Federated Identity Credential

Not all service account tokens can be exchanged for a valid AAD token. A federated identity credential between an existing Kubernetes service account and an AAD application or user-assigned managed identity has to be created in advance. Refer to doc for an overview of federated identity credentials in Azure Active Directory.

NOTE: A maximum of 20 federated identity credentials can be added per AAD application or user-assigned managed identity object. The federated identity credentials API is not available in national cloud deployments - source

Export the following environment variables:

# if you are using a Azure AD application
export APPLICATION_NAME="<your application name>"

# if you are using a user-assigned managed identity
export USER_ASSIGNED_MANAGED_IDENTITY_NAME="<your user-assigned managed identity name>"
export RESOURCE_GROUP="<your user-assigned managed identity resource group>"

export SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAMESPACE=”...” export SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME=”...” export SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ISSUER=”...” # see section 1.1 on how to get the service account issuer url


Currently, there are several ways to create and delete a federated identity credential:

## Azure Workload Identity CLI

> NOTE: `azwi` currently only supports Azure AD Applications. If you want to use a user-assigned managed identity, skip this section and follow the steps in the Azure CLI section.

To create a federated identity credential:

```bash
azwi serviceaccount create phase federated-identity \
  --aad-application-name "${APPLICATION_NAME}" \
  --service-account-namespace "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAMESPACE}" \
  --service-account-name "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME}" \
  --service-account-issuer-url "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ISSUER}"

To delete a federated identity credential:

azwi serviceaccount delete phase federated-identity \
  --aad-application-name "${APPLICATION_NAME}" \
  --service-account-namespace "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAMESPACE}" \
  --service-account-name "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME}" \
  --service-account-issuer-url "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ISSUER}"

Azure CLI

A federated identity credential can also be created using the az CLI. This can either be done in a local terminal session, or using Azure Cloud Shell. Use the az CLI to run the following commands:

Federated identity credential for an Azure AD application

# Get the object ID of the AAD application
export APPLICATION_OBJECT_ID="$(az ad app list --display-name "${APPLICATION_NAME}" --query '[0].id' -otsv)"

cat <<EOF > params.json
{
  "name": "kubernetes-federated-identity",
  "issuer": "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ISSUER}",
  "subject": "system:serviceaccount:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAMESPACE}:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME}",
  "description": "Kubernetes service account federated identity",
  "audiences": [
    "api://AzureADTokenExchange"
  ]
}
EOF

az ad app federated-credential create --id $APPLICATION_OBJECT_ID --parameters params.json

To delete a federated identity credential, the federated identity credential ID needs to be obtained with the following command:

az ad app federated-credential list --id "${APPLICATION_OBJECT_ID}"

Select the desired ID of the federated identity credential and run the following command:

az ad app federated-credential delete --federated-credential-id $FIC_ID --id $APPLICATION_OBJECT_ID

Federated identity credential for a user-assigned managed identity

az identity federated-credential create \
  --name "kubernetes-federated-identity" \
  --identity-name "${USER_ASSIGNED_MANAGED_IDENTITY_NAME}" \
  --resource-group "${RESOURCE_GROUP}" \
  --issuer "${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_ISSUER}" \
  --subject "system:serviceaccount:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAMESPACE}:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME}"

To delete a federated identity credential

az identity federated-credential delete \
  --identity-name "${USER_ASSIGNED_MANAGED_IDENTITY_NAME}" \
  --name "kubernetes-federated-identity" \
  --resource-group "${RESOURCE_GROUP}"

For more information on the az identity federated-credential command, refer to the Azure CLI documentation.

Azure Portal UI

Federated identity credential for an Azure AD application

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Go to App registrations and open the app you want to configure.
  3. Go to Certificates and secrets.
  4. In the Federated credentials tab, select Add credential. The Add a credential blade opens.
  5. In the Federated credential scenario drop-down box select Kubernetes accessing Azure resources.
  6. Specify the Cluster issuer URL.
  7. Specify the Namespace.
  8. Specify the Service account name.
  9. The Subject identifier field auto-populates based on the values you entered.
  10. Add a Name for the federated credential.
  11. Click Add to configure the federated credential.

Screenshot showing Azure Portal app registration federated credential screen for Kubernetes scenario

Federated identity credential for a user-assigned managed identity

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Go to resource group and open the user-assigned managed identity you want to configure.
  3. Go to Federated credentials.
  4. In the Federated credentials tab, select Add credential. The Add a credential blade opens.
  5. In the Federated credential scenario drop-down box select Kubernetes accessing Azure resources.
  6. Specify the Cluster issuer URL.
  7. Specify the Namespace.
  8. Specify the Service account name.
  9. The Subject identifier field auto-populates based on the values you entered.
  10. Add a Name for the federated credential.
  11. Click Add to configure the federated credential.

Screenshot showing Azure Portal user-assigned managed identity federated credential screen for Kubernetes scenario