In order to store credentials that are required during the runtime of CI/CD, we are making use of AWS SecretsManager. Using IAM roles, we are able to grant slaves permissions to specific credentials. The differentiation here is done between restricted and unrestricted slaves

The general rule we employ here is that unrestricted slaves must not have access to any credentials since they run arbitrary and unvalidated code. Only restricted slaves are granted permissions to credentials. For more details, please consult this guide

When to use this guide

There are various password-based services where it's required to authenticate with credentials. Here are a few examples:

  1. DockerHub
  2. Pip
  3. Maven
  4. NexusCentral
  5. SSH (private key based authentication)
  6. GIT

When to NOT use this guide

For some services, there are alternatives to use instead of password-based services:

  1. AWS: For AWS, we should always aim to use IAM based authorization. Authentication is automatically done using the IAM roles the slaves have attached. In case you need assistance with this, feel free to attend Berlins Recurring Apache (Incubating) MXNet User Group meeting or send an email to


This part explains how to configure credentials. It is aimed towards the people who manage the MXNet CI infrastructure because it requires elevated access permissions. For everybody else, you can simply skip this part.

AWS Secrets Manager

To create a secret in AWS SecretsManager, first log in to the account that the CI is running under. Then, navigate to (region-specific URL) and select "Other types of secrets":

You can either specify Key-Value pairs or enter plaintext (e.g. for PGP keys). We'll stick with Key-Value-pair for this example:

Leave the encryption key as-is. After clicking "Next" you will have to enter a name and a description for your secret:

After that, you will be facing a screen like the following:

While generally it's a good practice to have auto-rotating keys, it's usually not that easy to set up. Thus, we'll leave it disable for now.

After previewing and saving it, you can click on the new entry and will find the required ARN:

IAM access to credential

The access to credentials is controlled using IAM permissions. In our specific case, each slave-type (restricted and unrestricted) has an IAM role attached. First, we need to create an IAM Policy here with the following content - note that you have to modify the ARN to match with the one you just created:

"Version": "2012-10-17",
"Statement": [

Unknown macro: { "Effect"}


Unknown macro: { "Effect"}


After creating the IAM policy, switch to the IAM role of your choice and attach the previously created policy. You will see a confirmation screen as follows:

The IAM policy is now properly connected with the slave's role which grants it access to that specific secret.

Jenkins Environment Variables

In order to announce the paths to the secrets to the underlying jobs, we are making use of Environment Variables in Jenkins. Please note that these variables will be readable by anybody, but that should not be a problem because they will only contain the ARNs and Names of the secrets. Knowing these values does not grant access or gives any other possibility to retrieve any information since the authorization is controlled using IAM.

Navigate to the "Configure System" interface (dev - prod), scroll down to "Global Properties - Environment Variables" and you will see something along the lines of:

Simply press "Add" and add the environment variables:

At the bottom of the page, press "Save" and you're done. The environment variables are now available to all slaves.


This part will explain how to access these credentials.


To protect the integrity of these secrets, you need to run on a restricted node. Please consult this guide for further details. 

Environment variables and the AWS profiles are not being propagated to the Docker containers. Thus, you have to do necessary actions before entering the Docker environment. An example can be found at and

Retrieving credentials

In order to retrieve credentials, you have to query the AWS API using the instance profiles' credentials. This can be done with the following example code:

Retrieving credentials in Python
def _get_credentials():  # pragma: no cover
    import boto3
    import botocore
    secret_name = os.environ['MAVEN_PUBLISH_SECRET_NAME_CREDENTIALS']
    endpoint_url = os.environ['MAVEN_PUBLISH_SECRET_ENDPOINT_URL']
    region_name = os.environ['MAVEN_PUBLISH_SECRET_ENDPOINT_REGION']

    session = boto3.Session()
    client = session.client(
        get_secret_value_response = client.get_secret_value(
    except botocore.exceptions.ClientError as client_error:
        if client_error.response['Error']['Code'] == 'ResourceNotFoundException':
            logging.exception("The requested secret %s was not found", secret_name)
        elif client_error.response['Error']['Code'] == 'InvalidRequestException':
            logging.exception("The request was invalid due to:")
        elif client_error.response['Error']['Code'] == 'InvalidParameterException':
            logging.exception("The request had invalid params:")
        secret = get_secret_value_response['SecretString']
        secret_dict = json.loads(secret)
        return secret_dict

That's it.

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