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  • KIP-248 - Create New ConfigCommand That Uses The New AdminClient
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This page is meant as a template for writing a KIP. To create a KIP choose Tools->Copy on this page and modify with your content and replace the heading with the next KIP number and a description of your issue. Replace anything in italics with your own description.


Current state: Under Discussion [One of "Under Discussion", "Accepted", "Rejected"]

Discussion threadhere


Planned release: 1.2.0

Please keep the discussion on the mailing list rather than commenting on the wiki (wiki discussions get unwieldy fast).


Describe the problems you are trying to solve.

  • KIP-4 defines the high level motivation for using the admin client and KAFKA-3268 with its subtasks acts as the umbrella JIRA for this KIP.
  • The current implementation of the ConfigCommand (kafka.admin.ConfigCommand) which is used by connects to Zookeeper directly. This prevents the tool from being used in deployments where only the brokers are exposed to clients (i.e. where the zookeeper servers are intentionally not exposed). 
  • There is a general push to refactor/rewrite/replace tools which need Zookeeper access with equivalents which use the AdminClient API. Thus it is necessary to change the ConfigCommand so that it no longer talks to Zookeeper directly, but via an intermediating broker.
  • Makes the ConfigCommand transparent to the authorization mechanism therefore enables higher level of security. The broker will be able to authorize config admin requests.
  • The AdminClient API currently lacks any functionality for changing broker, user and client configurations which is possible with the current Zookeeper based ConfigCommand implementation.
  • Changing the ConfigCommand will increase the user experience for KIP-226 for the above mentioned reasons.

Public Interfaces

Command Line Tools And Arguments

The options accepted by command will change:

  • --zookeeper will be deprecated, which means it will display a warning message saying that it's ignored.
  • --bootstrap-server option will be added: it has a parameter which is an endpoint to a broker (or a comma separated list of brokers)
  • --command-config option will be added: a file path to an admin client configuration properties file

Protocol Changes

KIP-133 introduced the describe and alter admin protocols and KIP-140 a wire format representation for ResourceType. We will modify these to accommodate the new requirements.

Wire Format Types

  • 0: Unknown
  • 1: Any
  • 2: Topic
  • 3: Group
  • 4: Broker
  • 5: User (new)
  • 6: Client (new)

QuotaType (new)

  • 0: ProducerByteRate
  • 1: ConsumerByteRate
  • 2: RequestPercentage

QuotaSource (new)

  • 0: ClientInUser
  • 1: DefaultClientInUser
  • 2: User
  • 3: ClientInDefaultUser
  • 4: DefaultClientInDefaultUser
  • 5: DefaultUser
  • 6: Client
  • 7: DefaultClient

AlterOperation (new)

  • 0: Unknown
  • 1: Add
  • 2: Set
  • 3: Delete

Describe Quotas

The justification for a new protocol is that a quota is quite different from a broker or topic config because a quota can sometimes be identified a simple user, client or even a (user,client) tuple while a topic or a broker config can be identified only by the topic's name or the broker's ID. Moreover quotas have their own well defined types.

DescribeQuotas Request

Request semantics:

  1. Can be sent to any broker
  2. If the name is empty it means that listing the default quota is asked. Responses will be returned the same way for defaults.
  3. If the quota_type array is empty, all quotas are returned. Otherwise, quotas with the provided types are returned.
  4. Authorization:  "DescribeQuotas" can only be interpreted on the "Cluster" resource and represented by the DescribeConfigs ACL due to the similarity in use cases. Unauthorized requests will receive an appropriate AuthorizationFailed error code.


DescribeQuotas Response

Alter Quotas

AlterQuotas Request

Request Semantics

  1. Can be sent to any broker
  2. If name is empty it means that altering a default quota is asked.
  3. Authorization:  "AlterQuotas" can only be interpreted on the "Cluster" resource and represented by the AlterConfigs ACL due to the similarity in use cases. Unauthorized requests will receive an appropriate AuthorizationFailed error code.
  4. For tools that allow users to alter quota configs, a validation/dry-run mode where validation errors are reported but no creation is attempted is available via the validate_only parameter.
  5. Set operation also does Add if needed to be backward compatible with the existing ConfigCommand semantics.


