A QuarksSecret generates passwords, keys and certificates and stores them in Kubernetes secrets.


A QuarksSecret generates passwords, keys and certificates and stores them in Kubernetes secrets.

QuarksSecret Component

The QuarksSecret component consists of three controllers, each with a separate reconciliation loop.

Figure 1, illustrates the component and associated set of controllers.

qsec-component-flow Fig. 1: The QuarksSecret component

QuarksSecret Controller

qsec-controller-flow Fig. 2: The QuarksSecret controller

Watches in Quarks Secret Controller

  • QuarksSecret: Creation
  • QuarksSecret: Updates if .status.generated is false

Reconciliation in Quarks Secret Controller

  • generates Kubernetes secret of specific types(see Types under Highlights).
  • generate a Certificate Signing Request against the cluster API.
  • sets .status.generated to true, to avoid re-generation and allow secret rotation.

Highlights in Quarks Secret Controller


Depending on the spec.type, QuarksSecret supports generating the following:

Secret Type spec.type certificate.signerType certificate.isCA
passwords password not set not set
username-password pairs basic-auth not set not set
rsa keys rsa not set not set
ssh keys ssh not set not set
self-signed root certificates certificate local true
self-signed certificates certificate local false
cluster-signed certificates certificate cluster false


You can find more details in the BOSH docs.

Auto-approving Certificates

A certificate QuarksSecret can be signed by the Kubernetes API Server. The QuarksSecret Controller is responsible for generating the certificate signing request:

kind: CertificateSigningRequest
  name: generate-certificate
  request: ((encoded-cert-signing-request))
  - digital signature
  - key encipherment

The QuarksSecret controller can create copies of a generated secret or a user created secret across multiple namespaces, as long as the target secrets or target QuarksSecret with type copy (that live in a namespace other than the namespace of the QuarksSecret) already exist. If it is a generated secret in the source namespace, then the secret or QuarksSecret in target namespace shoud have the following annotaton


as well as the usual label for generated secrets:

1 generated

This ensures that the creator of the QuarksSecret must have access to the copy target namespace.

If it is the user generated secret in the source namespace, then the secret or QuarksSecret should have the following annotation


Copied Secrets do not have an owner set, and are not cleaned up automatically when the QuarksSecret is deleted.

CertificateSigningRequest Controller

certsr-controller-flow Fig. 3: The CertificateSigningRequest controller

Watches in CSR Controller

  • Certificate Signing Request: Creation

Reconciliation in CSR Controller

  • once the request is approved by Kubernetes API, will generate a certificate stored in a Kubernetes secret, that is recognized by the cluster.

Highlights in CSR Controller

The CertificateSigningRequest controller watches for CertificateSigningRequest and approves QuarksSecret-owned CSRs and persists the generated certificate.

SecretRotation Controller

The secret rotation controller watches for a rotation config map and re-generates all the listed QuarksSecrets.

Watches in Secret Rotation Controller

  • ConfigMap: Creation of a config map, which has the secret-rotation label.

Reconciliation in Secret Rotation Controller

  • Will read the array of QuarksSecret names from the JSON under the config map key secrets.
  • Skip QuarksSecret where .status.generated is false, as these might be under control of the user.
  • Set .status.generated for each named QuarksSecret to false, to trigger re-creation of the corresponding secret.

Relationship With the BDPL Component

All explicit variables of a BOSH manifest will be created as QuarksSecret instances, which will trigger the QuarksSecret Controller. This will create corresponding secrets. If the user decides to change a secret, the .status.generated field in the corresponding QuarksSecret should be set to false, to protect against overwriting.

QuarksSecret Examples


Last modified September 3, 2020: Change URL to quarks-v6 (a286c04)