Accessing protected Pulumi outputs with a PGP key
I’ve been using Pulumi on a few recent projects to manage the AWS infrastructure. I’m greatly enjoying writing infrastructure config in Python and I find it generally fits my brain a bit better than Terraform. One smallish item that did confuse me when I first used it though was how to access values Pulumi quite reasonably considers to be sensitive - in this case AWS IAM user secret keys IAM users Pulumi creates. Pulumi’s aws.iam.AccessKey module specifies that the secret key is available in encrypted_secret if a PGP public key is provided to encrypt it with. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to do that (on an Ubuntu OS in my case) - here’s what I did in case it’s useful to somebody else:
Make a PGP key
If you don’t already have a suitable PGP keypair available, you’ll need to generate one. There are many resources for doing this - I’ve found GitHub’s instructions very good, for example. I generated a keypair without a pass phrase, to make using it on the command line and in piped command chains easier.
As part of this process you may need to install gpg or a suitable equivalent for your OS.
Export and Base64 Encode the PGP Key
Once you have a PGP key (or you’re using an existing one), find the keypair’s public key ID:
gpg --list-keys --keyid-format=long
This will yield a list of keys that will look similar to the below. The ID of the public key is the long string on the second line below, “1234567890ABCDEF1234567890ABCDEF” in the example.
sec rsa3072/1234567890ABCDEF 2023-05-31 [SC] 1234567890ABCDEF1234567890ABCDEF uid [ultimate] Key Description <EMAIL_ADDRESS> ssb rsa3072/1234567890ABCDEF 2023-05-31 [E]
PGP keypairs are not text, so for ease gpg provides an ASCII-armour option to produce a text version of the key information. The armoured format is not however useful to Pulumi, which requires a base64 encoded unarmoured public key. To avoid producing a binary file which can clutter your terminal, its probably easiest to pipe the binary formatted public key into base64 and then into a file. The base64 program or OS equivalent may need to be installed.
gpg --export 1234567890ABCDEF1234567890ABCDEF | base64 > base64ed_public_key.txt
Using in Pulumi
To use the key as a Pulumi input, supply the contents of the above base64’ed file to the pgp_key input. As a small Python example:
with open("base64ed_public_key.txt", "r") as fh: pgp_key = fh.read() access_key = aws.iam.AccessKey( "access_key", user=user.name, pgp_key=pgp_key, )
As part of your Pulumi code, output the values which Pulumi will encrypt with the key. For example:
pulumi.export( "secret key", access_key.encrypted_secret )
This will produce a long string on your console when the Pulumi stack is executed. To decode that string, pipe it into base64 and gpg (which will use the keypair it already knows about):
echo LONG_STRING_OF_BASE64_ENCODED_DATA | base64 -d | gpg -d
This should output a PGP decrypted string to your console.