Juju credentials
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Cloud credentials

In order to access your cloud, Juju will need to know how to authenticate itself. We use the term credentials to describe the tokens or keys or secrets used - a set of credentials is represented by a credential name that is used to refer to those credentials in subsequent commands.

Juju selects a credential according to how many credentials are defined. If you have only one credential, or if a credential is labelled 'default', then this is the credential that will be used by Juju. When multiple credentials are defined, with no default, a credential name must be specified at the model level.

Juju can import your cloud credentials in one of three ways:

  • Accepting credentials provided interactively by the user on the command line
  • Scanning for existing credentials (e.g. environment variables, "rc" files)
  • Reading a user-provided YAML-formatted file

Each of these methods are explained below, but if you are still having difficulty you can get extra help by selecting your cloud from among this list:

Amazon AWS | Microsoft Azure | Google GCE | Joyent | MAAS | OpenStack | VMware vSphere | Oracle Compute | Rackspace

Note: LXD deployments are a special case. Accessed locally, they do not require credentials. Accessed remotely, they need a certificate credential. See Using LXD as a cloud for further details.

Adding credentials via the command line

You can add credentials by running the command:

juju add-credential <cloud>

Juju will then ask for the information it needs. This may vary according to the cloud you are using, but will typically look something like this:

Enter credential name: carol
Using auth-type "access-key".
Enter access-key: *******
Enter secret-key: *******
Credentials added for cloud aws.

Once you have supplied all the information, the credentials will be added.

At present, you will need to manually set one to be the default, if you have more than one for a cloud:

juju set-default-credential <cloud> <credential>

Setting a default credential means this will be used by the bootstrap command when creating a controller, without having to specify it with the --credential option in the juju add-model command.

Scanning existing credentials

Some cloud providers (e.g. AWS, OpenStack) have command line tools which rely on environment variables being used to store credentials. If these are in use on your system already, or you choose to define them ([there is extra info here][env]), Juju can import them.

For example, AWS uses the following environment variables (among others):



If these are already set in your shell (you can echo $AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID to test) they can be used by Juju.

To scan your system for credentials Juju can use, run the command:

juju autoload-credentials

This will will ask you whether to store each set of credentials it finds. Note that this is a 'snapshot' of those stored values - Juju will not notice if they change in future.

Adding credentials from a YAML file

You can also specify a YAML format file for the credentials. This file would be similar to, but shorter than this extensive sample, which we will call mycreds.yaml:

        default-credential: peter
        default-region: us-west-2
          auth-type: access-key
          access-key: AKIAIH7SUFMBP455BSQ
          secret-key: HEg5Y1DuGabiLt72LyCLkKnOw+NZkgszh3qIZbWv
          auth-type: access-key
          access-key: KAZHUKJHE33P455BSQB
          secret-key: WXg6S5Y1DvwuGt72LwzLKnItt+GRwlkn668sXHqq
          auth-type: oauth1
          maas-oauth: 5weWAsjhe9lnaLKHERNSlke320ah9naldIHnrelks
        default-region: region-a
          auth-type: userpass
          password: UberPassK3yz
          tenant-name: appserver
          username: peter
          auth-type: jsonfile
          file: ~/.config/gcloud/application_default_credentials.json
          auth-type: service-principal-secret
          application-id: niftyapp
          subscription-id: 31fb132e-e774-49dd-adbb-d6a4e966c583
          application-password: UberPassK3yz
          auth-type: userpass
          sdc-user: admingal
          sdc-key-id: 2048 00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff
          private-key: key (or private-key-path, like `~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub`)
          algorithm: "rsa-sha256"
          auth-type: userpass
          password: passw0rd
          user: administrator@xyz.com

A source file like the above can be added to Juju's list of credentials with the command:

juju add-credential aws -f mycreds.yaml

This sample includes all of the default cloud options plus a couple of special cloud options, MAAS and an OpenStack cloud called homestack in the sample. See Clouds.

Managing credentials

There are several management tasks that can be done related to credentials.

Listing credentials

You can check what credentials are stored by Juju by running the command:

juju credentials

...which will return a list of the known credentials. For example:

Cloud      Credentials
aws     bob*, carol
google  wayne

The asterisk '*' denotes the default credential, which will be used for the named cloud unless another is specified.

For YAML output that includes detailed credential information, including secrets like access keys and passwords:

juju credentials --format yaml --show-secrets

The YAML output will be similar to our 'mycreds.yaml' sample above.

Setting default credentials

You can set the default credential for a cloud:

juju set-default-credential aws carol


  • This affects operations that require a newly-input credential (e.g. juju add-model). In particular, it does not change what is currently in use (on a controller).
  • If only one credential name exists, it will become the effective default credential.

Updating local credentials

To update an existing credential locally use the add-credential command with the --replace option.

Here we decided to use the file 'mycreds.yaml' from a previous example:

juju add-credential aws -f mycreds.yaml --replace

This will overwrite existing credential information, so make sure all current credentials are contained in the file, not just the new or changed one.

Updating credentials in this way does not update credentials currently in use (on an existing controller/cloud). See the next section for that. The add-credential command is always "pre-bootstrap" in nature.

Updating remote credentials

To update credentials currently in use (i.e. cached on the controller) the update-credential command is used. The requirements for using this command, as compared to the initial juju bootstrap (or juju add-model) command, are:

  • same cloud name
  • same Juju username (logged in)
  • same credential name

The update is a two-step process. First change the credentials locally with the add-credential command (in conjunction with the --replace option) and then upload those credentials to the controller.

Below, we explicitly log in with the correct Juju username ('admin'), change the contents of the credential called 'joe', and then update them on a Google cloud controller:

juju login -u admin
juju add-credential --replace joe
juju update-credential google joe

Warning: It is not possible to update the credentials if the initial credential name is unknown. This restriction will be removed in an upcoming release of Juju.

Updating remote credentials using a different Juju user

If you are unable to ascertain the original Juju username then you will need to use a different one. This implies adding a new credential name, copying over any authentication material into the old credential name, and finally updating the credentials. Below we demonstrate this for the Azure cloud:

Add a new temporary credential name (like 'new-credential-name') and gather all credential sets (new and old):

juju add-credential azure
juju credentials azure --format yaml --show-secrets > azure-creds.yaml

Copy the values of application-id and application-password from the new set to the old set.

Then replace the local credentials and upload them to the controller:

juju add-credential azure -f azure-creds.yaml --replace
juju update-credential azure old-credential-name

To be clear, the file azure-creds.yaml (used with add-credential) should look similar to:

      auth-type: service-principal-secret
      application-id: foo1
      application-password: foo2
      subscription-id: bar
      auth-type: service-principal-secret
      application-id: foo1
      application-password: foo2
      subscription-id: bar

Removing local credentials

If a local credential (i.e. not cached on a controller) is no longer required, it can be removed:

juju remove-credential aws bob