Configure On-the-Wire Security

  • reference
    Establish and retrieve cluster-wide settings for the use of encryption and cipher-suites.

    HTTP Method and URI

    GET /settings/security/[service-name]
    POST /settings/security/[service-name]


    Allows settings to be established for the use of encryption. This includes the encryption level, for node-to-node encryption within the cluster; UI disablement over insecure connections; TLS minimum version; and a list of accepted cipher suites. Additionally, secure communication by means of TLS can be enforced across the cluster.

    Note that information on setting an HTTP Secure Transport Header with the REST API is provided in Configure HSTS.

    Curl Syntax

    curl -X GET -u <username>:<password>
    curl -X POST -u <username>:<password>
      -d disableUIOverHttp=<true|false>
      -d disableUIOverHttps=<true|false>
      -d disableWWWAuthenticate=<true|false>
      -d responseHeaders=<list-of-response-headers>
      -d allowedHosts=<list-of-naming-conventions>
      -d allowNonLocalCACertUpload=<true|false>
      -d clusterEncryptionLevel=<all|control|strict>
      -d tlsMinVersion=<tlsv1.2|tlsv1.3>
      -d honorCipherOrder=<true|false>
      -d cipherSuites=<list-of-accepted-cipher-suites>
      -d [scramSha1Enabled|scramSha256Enabled|scramSha512Enabled]=<true|false>
      -d passwordHashAlg=<argon2id|pbkdf2-hmac-sha512|SHA-1>
      -d argon2idTime==<integer>
      -d argon2idMem==<integer>
      -d pbkdf2HmacSha512Iterations=<integer>
      -d intCredsRotationInterval=<integer>
      -d validateNodeCertSan=<true|false>
      -d allowHashMigrationDuringAuth=<true|false>

    The syntax for the GET and POST methods includes the following:

    • service-name. If provided, determines the service to which settings are either written with POST, or read with GET. The value of service-name can be any one of the following: data (Data Service), fullTextSearch (Search Service), index (Index Service), eventing (Eventing Service), query (Query Service), analytics (Analytics Service), backup (Backup Service), clusterManager (Cluster Manager). If no service-name is provided, global settings are written or read.

    • disableUIOverHttp. Whether access to Couchbase Web Console should be disabled over http. Default is false, meaning that the console can be accessed over http. This parameter can only be set globally.

    • disableUIOverHttps. Whether access to Couchbase Web Console should be disabled over https. Default is false, meaning that the console can be accessed over https. This parameter can only be set globally.

    • disableWWWAuthenticate. Whether to disable Couchbase Server’s responding to unauthenticated requests with WWW-Authenticate. Default is false, meaning that Couchbase Server responds to unauthenticated requests with WWW-Authenticate. This parameter can only be set globally.

    • responseHeaders. A list of response headers.

    • allowedHosts. Specifies a list of naming conventions that must be met by the name of any node that is to be added or joined to the cluster. This parameter, which is available only in 7.1.1+, is described separately, in Restrict Node-Addition. This parameter can only be set globally.

    • allowNonLocalCACertUpload. Whether the POST method and /controller/uploadClusterCA URI (which are deprecated in 7.1) can be used to upload CA certificates from a node other than localhost. Value can be true or false (the default). For information, see Upload and Retrieve the Root Certificate. This parameter can only be set globally.

    • clusterEncryptionLevel. Controls the level of encryption imposed on cluster-communications. This can only be set after cluster encryption has been enabled (see Manage Node-to-Node Encryption) and can only be set globally. Its value can be any of the following:

      • control, meaning that server-management information passed between nodes is passed in encrypted form.

      • all, meaning that all information passed between nodes, including data handled by services, is passed in encrypted form.

      • strict, meaning all with only encrypted communication permitted between nodes and between the cluster and external clients. Note that after strict has been specified, communication that occurs entirely on a single node using the loopback interface (whereby the machine is identified as either ::1 or is still permitted in non-encrypted form.

        Before applying strict, see Enforcing TLS, below.

    • tlsMinVersion. Specifies the minimum TLS version accepted by the cluster. Can be the default tlsv1.2 or tlsv1.3. It can be set either globally or per service.

