Query AWS ES cluster by signing http requests with AWS IAM roles (python)

Written by mannem on . Posted in Elasticsearch

The AWS public facing documentation provides some python examples to sign the http reqests with IAM users’s to access other AWS resources. In this case, AWS ES cluster whose access policies are restricted to those IAM users.

If you wish to restrict the access to ES cluster with IAM roles instead, the signing process is a bit different.

The document (http://docs.aws.amazon.com/general/latest/gr/sigv4-signed-request-examples.html) seem to be only for IAM users but not for IAM roles.

Changing the signed header

Signing requests with IAM roles need additional header called ‘session token’ added the request header using a header name of ‘x-amz-security-token’.

So, in the ESrequest.py replacing this line:

headers = {'x-amz-date':amzdate, 'Authorization':authorization_header}

With the following should work for signing requests with IAM roles cred’s.

headers = {'x-amz-date':amzdate, 'Authorization':authorization_header, 'x-amz-security-token':token}

Where, the session ‘token’ string should be obtained from the corresponding IAM role. (These credential trio for roles are rotated frequently and they have an expiration date. So make sure you are using unexpired token)

Obtaining ‘token’ string from IAM Roles

If an EC2 instance is assuming a role, you can get it with


In python, all these credentials can be obtained with ‘requests’ module and parsing them accordingly.

The token can be obtained similarly from other services assuming IAM roles like Lambda etc.

Find the end-to-end code here : https://github.com/mannem/elasticsearchDev/blob/master/ES_V4Signing_IAMRoles

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