Configuring client authentication

You can restrict how database users can connect with authentication records.

You can restrict how database users can connect with authentication records. The Vertica database uses client authentication to establish the identity of the connecting client and determines whether that client is authorized to connect to the Vertica database using the supplied credentials and from their host address.

Basic authentication configuration workflow

In general, the workflow for configuring client authentication is as follows:

  1. Create an authentication record. Authentication records are enabled automatically after creation. For details, see Creating authentication records.

  2. Grant the authentication to a user or role.

To view existing authentication records, query the system table CLIENT_AUTH.

IPv4 and IPv6 for client authentication

Vertica supports clients using either the IPv4 or the IPv6 protocol to connect to the database server. Internal communication between database servers must consistently use one address family (IPv4 or IPv6). The client, however, can connect to the database from either type of IP address.

If the client will be connecting from either IPv4 or IPv6, you must create two authentication methods, one for each address. Any authentication method that uses HOST authentication requires an IP address.

For example, the first statement allows users to connect from any IPv4 address. The second statement allows users to connect from any IPv6 address:

=> CREATE AUTHENTICATION <name> METHOD 'gss' HOST '::/0'; --IPv6

If you are using a literal IPv6 address in a URL, you must enclose the IPv6 address in square brackets as shown in the following examples:

=> ALTER AUTHENTICATION Ldap SET host='ldap://[1dfa:2bfa:3:45:5:6:7:877]';
=> ALTER AUTHENTICATION Ldap SET host='ldap://[fdfb:dbfa:0:65::177]';
=> ALTER AUTHENTICATION Ldap SET host='ldap://[fdfb::177]';
=> ALTER AUTHENTICATION Ldap SET host='ldap://[::1]';
=> ALTER AUTHENTICATION Ldap SET host='ldap://[1dfa:2bfa:3:45:5:6:7:877]:5678';

If you are working with a multi-node cluster, any IP/netmask settings in (HOST, HOST TLS, HOST NO TLS) must match all nodes in the cluster. This setup allows the database owner to authenticate with and administer every node in the cluster. For example, specifying allows a CIDR address range of

For detailed information about IPv6 addresses, see RFC 1924 and RFC 2732.

Supported client authentication methods

Vertica supports the following client authentication methods:

  • trust: Users can authenticate with a valid username (that is, without a password).

  • reject: Rejects the connection attempt.

  • hash: Users must provide a valid username and password. For details, see Hash authentication.

  • gss: Authorizes clients that connect to Vertica with an MIT Kerberos implementation. The Key Distribution Center (KDC) must support Kerberos 5 using the GSS-API. Non-MIT Kerberos implementations must use the GSS-API. For details, see Kerberos authentication.

  • ident: Authenticates the client against a username on an Ident server. For details, see Ident authentication.

  • ldap: Authenticates a client and their username and password with an LDAP or Active Directory server. For details, see LDAP authentication.

  • tls: Authenticates clients that provide a certificate with a Common Name (CN) that specifies a valid database username. Vertica must be configured for mutual mode TLS to use this method. For details, see TLS authentication

  • oauth: Authenticates a client with an access token. For details, see OAuth 2.0 authentication.

Local and host authentication

You can define a client authentication method as:

  • Local: Local connection to the database.

  • Host: Remote connection to the database from different hosts, each with their own IPv4 or IPv6 address and host parameters. For more information see IPv4 and IPv6 for Client Authentication above.

Some authentication methods can only be designated as local or host, as listed in this table:

Authentication Method Local? Host?
gss (Kerberos) No Yes
ident Yes No
ldap Yes Yes
hash Yes Yes
reject Yes Yes
trust Yes Yes
tls No Yes
oauth Yes Yes

Authentication for chained users and roles

Vertica supports creating chained users and roles, where you can grant ROLE2 privileges to ROLE1. All users in ROLE1 use the same authentication assigned to ROLE2. For example:

=> CREATE USER user1;
=> CREATE ROLE role1;
=> CREATE ROLE role2;
=> GRANT role2 to role1;
=> GRANT role1 to user1;

The user and role chain in the example above can be illustrated as follows:

auth1 -> role2 -> role1 -> user1

In this example, since role2 privileges are granted to role1 you only need to grant authentication to role2 to also enable it for role1.