remote_servers>
    <cluster_1S_2R>
    <shard>
    <replica>
    <host>chnode1.marsnet.local</host>
    <port>9440</port>
    <user>default</user>
    <password>ClickHouse123!</password>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </replica>
    <replica>
    <host>chnode2.marsnet.local</host>
    <port>9440</port>
    <user>default</user>
    <password>ClickHouse123!</password>
    <secure>1</secure>
    </replica>
    </shard>
    </cluster_1S_2R>
    </remote_servers>
  4. Define macros values to be able to create a ReplicatedMergeTree table for testing. On chnode1:

    <macros>
    <shard>1</shard>
    <replica>replica_1</replica>
    </macros>

    On chnode2:

    <macros>
    <shard>1</shard>
    <replica>replica_2</replica>
    </macros>

5. Configure SSL-TLS interfaces on ClickHouse nodes

The settings below are configured in the ClickHouse server config.xml

  1. Set the display name for the deployment (optional):

    <display_name>clickhouse</display_name>
  2. Set ClickHouse to listen on external ports:

    <listen_host>0.0.0.0</listen_host>
  3. Configure the https port and disable the http port on each node:

    <https_port>8443</https_port>
    <!--<http_port>8123</http_port>-->
  4. Configure the ClickHouse Native secure TCP port and disable the default non-secure port on each node:

    <tcp_port_secure>9440</tcp_port_secure>
    <!--<tcp_port>9000</tcp_port>-->
  5. Configure the interserver https port and disable the default non-secure port on each node:

    <interserver_https_port>9010</interserver_https_port>
    <!--<interserver_http_port>9009</interserver_http_port>-->
  6. Configure OpenSSL with certificates and paths

    note

    Each filename and path must be updated to match the node that it is being configured on. For example, update the <certificateFile> entry to be chnode2.crt when configuring in chnode2 host.

    <openSSL>
    <server>
    <certificateFile>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/chnode1.crt</certificateFile>
    <privateKeyFile>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/chnode1.key</privateKeyFile>
    <verificationMode>relaxed</verificationMode>
    <caConfig>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/marsnet_ca.crt</caConfig>
    <cacheSessions>true</cacheSessions>
    <disableProtocols>sslv2,sslv3</disableProtocols>
    <preferServerCiphers>true</preferServerCiphers>
    </server>
    <client>
    <loadDefaultCAFile>false</loadDefaultCAFile>
    <caConfig>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/marsnet_ca.crt</caConfig>
    <cacheSessions>true</cacheSessions>
    <disableProtocols>sslv2,sslv3</disableProtocols>
    <preferServerCiphers>true</preferServerCiphers>
    <verificationMode>relaxed</verificationMode>
    <invalidCertificateHandler>
    <name>RejectCertificateHandler</name>
    </invalidCertificateHandler>
    </client>
    </openSSL>

    For more information, visit https://clickhouse.com/docs/en/operations/server-configuration-parameters/settings/#server_configuration_parameters-openssl

  1. Configure gRPC for SSL on every node:

    <grpc>
    <enable_ssl>1</enable_ssl>
    <ssl_cert_file>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/chnode1.crt</ssl_cert_file>
    <ssl_key_file>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/chnode1.key</ssl_key_file>
    <ssl_require_client_auth>true</ssl_require_client_auth>
    <ssl_ca_cert_file>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/marsnet_ca.crt</ssl_ca_cert_file>
    <transport_compression_type>none</transport_compression_type>
    <transport_compression_level>0</transport_compression_level>
    <max_send_message_size>-1</max_send_message_size>
    <max_receive_message_size>-1</max_receive_message_size>
    <verbose_logs>false</verbose_logs>
    </grpc>

    For more information, visit https://clickhouse.com/docs/en/interfaces/grpc/

  2. Configure ClickHouse client on at least one of the nodes to use SSL for connections in its own config.xml file (by default in /etc/clickhouse-client/):

