Configuring Cluster Transport Encryption (E20)¶
Mattermost is able to encrypt the messages sent within the cluster of a deployment using SSH tunneling. The guide walks through the deployment of this solution on Ubuntu 18.04, but it can be adapted for any Linux operating system.
While this document only describes the configuration of a three-node cluster, it is by no means limited to that amount.
- SSH port whitelisted between each node of the deployment
- Active ufw/iptables on each node
- Access to the root/sudo user of each node for configuration
- A configured Mattermost cluster
- Mattermost running with a dedicated service user
- Mattermost service is stopped on each cluster node
Note: Support on the application level is currently in development and will deprecate this document.
In this scenario there are three application nodes in our environment with the following hostname/IP mapping:
- transport-encryption-mattermost1: 10.10.250.146
- transport-encryption-mattermost2: 10.10.250.231
- transport-encryption-mattermost3: 10.10.250.165
- Connect to each Mattermost server with a sudo or root user
- Make a note of the IP from each cluster member used for the internal communication
AllowTcpForwardingis enabled in
/etc/ssh/sshd_configof each cluster node
On each node, generate a SSH key-pair for the service account. In our scenario this is
$ sudo -u mattermost ssh-keygen -t rsa Generating public/private rsa key pair. Enter file in which to save the key (/home/mattermost/.ssh/id_rsa): Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): Enter same passphrase again: Your identification has been saved in /home/mattermost/.ssh/id_rsa. Your public key has been saved in /home/mattermost/.ssh/id_rsa.pub. The key fingerprint is: SHA256:redacted mattermost@transport-encryption-mattermost1
The location of the SSH key itself is irrelevant if company policies require the usage of another storage location.
Next, ensure that the SSH public key of each node is added to the
file of the other nodes of the cluster. To do so, copy the contents of
of nodes 2 and 3, and add it to
/home/mattermost/.ssh/authorized_keys of node 1.
Repeat this step for each node of the cluster. As a result, each node should be able to establish an SSH connection to the other nodes of the cluster.
Note: This service account can be separate from the service account already used
for the Mattermost
systemd service itself. It is important that it is allowed
to create a SSH tunnel with port forwarding, but it does not require any additional
As a next step, allow SSH access from each of the other member nodes, e.g.:
- mattermost1 allows from mattermost2 and mattermost3
- mattermost2 allows from mattermost1 and mattermost3
- mattermost3 allows from mattermost1 and mattermost2
To do so, we add an exception in the firewall. The commands for
mattermost1 look as
$ sudo ufw allow from 10.10.250.231/32 to any port ssh Rule added $ sudo ufw allow from 10.10.250.165/32 to any port ssh Rule added $ sudo ufw status Status: active To Action From -- ------ ---- 22/tcp ALLOW 10.10.250.10 8065/tcp ALLOW Anywhere 22/tcp ALLOW 10.10.250.231 22/tcp ALLOW 10.10.250.165
Repeat the same steps on the other nodes, replacing the IPs with the ones from the other member nodes. Do so for each member node, excluding the node itself.
/etc/ufw/after.rules and add the following block to the
bottom of the file:
*nat :POSTROUTING ACCEPT [0:0] :PREROUTING ACCEPT [0:0] -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d 10.10.250.231 --dport 8075 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:18075 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d 10.10.250.231 --dport 8074 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:18074 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d 10.10.250.165 --dport 8075 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:28075 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d 10.10.250.165 --dport 8074 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:28074 COMMIT
Two lines always belong to a single node, so in a deployment with four nodes:
-A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_2 --dport 8075 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:18075 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_2 --dport 8074 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:18074 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_3 --dport 8075 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:28075 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_3 --dport 8074 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:28074 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_4 --dport 8075 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:38075 -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ip_node_4 --dport 8074 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:38074
Please be aware that the ports on the right side must be unique, so if you have a cluster of six nodes, use 8075 and 8074 with 1 to 5 in front of it. If the cluster is of bigger size, additional ports must be used.
Ensure that your operating system has IP forwarding enabled using the following command:
$ sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
After that, reload the ufw rules and confirm that the iptable rules were successfully created:
$ iptables -t nat -L Chain PREROUTING (policy ACCEPT) target prot opt source destination Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT) target prot opt source destination Chain OUTPUT (policy ACCEPT) target prot opt source destination DNAT tcp -- anywhere 10.10.250.231 tcp dpt:8075 to:127.0.0.1:18075 DNAT tcp -- anywhere 10.10.250.231 tcp dpt:8074 to:127.0.0.1:18074 DNAT tcp -- anywhere 10.10.250.165 tcp dpt:8075 to:127.0.0.1:28075 DNAT tcp -- anywhere 10.10.250.165 tcp dpt:8074 to:127.0.0.1:28074
Repeat those steps for every node on the cluster. At the end of this section the following should be configured:
- SSH access enabled in firewall from each cluster node to another
- Per node 2 iptables rules for port 8074 and 8075
- IP forwarding enabled
As a next step, we will ensure that the SSH tunnels are created as part of the Mattermost service
start. To do so, create a file called
#!/bin/bash ssh -N -f -o ServerAliveInterval=60 -o ExitOnForwardFailure=yes -L 18075:10.10.250.231:8075 10.10.250.231 || true ssh -N -f -o ServerAliveInterval=60 -o ExitOnForwardFailure=yes -L 18074:10.10.250.231:8074 10.10.250.231 || true ssh -N -f -o ServerAliveInterval=60 -o ExitOnForwardFailure=yes -L 28075:10.10.250.165:8075 10.10.250.165 || true ssh -N -f -o ServerAliveInterval=60 -o ExitOnForwardFailure=yes -L 28074:10.10.250.165:8074 10.10.250.165 || true
Note: We are ignoring the error from the SSH connection itself in case a tunnel is already active. Otherwise the Mattermost server would fail to start.
Note: Please make sure to back up this script in case of a version upgrade.
Afterwards, we set the executable bit on the shell script:
$ chmod +x /opt/mattermost/bin/pre_start.sh
Open the systemd unit file of Mattermost and search for
Type=Notify. After this, enter
ExecStartPre script that will be executed before Mattermost itself is started:
[Service] Type=notify ExecStartPre=/opt/mattermost/bin/pre_start.sh
Reload the systemd daemon afterwards:
$ systemctl daemon-reload
Repeat the same steps on each of the member nodes and adapt the node IPs and amount of entries for your environment.
Once each node is configured, restart the service on each cluster and confirm that it’s running using the command below:
root@transport-encryption-mattermost1:/opt/mattermost/bin# systemctl start mattermost root@transport-encryption-mattermost1:/opt/mattermost/bin# systemctl status mattermost.service ● mattermost.service - Mattermost Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mattermost.service; static; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active (running) since Fri 2019-10-04 19:44:20 UTC; 5min ago Process: 16734 ExecStartPre=/opt/mattermost/bin/pre_start.sh (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Next, open the Mattermost System Console and confirm that each node is reporting successfully in the High Availability section.