AlterQuotas Response

DescribeConfigs and AlterConfigs (SCRAM)

To enable describing and altering SCRAM credentials we will use the DescribeConfigs and AlterConfigs protocols. There are no changes in the protocol's structure but we will allow the USER resource type to be passed in the protocol. When this happens, the server will know that SCRAM configs are asked and will send them in the response.  In case of AlterConfigs if a USER resource type is passed it will validate if there are only SCRAM credentials are changed. If not, then will fail with InvalidRequestException.


This request needs some change as currently the --add-config operation of ConfigCommand would do incremental operations in Zookeeper but the AlterConfigs protocol sets the whole properties object. The purpose of this change to add an enum parameter to the configs so that it can specify the operation (set/add/delete) which needs to be executed. 

AlterConfigs Request

Request Semantics:

  1. By default in the broker we parse an AlterConfigRequest version 0 with Unknown operation and handle it with the currently existing behavior. Version 1 requests however must have the operation set to other than Unknown, otherwise an InvalidRequestException will be thrown.
  2. Set operation also does Add if needed to be backward compatible with the existing ConfigCommand semantics.

AdminClient APIs


Request API



New Command Line Interface

The command line interface will change a little bit in terms of help message and response format as we will use argparse4j for parsing arguments.

Help Message

usage: config-command [-h] --entity-type {topics,clients,users,brokers}
                      [--force FORCE] [--add-config ADDCONFIG]
                      [--delete-config DELETECONFIG]
                      (--entity-name ENTITYNAME | --entity-default)
                      (--describe | --alter)
                      (--bootstrap-server BOOTSTRAPSERVERS |
                      --adminclient.config CONFIGPROPERTIES |
                      --adminclient-property ADMINCLIENTPROPERTY)

Change configs for topics, clients, users, brokers dynamically.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help             show this help message and exit
  --entity-type {topics,clients,users,brokers}
                         REQUIRED:      the       type       of      entity
  --force FORCE          Suppresses console prompts
  --add-config ADDCONFIG
                         Key  Value  pairs  of   configs   to  add.  Square
                         brackets  can  be  used   to  group  values  which
                         contain commas: 'k1=v1,k2=[v1,v2,v2],k3=v3'.
  --delete-config DELETECONFIG
                         Config keys to remove in  the following form: 'k1,

  You can specify only one in --entity-name and --entity-default

  --entity-name ENTITYNAME
                         Name of entity (client id/user principal name)
  --entity-default       Default entity name for  clients/users (applies to
                         corresponding entity type in command line)

  You can specify only one in --alter, --describe

  --describe             List  configs  for  the  given  entity.  (default:
  --alter                Alter the configuration for  the entity. (default:

  REQUIRED. You can specify only one in --bootstrap-servers, --adminclient.config

  --bootstrap-server BOOTSTRAPSERVER
                         The  broker  list  string  in  the  form
  --command-config COMMANDCONFIG
                         The  config  properties  file  for  the
                         Admin Client.

