Getting Started

Install Vault

Vault must first be installed on your machine. Vault is distributed as a binary package for all supported platforms and architectures. This page will not cover how to compile Vault from source, but compiling from source is covered in the documentation for those who want to be sure they're compiling source they trust into the final binary.

» Installing Vault

To install Vault, find the appropriate package for your system and download it. Vault is packaged as a zip archive.

After downloading Vault, unzip the package. Vault runs as a single binary named vault. Any other files in the package can be safely removed and Vault will still function.

The final step is to make sure that the vault binary is available on the PATH. See this page for instructions on setting the PATH on Linux and Mac. This page contains instructions for setting the PATH on Windows.

» Verifying the Installation

After installing Vault, verify the installation worked by opening a new terminal session and checking that the vault binary is available. By executing vault, you should see help output similar to the following:

$ vault

Usage: vault <command> [args]

Common commands:
    read        Read data and retrieves secrets
    write       Write data, configuration, and secrets
    delete      Delete secrets and configuration
    list        List data or secrets
    login       Authenticate locally
    server      Start a Vault server
    status      Print seal and HA status
    unwrap      Unwrap a wrapped secret

Other commands:
    audit          Interact with audit devices
    auth           Interact with auth methods
    lease          Interact with leases
    operator       Perform operator-specific tasks
    path-help      Retrieve API help for paths
    policy         Interact with policies
    secrets        Interact with secrets engines
    ssh            Initiate an SSH session
    token          Interact with tokens

If you get an error that the binary could not be found, then your PATH environment variable was not setup properly. Please go back and ensure that your PATH variable contains the directory where Vault was installed.

Otherwise, Vault is installed and ready to go!

» Command Completion

Vault also includes command-line completion for subcommands, flags, and path arguments where supported. To install command-line completion, you must be using Bash, ZSH or Fish. Unfortunately other shells are not supported at this time.

To install completions, run:

$ vault -autocomplete-install

This will automatically install the helpers in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc, or to ~/.config/fish/completions/vault.fish for Fish users. Then restart your terminal or reload your shell:

$ exec $SHELL

Now when you type vault <tab>, Vault will suggest options. This is very helpful for beginners and advanced Vault users.