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Google CloudDNS

This guide explains how to set up an Issuer, or ClusterIssuer, to use Google CloudDNS to solve DNS01 ACME challenges. It's advised you read the DNS01 Challenge Provider page first for a more general understanding of how cert-manager handles DNS01 challenges.

Note: This guide assumes that your cluster is hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and that you already have a domain set up with CloudDNS.

Set up a Service Account

cert-manager needs to be able to add records to CloudDNS in order to solve the DNS01 challenge. To enable this, a GCP service account must be created with the dns.admin role.

Note: For this guide the gcloud command will be used to set up the service account. Ensure that gcloud is using the correct project and zone before entering the commands. These steps could also be completed using the Cloud Console.

$ PROJECT_ID=myproject-id
$ gcloud iam service-accounts create dns01-solver --display-name "dns01-solver"

In the command above, replace myproject-id with the ID of your project.

$ gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $PROJECT_ID \
--member serviceAccount:dns01-solver@$PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \
--role roles/dns.admin

Note: The use of the dns.admin role in this example role is for convenience. If you want to ensure cert-manager runs under a least privilege service account, you will need to create a custom role with the following permissions:

  • dns.resourceRecordSets.*
  • dns.changes.*
  • dns.managedZones.list

Use Static Credentials

Follow the instructions in the following sections to deploy cert-manager using static credentials for the service account you created. You should rotate these credentials periodically.

Create a Service Account Secret

To access this service account, cert-manager uses a key stored in a Kubernetes Secret. First, create a key for the service account and download it as a JSON file, then create a Secret from this file.

If you did not create the service account dns01-solver before, you need to create it first.

$ gcloud iam service-accounts create dns01-solver

Replace instances of $PROJECT_ID with the ID of your project.

$ gcloud iam service-accounts keys create key.json \
--iam-account dns01-solver@$PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com
$ kubectl create secret generic clouddns-dns01-solver-svc-acct \
--from-file=key.json

Note: Keep the key file safe and do not share it, as it could be used to gain access to your cloud resources. The key file can be deleted once it has been used to generate the Secret.

Note: If you have already added the Secret but get an error: ...due to error processing: error getting clouddns service account: secret "XXX" not found, the Secret may be in the wrong namespace. If you're configuring a ClusterIssuer, move the Secret to the Cluster Resource Namespace which is cert-manager by default. If you're configuring an Issuer, the Secret should be stored in the same namespace as the Issuer resource.

Create an Issuer That Uses CloudDNS

Next, create an Issuer (or ClusterIssuer) with a cloudDNS provider. An example Issuer manifest can be seen below with annotations.

apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Issuer
metadata:
name: example-issuer
spec:
acme:
...
solvers:
- dns01:
cloudDNS:
# The ID of the GCP project
project: $PROJECT_ID
# This is the secret used to access the service account
serviceAccountSecretRef:
name: clouddns-dns01-solver-svc-acct
key: key.json

For more information about Issuers and ClusterIssuers, see Configuration.

Once an Issuer (or ClusterIssuer) has been created successfully, a Certificate can then be added to verify that everything works.

apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Certificate
metadata:
name: example-com
namespace: default
spec:
secretName: example-com-tls
issuerRef:
# The issuer created previously
name: example-issuer
dnsNames:
- example.com
- www.example.com

For more details about Certificates, see Usage.

GKE Workload Identity

If you are deploying cert-manager into a Google Container Engine (GKE) cluster with workload identity enabled, you can leverage workload identity to avoid creating and managing static service account credentials. The workload identity how-to provides more detail on how workload identity functions, but briefly workload identity allows you to link a Google service accounts (GSA) to Kubernetes service accounts (KSA). This GSA/KSA linking is two-way, i.e., you must establish the link in GCP and Kubernetes. Once configured, workload identity allows Kubernetes pods running under a KSA to access the GCP APIs with the permissions of the linked GSA. The workload identity how-to also provides detailed instructions on how to enable workload identity in your GKE cluster. The instructions in the following sections assume you are deploying cert-manager to a GKE cluster with workload identity already enabled.

The cert-manager component that needs to modify DNS records is the pod created as part of the cert-manager deployment. The standard methods for deploying cert-manger to Kubernetes create the cert-manager deployment in the cert-manager namespace and its pod spec specifies it runs under the cert-manager service account. To link the GSA you created above to the cert-manager KSA in the cert-manager namespace in your GKE cluster, run the following command.

$ gcloud iam service-accounts add-iam-policy-binding \
--role roles/iam.workloadIdentityUser \
--member "serviceAccount:$PROJECT_ID.svc.id.goog[cert-manager/cert-manager]" \
dns01-solver@$PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com

If your cert-manager pods are running under a different service account, replace goog[cert-manager/cert-manager] with goog[NAMESPACE/SERVICE_ACCOUNT], where NAMESPACE is the namespace of the service account and SERVICE_ACCOUNT is the name of the service account.

After deploying cert-manager, add the proper workload identity annotation to the cert-manager service account.

$ kubectl annotate serviceaccount --namespace=cert-manager cert-manager \
"iam.gke.io/gcp-service-account=dns01-solver@$PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com"

Again, if your cert-manager pods are running under a different service account, replace --namespace=cert-manager cert-manager with --namespace=NAMESPACE SERVICE_ACCOUNT, where NAMESPACE is the namespace of the service account and SERVICE_ACCOUNT is the name of the service account.

If you are deploying cert-manager using its helm chart, you can use the serviceAccount.annotations configuration parameter to add the above workload identity annotation to the cert-manager KSA.

Create an Issuer That Uses CloudDNS

Next, create an Issuer (or ClusterIssuer) with a clouddns provider. An example Issuer manifest can be seen below with annotations. Note that the issuer does not include a serviceAccountSecretRef property. Excluding this instructs cert-manager to use the default credentials provided by GKE workload identity.

apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Issuer
metadata:
name: example-issuer
spec:
acme:
...
solvers:
- dns01:
cloudDNS:
# The ID of the GCP project
project: $PROJECT_ID

For more information about Issuers and ClusterIssuers, see Configuration.

Once an Issuer (or ClusterIssuer) has been created successfully, a Certificate can then be added to verify that everything works.

apiVersion: cert-manager.io/v1
kind: Certificate
metadata:
name: example-com
namespace: default
spec:
secretName: example-com-tls
issuerRef:
# The issuer created previously
name: example-issuer
dnsNames:
- example.com
- www.example.com

For more details about Certificates, see Usage.