Process finished with exit code 0

Output Format

                                                    CONFIGS FOR TOPIC topicA

                                     Name   Value                                Sensitive  Read-only  Default
                         compression.type = producer                                 false      false     true
                   message.format.version = 1.0-IV0                                  false      false     true
            = 60000                                    false      false     true
    leader.replication.throttled.replicas =                                          false      false     true
                        max.message.bytes = 1000012                                  false      false     true
           = 0                                        false      false     true
                   message.timestamp.type = CreateTime                               false      false     true
                      min.insync.replicas = 1                                        false      false     true
               = 0                                        false      false     true
                              preallocate = false                                    false      false     true
                     index.interval.bytes = 4096                                     false      false     true
                min.cleanable.dirty.ratio = 0.5                                      false      false     true
           unclean.leader.election.enable = false                                    false      false     true
                          retention.bytes = 10                                       false      false    false
             = 86400000                                 false      false     true
                           cleanup.policy = delete                                   false      false     true
                        = 9223372036854775807                      false      false     true
  follower.replication.throttled.replicas =                                          false      false     true
                            segment.bytes = 1073741824                               false      false     true
                    = 604800000                                false      false     true
                      = 604800000                                false      false     true = 9223372036854775807                      false      false     true
                           flush.messages = 9223372036854775807                      false      false     true
                      segment.index.bytes = 10485760                                 false      false     true

As seen above, the describe format becomes more organized and it will also return default properties (as the protocol currently supports that). In case of alter we will also do an extra describe after executing the alter and print the most fresh state.

Compatibility, Deprecation, And Migration Plan


Firstly, behavior of the --zookeeper command line parameter will change. After this change it will print a warning message saying its ignored. Therefore every user will need to change --zookeeper to --bootstrap-servers, --adminclient-property or --adminclient.config

Secondly, users as of this KIP would be able to describe all topics or brokers in one step but can't do it for clients and users. For those who have this use case will still need to use the old command for a while (see below). The reason for this change is currently MetadataRequest provides enough information about topics and brokers so it's possible to describe all of them in one step but there's no such information about clients and users.

Finally, backward compatibilty (for instance a 1.1 client wants to admin a 1.0 server) will be impacted as some of the protocols are newly created and doesn't exist in old servers. In these cases users should continue using the scala version of the ConfigCommand by putting the core jar on their classpath and defining the USE_OLD_COMMAND=true environment variable. This variable will set the main class to the old command in the config and invokes that. This way the environment variable ensures that users who aren't able to use the new command currently would need to make minimal changes in order to continue using it. 

Alternatively though the command could be launched through like this:

bin/ kafka.admin.ConfigCommand --zookeeper localhost:2181 --describe --entity-type topics --entity-name topicA


Communicating through the broker instead of Zookeeper allows us to give more protection to Zookeeper as it could be hidden behind a firewall and you can only allow the broker through it. Also this would allow much finer grain authorization and audit of admin operations in the brokers.

 From the CLI point of view the impact should be minimal as only the --zookeeper option will change but we can assume the Zookeeper is a more protected resource than the CLIENT ports of the brokers, therefore we can assume that they have knowledge about it and change with minimal effort.

From the compatibility point of view there might be a bigger impact as mentioned above. Since the command now uses the wire protocols (including some newly introduced ones) the backward compatibility will be impacted. That means that a user can't use a 1.1 client to administrate a 1.0 broker as in the older broker some of the wire protocols don't exist. This again should be acceptable most of the users as most of the admin commands require the core jar on the classpath which means that most of the time the commands are executed from an environment with the same version of the brokers. In the remaining cases users will have to change to use kafka-run-class or the USE_OLD_COMMAND environment variable.


kafka.admin.ConfigCommand will print a warning message saying it is deprecated and will be removed in version 2.0.

To ease the migration for users who are stuck with this command, the USE_OLD_COMMAND will be introduced.

Special Migration Tools

There are no tools required.

Removal Of The Existing Behavior

The current --zookeeper option will be disabled with this change as it has minimal impact on the current users.

Test Plan

Most of the functionality can be covered with end-to-end tests. There will be unit tests also to verify the protocol and the broker side logic.

Future Considerations

At this moment this ConfigCommand can describe all the topics and all the brokers with one command but can't describe all clients or users. The reason for this is that we can gain the required information for topics and brokers by a MetadataRequest but we have no such protocols for getting a list of users or clients. 

Therefore we could have a ConfigEntityList protocol tailored to the needs of the admin client. This protocol would send a list of config entities in the request and get a list of entities in the response. For instance requesting (type:USER name:user1, type:CLIENT name:) resources would return all the clients of user1.

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