    <openSSL>
    <client>
    <loadDefaultCAFile>false</loadDefaultCAFile>
    <caConfig>/etc/clickhouse-server/certs/marsnet_ca.crt</caConfig>
    <cacheSessions>true</cacheSessions>
    <disableProtocols>sslv2,sslv3</disableProtocols>
    <preferServerCiphers>true</preferServerCiphers>
    <invalidCertificateHandler>
    <name>RejectCertificateHandler</name>
    </invalidCertificateHandler>
    </client>
    </openSSL>
  3. Disable default emulation ports for MySQL and PostgreSQL:

    <!--mysql_port>9004</mysql_port-->
    <!--postgresql_port>9005</postgresql_port-->

6. Testing

  1. Start all nodes, one at a time:

    service clickhouse-server start
  2. Verify secure ports are up and listening, should look similar to this example on each node:

    [email protected]:/etc/clickhouse-server# netstat -ano | grep tcp
    tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:9010            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 127.0.0.53:53 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:22 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:8443 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:9440 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:9281 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 192.168.1.221:33046 192.168.1.222:9444 ESTABLISHED off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 192.168.1.221:42730 192.168.1.223:9444 ESTABLISHED off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 192.168.1.221:51952 192.168.1.222:9281 ESTABLISHED off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp 0 0 192.168.1.221:22 192.168.1.210:49801 ESTABLISHED keepalive (6618.05/0/0)
    tcp 0 64 192.168.1.221:22 192.168.1.210:59195 ESTABLISHED on (0.24/0/0)
    tcp6 0 0 :::22 :::* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp6 0 0 :::9444 :::* LISTEN off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp6 0 0 192.168.1.221:9444 192.168.1.222:59046 ESTABLISHED off (0.00/0/0)
    tcp6 0 0 192.168.1.221:9444 192.168.1.223:41976 ESTABLISHED off (0.00/0/0)
    ClickHouse PortDescription
    8443https interface
    9010interserver https port
    9281ClickHouse Keeper secure port
    9440secure Native TCP protocol
    9444ClickHouse Keeper Raft port
  1. Start the ClickHouse client using --secure flag and SSL port:

    [email protected]:/etc/clickhouse-server# clickhouse-client --user default --password ClickHouse123! --port 9440 --secure --host chnode1.marsnet.local
    ClickHouse client version 22.3.3.44 (official build).
    Connecting to chnode1.marsnet.local:9440 as user default.
    Connected to ClickHouse server version 22.3.3 revision 54455.

    clickhouse :)
  2. Log into the Play UI using the https interface at https://chnode1.marsnet.local:8443/play.

    Play UI

    note

    the browser will show an untrusted certificate since it is being reached from a workstation and the certificates are not in the root CA stores on the client machine. When using certificates issued from a public authority or enterprise CA, it should show trusted.

  3. Create a replicated table:

    clickhouse :) CREATE TABLE repl_table ON CLUSTER cluster_1S_2R
    (
    id UInt64,
    column1 Date,
    column2 String
    )
    ENGINE = ReplicatedMergeTree('/clickhouse/tables/{shard}/default/repl_table', '{replica}' )
    ORDER BY (id);
    ┌─host──────────────────┬─port─┬─status─┬─error─┬─num_hosts_remaining─┬─num_hosts_active─┐
    │ chnode2.marsnet.local │ 9440 │ 0 │ │ 1 │ 0 │
    │ chnode1.marsnet.local │ 9440 │ 0 │ │ 0 │ 0 │
    └───────────────────────┴──────┴────────┴───────┴─────────────────────┴──────────────────┘
  4. Add a couple rows on chnode1:

    INSERT INTO repl_table
    (id, column1, column2)
    VALUES
    (1,'2022-04-01','abc'),
    (2,'2022-04-02','def');
  5. Verify the replication by viewing the rows on chnode2:

    SELECT * FROM repl_table
    ┌─id─┬────column1─┬─column2─┐
    │ 1 │ 2022-04-01 │ abc │
    │ 2 │ 2022-04-02 │ def │
    └────┴────────────┴─────────┘

Summary

This article focused on getting a ClickHouse environment configured with SSL/TLS. The settings will differ for different requirements in production environments; for example, certificate verification levels, protocols, ciphers, etc. But you should now have a good understanding of the steps involved in configuring and implementing secure connections.