      The settings tlsv1 and tlsv1.1 were deprecated in Couchbase Server Version 7.2 and removed in Coucbase Server 7.6. The Couchbase Server upgrade process from pre-7.6 to 7.6 or later sets this value to tlsv1.2 if it was set to a lower value.
    • honorCipherOrder. Specifies whether the server uses its own cipher-suite preference, rather than the client’s. The cluster’s list of accepted cipher-suites can be defined with the cipherSuites flag (see below). The default value of honorCipherOrder is true: a setting of false is not recommended, since insecure. This parameter can be set either globally, or per service.

    • cipherSuites. Specifies a list of the cipher suites to be used, in order of preference. The argument must be a list of cipher-suites.

      This parameter can be set either globally, or per service. If the parameter is set for a given service, each listed cipher-suite must appear as a member of the array that is the value of the non-configurable supportedCipherSuites setting for the service. If the parameter is set globally, each listed cipher-suite can be used by a given service only if it appears as a member of supportedCipherSuites for that service.

    • scramSha1Enabled, scramSha256Enabled, or scramSha512Enabled. Whether the specified password-authentication mechanism — which can be used by applications accessing the Data Service without a TLS-encrypted connection — is enabled or disabled. Value can be true (the default, meaning enabled) or false (meaning disabled). This setting is established globally, and must not specify the service-name.

      Note that for Couchbase Server Version 7.6 and later, disablement of all three SCRAM/SHA protocols is recommended: see Usernames and Passwords for Applications.

    • passwordHashAlg. Which hash function to use for Data-Service password hashing. The options are argon2id (the default), pbkdf2-hmac-sha512, and SHA-1 (which is deprecated). Changing this setting does not affect existing passwords. Only new or changed passwords use the new hashing algorithm. See allowHashMigrationDuringAuth for a way to migrate passwords to the new hashing algorithm.

      By design, the Argon2id hashing algorithm consumes more CPU and memory than the prior default SHA-1 hashing algorithm. If your server handles a high volume of authentications, using the Argon2id hashing algorithm can result in higher CPU and memory use.
    • argon2idTime, argon2idMem. Time and memory parameters for argon2id. Used only if argon2id is specified for Data-Service password hashing, as the value of passwordHashAlg.

    • pbkdf2HmacSha512Iterations. Iterations parameter of pbkdf2-hmac-sha512, used only if pbkdf2-hmac-sha512 is specified for Data-Service password hashing, as the value of passwordHashAlg. Specified as a number of iterations. Default is 10000.

    • scramShaIterations. Sets the number of iterations for all scram-sha hashes (scram-sha1, scram-sha256, and scram-sha512), if they are not disabled. Specified as a number of iterations. Default is 15000.

    • intCredsRotationInterval. Interval at which Couchbase Server rotates internal credentials globally. Specified in milliseconds. Default is 1800000 (30 minutes).

    • validateNodeCertSan. Whether Couchbase Server checks that the node’s hostname matches the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) in that node’s certificate. Value can be true (which is the default) or false. A mismatch triggers an error in the following scenarios:

      • When the certificate is uploaded to the node

      • When the node’s hostname changes during node-addition, or during cluster-initialization.

      • When the node’s hostname changes due to use of an API or CLI (for example, the node-init command).

      These checks are performed to ensure that each node bears a certificate whose SAN matches the node’s hostname, thereby ensuring that other nodes will be able to verify the node’s identity when connecting with it.

    • allowHashMigrationDuringAuth controls whether Couchbase Server automatically rehashes a locally-stored password if it was hashed using an algorithm other than the one set by passwordHashAlg. If you set this value to true, the user’s password is automatically rehashed using the new algorithm after authentication. See Automatic Password Hash Migration for more information.

      This setting only has an effect if the entire database cluster is running Couchbase Server 7.6 or later.

    For an explanation of the relationships between per service and global settings, see On-the-Wire Security.

    Enforcing TLS

    Before applying the strict value to the clusterEncryptionLevel parameter:

    Once strict has been applied to all nodes:


    The GET method, if successful, gives 200 OK, and returns an object containing each configured parameter, with its current value. The POST method, if successful, gives 200 OK, and returns an empty array.

    For both methods, an incorrect URI gives 404 Object Not Found, with a Not found error message. Use of improper credentials gives 401 Unauthorized. An improper port number returns an error message such as Failed to connect, or Port number out of range.

