Securing Jenkins

This is still very much a work in progress

In the default configuration of Jenkins 1.x, Jenkins does not perform any security checks. This means the ability of Jenkins to launch processes and access local files are available to anyone who can access Jenkins web UI and some more.

Securing Jenkins has two aspects to it.

  • Access control, which ensures users are authenticated when accessing Jenkins and their activities are authorized.

  • Protecting Jenkins against external threats

Access Control

You should lock down the access to Jenkins UI so that users are authenticated and appropriate set of permissions are given to them. This setting is controlled mainly by two axes:

  • Security Realm, which determines users and their passwords, as well as what groups the users belong to.

  • Authorization Strategy, which determines who has access to what.

These two axes are orthogonal, and need to be individually configured. For example, you might choose to use external LDAP or Active Directory as the security realm, and you might choose "everyone full access once logged in" mode for authorization strategy. Or you might choose to let Jenkins run its own user database, and perform access control based on the permission/user matrix.

Protect users of Jenkins from other threats

There are additional security subsystems in Jenkins that protect Jenkins and users of Jenkins from indirect attacks.

The following topics discuss features that are off by default. We recommend you read them first and act on them immediately.

The following topics discuss other security features that are on by default. You’ll only need to look at them when they are causing problems.

Disabling Security

One may accidentally set up a security realm / authorization in such a way that you may no longer be able to reconfigure Jenkins.

When this happens, you can fix this by the following steps:

  1. Stop Jenkins (the easiest way to do this is to stop the servlet container.)

  2. Go to $JENKINS_HOME in the file system and find config.xml file.

  3. Open this file in the editor.

  4. Look for the <useSecurity>true</useSecurity> element in this file.

  5. Replace true with false

  6. Remove the elements authorizationStrategy and securityRealm

  7. Start Jenkins

  8. When Jenkins comes back, it will be in an unsecured mode where everyone gets full access to the system.

If this is still not working, trying renaming or deleting config.xml.

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