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What Is Aegis?

Aegis is a Kubernetes-native, lightweight secrets manager that keeps your secrets secret. With Aegis, you can rest assured that your sensitive data is always secure and protected.

Aegis is perfect for securely storing arbitrary configuration information at a central location and securely dispatching it to workloads.

By leveraging Kubernetes security primitives, SPIRE, and strong, industry-standard encryption, Aegis ensures that your secrets are only accessible to trusted and authorized workloads. Aegis’s Cloud Native—secure by default—foundation helps you safeguard your business and protect against data breaches.

Check out Aegis’s GitHub for details.

See Aegis in Action

If you haven’t watched this introductory video yet, now might be a good time 🙂.

Watch the video

After watching it, you may want to watch the following video demonstrates further flexibility of Aegis as a Secrets Manager:

Watch the video

Wait, Why Not Use Kubernetes Secrets?

In Kubernetes, secrets can be stored and managed as a resource type called Secret. By default, Kubernetes can store key-value pairs of sensitive data within a specific namespace in the cluster.

These secrets can be fed into containers as either environment variables or files using a Kubernetes volume. However, the default solution may not be enough to securely manage secrets, as it can be challenging to encrypt the YAML files that define the secrets and securely store them.

With Aegis, you don’t have to store secrets in your source code.

In addition, Aegis

  • Has the ability to change secrets dynamically at runtime without having to reboot your workloads,
  • Keeps encrypted backups of your secrets,
  • Records last creation and last update timestamps for your secrets,
  • Has a version history for your secrets,
  • Stores backups of your secrets encrypted at rest,
  • and more.

These are not achievable by using Kubernetes Secrets only.

Where NOT to Use Aegis

Aegis is not a Database, nor is it a distributed caching layer. Of course, you may tweak it to act like one if you try hard enough, yet, that is generally not a good use of the tool.

Aegis is suitable for storing secrets and dispatching them; however, it is a terrible idea to use it as a centralized database to store everything but the kitchen sink.

Use Aegis to store service keys, database credentials, access tokens, etc.

How Do I Get the Root Token? Where Do I Store It?

Unlike some other secret vaults, you do not need an admin token to operate Aegis 🙂.

Benefits of this approach is: It helps the Ops team #sleepmore, since everything is automated, and you won’t have to manually unlock Aegis upon a system crash, for example.

However, there’s no free lunch, and as the operator of a production system, your homework is to secure access to your cluster. Check out the Production Deployment Guidelines for further instructions about hardening your cluster to securely use Aegis.

Terminology: A Tale of Two Secrets

There are two kinds of secrets mentioned throughout this documentation:

  • Secrets that are stored in Aegis Safe: When discussing these, they will be used like a regular word “secret” or, emphasized “secret”; however, you will never see them in monotype text.
  • The other kind of secret is Kubernetes Secret objects. Those types will be explicitly mentioned as “Kubernetes Secrets” in the documentation.

We hope this will clarify any confusion going forward.


First, ensure that you have sufficient administrative rights on your Kubernetes cluster. Then create a workspace folder (such as $HOME/Desktop/WORKSPACE) and clone the project. And finally execute ./hack/install.sh as follows.

mkdir $HOME/Desktop/WORKSPACE


git clone https://github.com/shieldworks/aegis
cd aegis


Verifying Installation

To verify installation, check out the aegis-system namespace:

kubectl get deployment -n aegis-system

# Output:
# aegis-safe       1/1     1            1
# aegis-sentinel   1/1     1            1

That’s it. You are all set 🤘.

Uninstalling Aegis

Uninstallation can be done by running a script:

cd $WORKSPACE/aegis 

Next Steps

Since you have Aegis up and running, here is a list of topics that you can explore next:

In addition, these topics might pique your interest too:

To fine-tune your Aegis cluster, use them in production or learn more about the underlying technologies Aegis uses, the following links can help:

If you want to develop Aegis on your local development environment, there is a guide for that too:

If you have comments, suggestions, and ideas to share; or if you have found a bug; or if you want to contribute to Aegis, these links might be what you are looking for:

Thanks ❤️

Hope you enjoy using Aegis as much as we do and find it helpful in making your ops teams #sleepmore. May the source be with you 🦄.