    For the POST method, incorrectly specified parameters fail with 404 Bad Request, and return an error object that lists the errors in an array. For example, a call that incorrectly specifies every significant parameter-value returns an object such as the following:

      "errors": [
        "honorCipherOrder - Accepted values are 'true' and 'false'.",
        "cipherSuites - Invalid format. Expecting a list of ciphers.",
        "tlsMinVersion - Supported TLS versions are tlsv1.3, tlsv1.2.",
        "clusterEncryptionLevel - Cluster encryption level must be one of [\"control\",\"all\",\"strict\"]",,
        "disableUIOverHttps - Accepted values are 'true' and 'false'.",
        "disableUIOverHttp - Accepted values are 'true' and 'false'.",
        "disableWWWAuthenticate - Accepted values are 'true' and 'false'."

    Note additionally that an attempt to establish a value for clusterEncryptionLevel prior to the enablement of node-to-node encryption returns the following error-message: clusterEncryptionLevel - Can’t set cluster encryption level when cluster encryption is disabled. See Manage Node-to-Node Encryption, for details on how to enable.


    The methods and the URI can be used as shown below.

    Establish On-the-Wire Settings, Globally

    The following establishes a subset of on-the-wire settings globally:

    curl  -u Administrator:password -v -X POST \ \
    -d disableUIOverHttp=true \
    -d clusterEncryptionLevel=control \
    -d tlsMinVersion=tlsv1.2 \
    -d 'cipherSuites=["TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA", "TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA"]'

    The disableUIOverHttp flag is given a value of true, indicating that access to Couchbase Web Console will be disabled over http. The disableUIOverHttps flag is not specified, meaning that access to Couchbase Web Console will not be disabled over https, by default. The clusterEncryptionLevel is specified as control, indicating that only server-management information is passed in encrypted form between cluster-nodes: note that this parameter can only be set after the node-to-node-encryption CLI command has been used to enable internal network-security for the cluster, as described in Manage Node-to-Node Encryption. The tlsMinVersion is specified as version 1.2. The honorCipherOrder parameter is not specified, meaning that it retains its default value of true; which ensures that the cluster’s own cipher-suites preference is used, rather than the client’s. The cipherSuites parameter is assigned a value that is a list of two cipher suites.

    If successful, the call returns an empty array:


    Retrieve Cluster-Wide Settings

    The GET /settings/security method and URI retrieve cluster-wide settings for on-the-wire security, as shown below. Note that the output is piped to the jq program, to enhance readability:

    curl  -u Administrator:password -v -GET \ | jq '.'

    If the call is successful, and some explicit settings have been made by the administrator, the output might appear as follows:

      "disableUIOverHttp": false,
      "disableUIOverHttps": false,
      "disableWWWAuthenticate": false,
      "responseHeaders": [],
      "tlsMinVersion": "tlsv1.2",
      "cipherSuites": [
      "honorCipherOrder": true,
      "allowNonLocalCACertUpload": false,
      "allowedHosts": [
      "data": {
        "cipherSuites": [
        "tlsMinVersion": "tlsv1.2",
        "honorCipherOrder": true,
        "supportedCipherSuites": [

    The global values of disableUIOverHttp, disableUIOverHttps, tlsMinVersion, and honorCipherOrder are thus displayed. Note also that a global value for cipherSuites has also been established.

    The return object contains, in addition to global settings, a subdocument for each service. The truncated output shown here features values from the subdocument for the Data Service; which is shown to have its own values established for cipherSuites, tlsMinVersion, and honorCipherOrder. The read-only value for supportedCipherSuites for the service is also displayed.

    Establish Per Service On-the-Wire Settings

    The following call establishes global settings for tlsMinVersion and supportedCipherSuites, for the Data Service only:

    curl  -u Administrator:password -v -X POST \ \
    -d tlsMinVersion=tlsv1.3 \

    Note that the data path-parameter has been added to the URI, as the value of service-name, in order to specify the Data Service. If the call is successful, an empty array is returned.

    To verify the new settings for the Data Service, use the GET method, again adding data to the URI:

    curl  -u Administrator:password -v -X GET \ | jq '.'

    The returned output shows that the new settings have been successfully established:

      "cipherSuites": [
      "tlsMinVersion": "tlsv1.3",
      "honorCipherOrder": true,
      "supportedCipherSuites": [

    See Also

    For more information on managing on-the-wire security-settings with the CLI, see the reference page for the setting-security command.

    Information on setting an HTTP Secure Transport Header with the REST API is provided in Configure HSTS.

    A conceptual overview of on-the-wire security is provided in On-the-Wire Security.